Welcoming Warm Weather and Appreciating Art Around the Arboretum

Kerrera Jackson, Staff Writer

Now that the weather is getting nicer and the snow is melting, people are beginning to realize that being outside is great when it’s not below zero. There are many things to do outside: play a sport, hike, or simply read a book (or do your homework) in the sun.

But there’s only one kind of place outside that can give you the perfect photo-op while being interesting, active, inspiring and a great place to go with your friends. These places are outdoor sculpture gardens and art exhibits.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the most well-known sculpture garden in Minnesota and one of the best in the United States. While it is most well-known for the highly photographed “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” the garden offers many other beautiful pieces of art and activities.

In addition to the gorgeous walking paths and fields dotted with pieces of art, the garden also has an artistic mini-golf course that incorporates sculptures, Minnesota culture and the fun game of putt-putt golf.

“I really liked the sculpture garden. It had a lot more interactive pieces than a lot of other places I’ve been to throughout Minnesota. I think the garden is really interesting because it has something for everyone: lots of grass, flowers, interesting places to sit, and really great places to take memorable photos. I’ve never really seen artwork that was open to be touched and played with anywhere else, and I would definitely recommend for people to see it,” said Nina Arleth ‘22.

Another amazing place is Big Stone Mini Golf in Minnetrista. This mini-golf course incorporates beautiful sculptures, artwork, and handcrafted structures within the course.The artwork is either on the course, near the course, above and around the course, or it is the course. You can certainly tell how much effort and time went into making this place come to life.

“I really liked that they used more nature in constructing obstacles for each hole whereas other mini-golf areas use more plastic and metal objects. I would definitely recommend Big Stone to others because it was a really great time,” said Evan Giebel ‘22.

Not only does Big Stone have a mini-golf course, it has a petting zoo with goats and an open field in which to take pictures or run around. The establishment makes sure not to harm or obstruct the nature around it, but rather incorporates it as part of its art or courses.

“I think that it was a really cool place, and I’m pretty sure I had my birthday party there every year from ages 5-9. They also have this really cool open field with art sculptures everywhere in it, and I would play in the big wooden boat there every single year as a kid, even though someone would always get stung by bees,” said Aidan Marshall ‘22.

Finally, the Harrison Sculpture Garden encompasses the three acres surrounding the Arboretum’s High Point in Chanhassen. This sculpture garden contains highly acclaimed contemporary sculptures that interact with the open and beautiful landscape of the rural area. The sculptures are created after every element and part of nature, including myths about how things came to be. The sculptures are placed along a long and magnificent walkway leading up to a peaceful grove of coffee trees. At the top of the hill, a visitor can see the entire garden, creating a peaceful setting perfect for taking photos, reading, and admiring the view.

“It’s very interesting that there are so many things you can do there, like go for walks, take photos, listen to lectures… You also have the ability to learn about a lot of different flowers and species of plants and animals that are native to Minnesota. You are free to go about as you please. I would one hundred percent recommend this place for photos, especially in the springtime,” said Arleth.

Overall, Minnesota is filled with excellent locations for artsy outdoor adventures including the Arboretum, Big Stone Mini Golf, and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (just to name a few). With the snow melting and the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to get out and admire art around the cities.