The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a beautiful place filled with a variety of plant life, gardens, flowers, and hedge mazes. It is a great place to explore and start a discussion about nature. The Arboretum features 1,137 acres of gardens, landscaped spaces, and more than 5,000 plant varieties.
Start at the visitor's center and get a map. From here you can make a plan.
If your child has a specific interest - flowers, trees, animals, etc this would be a great guide for where to start. The staff is well informed and helpful so again the visitor's center is a wonderful resource.
In general with toddlers or preschoolers, I recommend starting in one of the gardens near the visitor center. These are smaller and would enable you to do a shorter loop that a younger child could walk on their own. There are also wide open spaces that are perfect for picnicking.
The other option that we enjoyed is to drive around the loop and stop at a couple of different places that catch your eye. There are trails to walk along, other gardens to visit, and wide open spaces. The amount of space at the Arboretum and diversity of plant life is astonishing. We made many, many trips during the time we lived in MN but did not come close to exploring all of the little corners. This is a wonderful place to return to again and again.
Things to Bring:
Weather Appropriate Clothing
Notebooks or Clipboards
Snack or Packed Lunch
*Check the website before visiting. There is a wealth of information.
*The Arboretum has many special events year round.
*Check the calendar for free days to visit.
*The Arboretum has family weekends with special activities throughout the year. We were unable to take advantage of these due to our children's nap schedule conflicts, but they seem exciting and inspiring.
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