Our popular Winter Lights display returns as a walking tour for 2021. As in years past, we’re extending our hours so visitors can enjoy the Arboretum’s gardens filled with lights. Join us on select nights (see calendar below) for the Winter Music series and enjoy a splendid musical performance before strolling through the Winter Lights display.
General Admission Nights
5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday
Nov. 19-24, 26-28 | Dec. 3-5, 10-12, 17-23, 26-30 | Jan. 1-2
Winter Music series included on select evenings (5-6:30 p.m.), click link for details.
Ticket price (per person): $10 member/ $15 non-member/free for children ages 15 and younger.
Tip: If your preferred time or date is sold out for driving directly to the Arboretum, take the bus with the SouthWest Transit bus curb-to-curb from Chaska station.
Get outside and enjoy the crisp, fresh air of a winter evening, as you experience 16 outdoor light displays, featuring flowers, nature and winter fun, on an accessible, stroller-friendly walk that’s just over a half-mile. Warm up midway through the walking tour at a bonfire and roast marshmallows over the fire -- s’mores packages will be for sale. Artist Jennifer Hedberg’s luminescent ice sculptures will also be part of the display. Embrace all that a Minnesota winter has to offer -- dress for the weather!
Our popular Gift and Garden Store will be open each general admission night. Guests joining us on Friday & Saturday, Dec. 10 -11 will also be able to shop at our December Gift Market until 9 p.m. each night.
Food & Drink
The Arboretum Cafe will be open from 5-8:30 p.m. (Mon-Thurs) and 5-9:30 p.m. (Fri-Sun) offering snacks, sandwiches, salads, desserts and a hot entree (see FAQs for menu details). The Cafe will not be open for Photographer's Nights. Snacks and beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) can be purchased at bars in the Great Hall and Carlson Dining Room. S’mores packs will be for sale near the bonfires between the Wilson Rose Garden and Home Demonstration Garden.
Reserve your early evening ticket on one of our Winter Music Series nights (click link for dates & times) and come enjoy seasonal tunes before strolling our light displays.
Park at the Arb option
Select the General Admission: Park at the Arb ticket option if you prefer to drive into the Arboretum, show your tickets at the gatehouse, park in the Visitor Center lots, and walk to view the displays.
Southwest Transit Bus curb-to-curb option
Southwest Transit East Creek Transit Station at 2120 Chestnut St. N., Chaska
Save extra walking and hassle: Hop on the bus to bypass the gatehouse and enjoy direct-to-Visitor Center convenience! Purchase the General Admission Winter Lights: Southwest Transit Bus option on Friday, Saturday and Sunday general admission nights. There is no additional charge to take the bus -- your curb-to-curb bus ride is included with your regular Winter Lights Ticket admission price. Buses will run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 10 p.m., with the first bus leaving the station at 4:45 p.m.
Special Event Nights
Special Access Photographer's Night
4:30-6:30 or 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 & 8
Ticket price (per person): $25 member/$40 non-member (adults only).
Photographers of all levels can purchase admission to photographers-only special access nights. There will be a maximum of 100 tickets per session, with no other guests on the grounds. Enjoy the space and freedom to take long exposure photos without the hassle of crowds getting in your shots or being bothered by your equipment. Also includes a Nov 29, 7-8 p.m. online webinar on Photo Tips for the Winter Lights Display.
4-6 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 2 & 9
Ticket price (per person): $10 member and children (age 2 and above)/$25 non-member/free for infants younger than 1 year.
This family-friendly evening includes complimentary hot cocoa, cookies and crafts.
5-10 p.m. Dec. 16
Ticket price (per person): $20 member/$35 non-member (adults only)
Bring your date to Winter Lights, and stroll through the lights with an adults-only crowd. Take a dance class from Costa Rica Ballroom, and enjoy live music. Event price includes one drink ticket.
New Year’s Eve Party
5-10:30pm Dec. 31
Ticket price (per person): $15 member/$30 non-member/$5 for children (aged 2-15)
Bring the whole family to bid farewell to 2021 at the Arboretum. Stroll through the Winter Lights display from 5-10:30 p.m., play family-friendly games, make luminaries and share your wishes for the new year, commemorate the night at a photo booth, enjoy live music from Traveled Ground from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and celebrate the coming year with countdowns at 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. The final 10 p.m. countdown will include a sparkling apple juice toast, and all guests will take home party favors.