The Reflections installation at Bruce Munro: Winter Light
A few days ago I took my husband, five-year-old, and one-year-old to the Bruce Munro: Winter Light installation currently gracing the grounds of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We debated whether we were seeing giant eyes or giant donuts, became mesmerized by kaleidoscopic tables, and felt pretty cool staying out late in our snow pants. Here are five things to know before you go.
Bring the stroller. Wandering through all seven installations is a refreshing stroll for adults, but it can be quite a hike for younger kids. Thankfully, the entire exhibition is stroller-friendly. Our five-year-old, Maddie, started out walking, but preferred to chill in the stroller for the second half while baby took in the view from her carrier.
There are refreshments, or you can bring your own. There’s a nicely varied drink menu (alcoholic and non) in the visitor center, full dining in the café, and s’more-making kits for $5 or $10, which you can toast over an inviting collection of bonfires as you take in the vast Oreum installation. We brought PB and Js, applesauce, and granola bars and called it dinner.
It’s not a holiday light show. This is high art that some of the younger kids might not fully appreciate. While viewing one installation that included a soundtrack of birds, Maddie repeatedly asked where the actual birds were, and was disappointed that we couldn’t touch it. Other portions were more interactive.
Two of the installations are indoors. One, Chindi, hangs overhead as you wait your turn for tickets. The other, Reflections, is a series of totally mesmerizing, shape-shifting patterns projected onto round tables and choreographed to music. It was Maddie's favorite part of the exhibition, and she had a ball making shadow puppets on the tables and watching the kaleidoscopic patterns. It also offered a great warm-up opportunity in between the outdoor portions. Nearby, a 39-photo gallery chronicling Munro’s installations around the world was fun to see, too.
Oreum is particularly impressive. My husband and I were blown away by the sheer magnitude of this installation, and all of us were enchanted by the beautiful changing colors. It reminded me of a garden Willy Wonka would have, if the optical fiber-acrylic orbs were made of candy.
Bruce Munro: Winter Light, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, munrowinterlightmn.org