Outdoor Imagination Play at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The weather in Minnesota is nice for only a short time each year, so my goal is to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

When we need a break from our neighborhood walking paths and playgrounds, one of our favorite all-time places to go is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We have a membership. There are miles and miles of beautiful trails, all kinds of demonstration gardens where I can get ideas for my own garden, and lots of wide-open play spaces for kids.

It’s a place that reminds me to appreciate and revel in nature by offering a beautiful space to explore, wonder, and dream.

One of the latest additions to the Arboretum is a Green Play Yard, especially built for toddler and small kid exploration! Kids can explore the “touch and smell” greenhouse and discover banana trees and “lipstick plants.” They can smell fresh herbs, sleuth for topiary critters, and watch as the Sensitive Plant shrinks away from their touch.

Families can eat lunch under the shade of the Giant Oak. Children can scoop and dig and splash and scream and run. They turn twigs into forts and stumps into kitchens. They use their imaginations here – no bells or whistles, batteries or alarms. It is a dream come true for a curious toddler with a budding imagination!

Just whipping up some dinner…
A tunnel made of twigs!
So many places to explore.
Rawr! King Jax will stomp on you, bugs!
Water, water everywhere!
It’s a nice day for a walk on the bridge.

Now, we’d better get outside – it’s supposed to rain later today! What is your favorite kid-friendly outdoor activity?