Winter Lights 2022

Winter Lights in front of Snyder building
Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

Join us on select nights Nov. 17-Jan. 1!

Stroll through the Arboretum gardens decked out in Winter Lights. Enjoy fresh air as you explore outdoor light displays, highlighting flowers, trees and the beauty of nature, on a .75-mile walking route. See the new 16-foot weeping willow tree and walk through the giant apple, which pays tribute to our Horticultural Research Center’s apple research. Stop by s’mores village to warm up near a fire and buy s’mores kits to roast marshmallows.  

The Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building will also be decorated for the season — and we’re delighted to announce the return of our 25-foot Poinsettia Tree, created using more than 500 red, white and pink poinsettias. Make plans to get dinner at the Eatery at the Arboretum before or after your walk through the lights. You might also hear holiday tunes from local performers from our live Music Series, offered on select nights.

Special theme nights are available for families and photographers as well as date nights for adults and a New Year’s Eve celebration for all ages. 

Southwest Transit logo in green

Thank you to SouthWest Transit for providing the busing for Winter Lights.

Winter Lights Ticket Calendar

Find your preferred date and then click on "Arb Parking + Admission" to reserve your tickets with Arboretum parking, or "Bus Transit + Admission" to reserve your tickets with transit busing to the Arboretum. 
 
You will be directed to our ticketing website where you can then select a specific time and complete your registration.
 

Having trouble purchasing your tickets? Check out our FAQs

November 2022

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
   

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Opening Night
6-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission
 

18

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
6-7:30 p.m. | Pete Hofmann

19

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
10-11:30 a.m. | Flutes of the Spirit

1:30-3 p.m. | The Barn Cats

6-7:30 p.m. | Westwind Swing Band

20

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music
10-11:30 a.m. | Ascot Brass Quintet

1:30-3 p.m. | Eden Prairie Community Band

6-7:30 p.m. | Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra

21

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

22

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

23

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

24

25

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

26

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music
1:30-3 p.m. | Singers from the Minnesota Chorale

6-7:30 p.m. | Brad Cattadoris

27

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music
1:30-3 p.m. | Cathie English 

6-7:30 p.m. | Brooklyn Big Band

28

29

30

     

 

December 2022

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

 

 

 

 

1

Family Night

4-6 p.m. | Arb Parking + Admission

6:30-8:30 p.m.  | Arb Parking + Admission

2

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
6-7:30 p.m. | City of Lakes Chorus

3

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
10-11:30 a.m. | Westwind Five

1:30-3 p.m. | Crosstown Community Band

6-7:30 p.m. | The Arbor Bells

4

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
10-11:30 a.m. | Celebration Brass Quintet

1:30-3 p.m. | Mike's Brass

6-7:30 p.m. | The Silverwinds Flutes

5

6

7

Photography Night
5-8:30 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

8

Date Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Music
The Barn Cats

Traveled Ground

9

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

10

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
6-7:30 p.m. | The Prairie Brass

11

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
10-11:30 a.m. | Roseville Big Band

1:30-3 p.m. | Capri Big Band

6-7:30 p.m. | Westwind Big Band

12

13

14

Photography Night
5-8:30 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

15

Family Night

4-6 p.m. | Arb Parking + Admission

6:30-8:30 p.m.  | Arb Parking + Admission

16

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music: 
6-7:30 p.m. | Waconia Suzuki Ensemble

17

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
10-11:30 a.m. | Flute Cocktail

1:30-3 p.m. | Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra

6-7:30 p.m. | The Prairie Brass Quintet

18

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
1:30-3 p.m. | Bend in the River

6-7:30 p.m. | Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

19

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

20

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

21

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

22

Date Night
5-10 p.m.
 

Arb Parking + Admission

Music
The Barn Cats

Traveled Ground

23

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Bus Transit + Admission

Music:
6-7:30 p.m. | Comes a Time

24

25

26

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

27

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

28

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

29

General Admission Night
5-9 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

30

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

31

New Year's Eve Party
5-10:30 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

Music
Traveled Ground

January 1

General Admission Night
5-10 p.m.

Arb Parking + Admission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archway with winter lights & snowflakes
Photos by Jason Boudreau-Landis.
Red winter lights apple
Winter Lights gazebo in yellow

Learn more about the special Winter Lights theme nights!

In addition to general admission tickets, we have special theme nights for couples, families and photographers. 

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General Admission

Reservations: $10 members, $25 non-members, free for children 15 and younger

Dates: Nov. 18*, 19*, 20*, 21, 22, 23, 25*, 26*, 27*
Dec. 2*, 3*, 4*, 9*,10*,11*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19, 20, 21, 23*, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Jan. 1

*Nights with SouthWest Transit bus service from the East Creek Transit Station in Chaska

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the display, visitors can take a SouthWest Transit bus from the East Creek Station. Park at the station located at 2120 Chestnut St. N. in Chaska, and enjoy bus service to and from the Arboretum. Buses run from 4:45-10 p.m. Make sure to select "Bus Transit + Admission" on the reservations page if you plan to use SouthWest Transit.

Opening Night – 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 17

Reservations: $10 for members, $25 for non-members and $5 for children 15 and younger.

Be among the first to experience the magic of Winter Lights, and join the fun as we “officially” light up the Arb. The lighting ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Oswald Visitor Center with remarks from Arboretum director Peter Moe and a countdown to light up the Great Hall. Enjoy winter-themed decor indoors and outdoors, cookies and hot cocoa, your favorite winter-themed characters in costume from Northern Express, and a performance from the Minnesota Chorale. Guests are free to explore the outdoor Winter Lights walking tour at their own pace throughout the event.

Family Nights – 4-6 p.m. and 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 & 15

Reservations: $10 for members, $25 for non-members and $5 for children 15 and younger; free for infants younger than 1 year 

This family-friendly evening features smaller crowds, complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and a craft project. Get some fresh air before bedtime, and bring your children to explore the Arboretum at night as they walk through the magical Winter Lights displays under the beautiful night skies. You might also catch some of your favorite winter themed characters in costume from the Northern Express, a winter holiday festival in Carver County.

Date Nights – 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 8 & 22

Reservations: $20 for members; $35 for non-members

Make reservations for a romantic night under the stars with your favorite person. Stroll through the lights displays and buy dinner and a drink at the Eatery at the Arb. This adults-only night features smaller crowds, as well as a dance class from Costa Rica Ballroom and live music.  

Dance Class: Costa Rica Ballroom dance will teach 30-minute classes at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. on both Date Nights.  

Live Music: The Barn Cats will play on Dec. 8 and Traveled Ground on Dec. 22.

Photography Nights – 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 & 14

Reservations: $19 for members, $34 for non-members

The Arboretum's mesmerizing Winter Lights display opens for a limited-admission, photographers-only night, these two Wednesday nights only! Registrants will also receive access to a pre-recorded webinar with Night Sky Photographer, Dr. Mike Shaw, to help them to make the most of the onsite photography experience. Photographers may view the recording of the webinar any time before their ticket date. At the Special Access Photographer's Evening: 

Photographers only! A limit of 200 photographer-only-visitors ensures a quality photographing experience.

The Arb’s normal "no-tripods" rule is suspended for Photographer’s Special Access Nights, these two nights only!

This premier experience provides ample time for long exposures.

Photograph and experiment at your leisure.

Spend time with other photographers and photography enthusiasts.

Use the Instagram hashtag #mnarbwinterlightsphotonights2022 to post a favorite image from the evening for possible exposure on the Arb's social media platform!

New Year’s Eve Party - 5-10:30 p.m. on Dec. 31

Reservations: $15 for Arboretum members, $30 for non-members and $5 for children ages 15 and younger

Bring family and friends together to celebrate the end of 2022 with a magical walk through the Arboretum’s Winter Lights display, family-friendly games and live music from Traveled Ground. Take your picture in a photo booth, add your wishes for 2023 to the New Year Wish Tree and make a craft to bring home. Enjoy countdown celebrations on the hour at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. — with a special sparkling apple juice toast at 10 p.m. 

Winter Lights lotus flower display
Winter Lights spelling out "The Arb" in green and blue
Drone photo of winter lights on the Arb buildings

Winter Lights FAQs

Check out these FAQs for additional information on Winter Lights tickets & day of details. 

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Q. Will the buildings be open to visitors?

A. Yes! The Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building, including the Eatery at the Arb and Gift & Garden Store, will be open during Winter Lights.

Q. Is there food available at Winter Lights?

A. Yes. The Eatery at the Arb will be open during the display (5-7:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-8:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday), offering a rotating featured hot entree. Visitors will also find beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for sale at the cash bar on the visitor center balcony. The cash bar will be open 5-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5-9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. S’mores packs will be for sale near the bonfires by the Sensory Garden.

Q. I am unable to attend. Are my tickets refundable?

A. We don’t issue refunds for tickets unless the Arboretum is closed by the University of Minnesota or State of Minnesota due to weather or emergencies. If the display is closed, we will email ticket holders.

Q. Will you offer a drive-thru tour this year?

A. No. The exhibit is a walking tour. Cars won’t be able to drive through the display so make sure to dress for the weather.

Q. Why don’t members get free tickets?

A. We had to start charging members for tickets in 2020 to pay for the extra costs associated with keeping the Arboretum open longer hours during Winter Lights. Members do get discounted tickets as well as first access to tickets on Sept. 26 before they go on sale to the general public on Sept. 28.

Q. As a member, what is the Winter Lights ticket discount? How many tickets can I buy?

A. Members receive $15 off per ticket. The number of tickets eligible for discount depends on your specific membership level. Members can buy as many tickets as they'd like, but the discount will only apply to the number of people included in your membership. See below for specific details for each membership level. 

Solo - Discount on up to 1 ticket ($15 off) 

Duo - Discount on up to 2 tickets ($30 off) 

Duo +2 - Discount on up to 4 tickets ($60 off) 

Friend, Supporting, Sustaining & Associate - Discount on up to 8 tickets ($120 off)

Q. Are tickets sold per car or per person?

Tickets are sold per person, not per car. Children 15 and under are free, but they do still need a ticket. There is a $5 fee for children on family nights, opening night and NYE for additional supplies. Membership is also a great option to save on tickets and for additional year-round benefits!

Q. Is the route wheelchair/ stroller accessible?

A. In good weather conditions, the route is wheelchair/stroller accessible. It becomes less accessible if it is snowing. 

Strollers can be brought on to SW Transit buses; there are no infant/child car seats or safety belts on SW Transit buses. 

Q. I ordered my tickets, but I didn't receive them via email. What should I do?

A. Check your spam folder! If you still don't see your tickets, call the ticketing line at 612-301-6775. 

For admission to the event, either print your tickets out at home or show your tickets to the gatehouse attendant via your mobile phone.  Screenshots or saved photos of the barcodes do not scan properly -- you must have the original ticket from your email to scan.

Q. I'm having trouble with my ticketing account password. What should I do?

A. If it has been a while since you logged in, you may need to reset your password. Check out the Registration FAQ page for how to do this. 

Q. Can I come in early to enjoy the grounds prior to Winter Lights?

A. The grounds will be cleared out before Winter Lights starts, so visitors will not be able to stay in between. Separate tickets will be needed - one for daily admission and one for evening Winter Lights admission.

Have additional registration questions?

Check out the Registration FAQs.