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Best Places to Have a Picnic

When June arrives in Minnesota, residents flock to the outdoors to enjoy the warm temperatures and sunny skies. People's attention turns to moving everything outside, including mealtimes. Visit the Arboretum Cafe for yummy items from the grab and go section to enjoy in a special place in the sun or shade! Beverages, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine and beer are also available for purchase...

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ORDWAY PICNIC SHELTER

The Ordway Picnic Shelter and adjoining Trex Deck are located across from the Sensory Garden parking lot. Both overlook beautiful, scenic wetlands. The shelter is protected from the sun and always seems to have breezes blowing through which make it cool and comforatable even on warm summer days. Most of the summer Music in the Gardens concert series takes place on the Trex Deck. To plan a picnic with background music, check out the 2017 performance schedule here.
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HIGH POINT

About half way around Three-Mile Drive is the highest point on Arboretum grounds, known as High Point. This area houses the Harrison Sculpture Garden featuring 23 sculptures all donated to the Arboretum by Alfred and Ingrid Lenz-Harrison. There are no picnic tables here, but bring a blanket to spread on the ground to enjoy a meal in the serenity of these wonderful surroundings.
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SNYDER BUILDING TERRACES

Both the front and back terraces of the Snyder Building offer wrought-iron tables and chairs and shaded areas to enjoy a meal al fresco. Both terraces feature lovely potted containers and immense hanging baskets. The front terrace has views of the Spiegel Garden, a favorite of long-time visitors. The Morgan Terrace behind the building overlooks the scenic MacMillan Garden which is alive during warmer months with colorful annuals.
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MAZE GARDEN

The Maze Garden provides an impressive backdrop for an outdoor meal. Picnic tables are strategically placed in an off-the-beaten-path area for a secluded setting. But the laughter and screams of delighted children making their way through the Maze and having a ball will still be within earshot. After dining, walk through the amazing Ornamental Grasses Collection. The parking lot and entrance are around the corner just a bit farther down Three-Mile Drive.
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MARGOT PICNIC SHELTER AREA

Next to the Learning Center is a large, well-used picnic area, along with Picnic Shelters A and B. On week days, groups of children who are at the Learning Center for Field Trips or Day Camps can often be seen having a fun picnic lunch before or after their event. The shelters provide a great place to duck into in the event that a rogue shower passes through. These shelters may also be rented out during the summer months for birthday parties, family reunions or other group events. Check out rates here.
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