Summer Fun IdeasDory Otto
If your family is anything like ours, you’re likely always trying to make the most of our fleeting summer months and have some summer fun outside! We are always on the lookout for things to do outside and new places to explore. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a hike from our house, so we are not regulars. However, this summer they have a special exhibit called Nature Connects. It features thirteen sculptures constructed almost entirely out of Legos. Since we have a Lego lover in our home, this was reason to head west.
The creations are located throughout the gardens and inside the visitor center, so it is a good way to explore the place a bit. It really is stunning and if we did live closer we would be regulars. It has walking trails through fantastic gardens that range from natural to formal in style. There are fountains, waterfalls, ponds, and a view of Lake Minnewashta to keep water lovers happy.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, this place inspires you to make the most of your outdoor space. It is great place to see plants that you might like in your own yard, as it gives a visual of size and shape that you can’t get in a nursery.
But back to the Legos! All of the pieces were created by Lego Brick artist Sean Kenney. Kenney is an award winning artist with four internationally touring exhibits. Each nature-themed piece has an accompanying sign that gives the dimensions, the number of pieces used, and the hours spent building. The number of pieces is a bit mind-blowing and ranges from 9,143 on a small bonsai tree to a peacock with a staggering 68,827 bricks. I wonder if he ever steps on a brick in the middle of the night. A total of 450,000 pieces were used in the exhibit and probably lots of super glue.
There are sculptures that are sure to appeal to everyone in the family with everything from a creepy spider to pretty flowers. Any Lego builders in your house are certain to be inspired…and probably ask for more pieces…lots more pieces.
On certain weekend days they also offer a build project where kids can take part in creating a Lego community. And if you happen to have a bunch of Lego just sitting around that no longer get played with, bring those along and donate them to the cause.
If you aren’t a member of the arboretum the cost is $12 for everyone over 13. There are scenic picnic areas, art galleries, a restaurant, and a gift shop, so there is plenty to do. In addition to the walking trails there are trams that will take you about for a broader tour.
Consider adding a trip to Nature Connects to your summer list. For us it proved to be a great reason to connect with the arboretum. While the Legos will remain the same the flowers that are in bloom will vary throughout the summer making for a colorful combination.
Link for Nature Connects: