FAQs

How long is the walking tour?

How long is the walking tour?

We estimate the walking tour will take roughly 45 min. to complete.

How much does it cost?

How much does it cost?

Winter Lights is free to Arboretum members. Non-members pay the gate admission fee of $15 for each adult 16 and over. Children 15 and younger are free. 

Do you have group rates?

Do you have group rates?

Group rates are available for 15 or more adults arriving in a single vehicle. Group rate is $12 per person 16 years of age or older. Children 15 and younger are free. 

*Group rate only available on Friday. Normal gate admission of $15 per person Saturday and Sunday.*

Can groups visit on nights other than Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

Can groups visit on nights other than Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

Special Winter Lights nights Monday through Thursday can be arranged for groups of 25 of more with a room rental and catering contract. Contact the Reservations Department at 612-301-7597 to book.

What happens if the weather is bad or very cold?

What happens if the weather is bad or very cold?

The Winter Lights will be on and the Arboretum will be open unless the University of Minnesota is officially closed for inclement weather. We suggest guests dress appropriately for the weather on the day they plan to visit. If you have any doubts, please call 952-443-1400.

Can I get food on site?

Can I get food on site?

The Arboretum Cafe will be open with a rotating menu of hot and cold food options. A full bar will be available in the Cafe and Snyder Building Lobby. S'mores village will be located outside by the Home Demo Garden. S'mores will be available for $5 per package. Each package creates 4 S'mores. 

Is this a good display for little kids? Can we bring strollers or wagons? Can they run around anywhere?

Is this a good display for little kids? Can we bring strollers or wagons? Can they run around anywhere?

Winter Lights is a family friendly display that welcomes all ages. Strollers and wagons are permitted. The display areas are conducive to walking and enjoying the lights. 

If I have a party or wedding at the Arboretum, can we see Winter Lights too?

If I have a party or wedding at the Arboretum, can we see Winter Lights too?

Yes, Winter Lights will be on and available to all parties booked on Friday-Sunday Winter Lights dates or with a room rental and catering contract for over 25 people on Monday-Thursdays.

Where do I park?

Where do I park?

Parking is available in the Arboretum's main visitor parking lot. Parking is free with Arboretum membership and gate admission.

Where are the bathrooms?

Where are the bathrooms?

Bathrooms are located in the Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building.

What's different this year?

What's different this year?

The 2019 Winter Lights display will have a botanical theme with light sculptures of University of Minnesota cold hardy introducations of roses, chrysanthemums, azaleas, hostas, forsythia and apples.

Is the Gift Store open during the show?

Is the Gift Store open during the show?

Yes, the Arboretum Gift ad Garden Store will be open during Winter Lights hours 5-9 p.m.

Is the cafe open during the show?

Is the cafe open during the show?

The Arboretum Cafe will be open during Winter Lights hours from 5-9 p.m.

Will there be music?

Will there be music?

There will be live music on select nights during Winter Lights. Click here for more.

Do we need to buy tickets?

Do we need to buy tickets?

Winter Lights are free for Arboretum members. Non-members can purchase admission tickets online prior to arriving. This will speed up your entrance at the gate and is highly recommended. 

We don't like crowds, when is the best time to visit?

We don't like crowds, when is the best time to visit?

Historically, the earliest and latest time of the display each day and Sundays are the least busy times. 

Will the walks all be clear in case of snow or ice?

Will the walks all be clear in case of snow or ice?

The Arboretum grounds crew will clear the snow and ice as quickly and efficently as possible during snowstorms.

What if we come to the display and want to buy a membership? Is the cost of our tickets deducted?

What if we come to the display and want to buy a membership? Is the cost of our tickets deducted?

Yes! Deductions are taken based on the amount paid at the gate. Breeze through the line! Join the Arboretum today and enjoy the Arb all year and see Winter Lights for free!

Can I buy a Gift of Membership for other people at this event?

Can I buy a Gift of Membership for other people at this event?

Yes, the membership department will be available during Winter Lights to sell gifts of membership, purchase new membership or renew current memberships.

Is it dark enough at 5 p.m. to see the lights?

Is it dark enough at 5 p.m. to see the lights?

Sunset on the first day of Winter Lights is 4:37 p.m. Winter Lights can be enjoyed for the entire 5-9 p.m. show time.

If I (a member) bring guests who are not members, how much are their tickets?

If I (a member) bring guests who are not members, how much are their tickets?

Non-member guest tickets are $15 for adults age 16 and over. Children 15 and younger are always free. 

Where should we start to see the show?

Where should we start to see the show?

Winter Lights can be enjoyed starting at any display. We will have maps available in the Oswald Visitor Center to help navigate the show.

Is there anything indoors to see?

Is there anything indoors to see?

The Great Hall in the Oswald Visitor Center has a 24-foot-tall Poinsettia Tree, 8-12 foot decorated trees, winter decor and lights. The Conservatory is lit inside to enhance the beautiful flowers in bloom. The cafe is festively decorated as well as many rooms throughout the buildings. 

Are the Winter Lights ADA Accessible?

Are the Winter Lights ADA Accessible?

Both indoor and outdoor displays are accessible to all. We have three wheelchairs that are available for lending first come first serve. A driver's license is required to check out a wheelchair. We do not have electric scooters available but you are welcome to bring your own.