Winter Lights at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is back and brighter than ever. Guests can stroll through gardens of multicolored lights, take photos with loved ones and enjoy a s’more from Nov. 17 to Jan. 1 on specific days and times.

The event started in 2016 with UK artist Bruce Monroe, who put on what Wendy Composto, the signature seasonal events manager for the Arboretum, called a “very artistic light show.” She noted that people liked the show, but were hoping for a more traditional winter light display.

“It got us thinking about what we want to do following that, so in 2017 we did our own light show,” Composto said. “It was fairly small, but people really liked it.”

The Winter Lights display has grown a bit each year. Composto said in 2017 it was a .25 mile walk; then it grew to a .5 mile walk and this year it’s a .75 mile walk.

“We stick to paths that are accessible, so we will never go into the rose garden because there are stairs,” Composto said. “It does get a little tricky when we have snow falling during the show, but we do have crews out shoveling, sanding and putting grit down to keep it safe for everyone.”

New to the Winter Lights display this year is a 16-foot-tall weeping willow tree, which represents the Arboretum’s dedication to their work with trees. Another unconventional tree that guests can admire is the 25-foot-tall poinsettia tree, which is back after a two-year hiatus.

Layout of the display is the same year to year, with the exception of the s’mores village being moved this year down to the Sensory Garden parking lot for more room for the fire pits.

Events