Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive (MN Hwy 5), Chaska, MN. 952-443-1400. www.arboretum.umn.edu
$7 adults, 15 and under free. See website for free Thursday times. Free parking. Stroller accessible, some areas easier than others. Restrooms and restaurant available.
On a warm and sunny fall afternoon, the kids and I headed on an outing, visiting orchards, having lunch, and getting haircuts. It was such a nice day that we didn’t want to head home right away, so we picked up a Museum Adventure Pass to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
I’ve driven past the Arboretum on Highway 5 many times, but I never could quite envision what it was like inside. We showed our pass at the gates, and then drove past the main building to get the lay of the land via the 3-mile drive, past the different types of plants and trees. At the end of the drive, we parked and went into the visitors center for more information.
We decided to try to walk to the mazes that we had seen on the drive, so we grabbed a map and headed back outside. The walk was pleasant and there were several stations along the way where the kids could stop to play and explore. The path was gravel in a few places, giving me a good workout with the stroller, but overall it wasn’t as long as it had looked on the map.
The kids loved the mazes, and we were able to navigate them well enough with the stroller. We stopped to rest and listen to a string quartet who were playing for an outdoor wedding in the rose garden, and then went back down the hill, the kids taking the steps while I wound along the path with the stroller.
The arboretum was much larger than I’d expected it to be. We merely scratched the surface during our visit, and I’m sure we’ll go back again throughout the coming years.