GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Just when it seemed that this really was going to be an endless winter, there are some encouraging signs of springs arrival. Really. Lucky for us, several places around the Metro offer this hopeful spectacle of the new season that is upon us.
Macy's Downtown Minneapolis: Once again, Dale Bachman and his team have transformed the 8th floor of Macy's downtown store into a towering floral fantasy. This year the theme has an international flair with several iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa. It's usually the first place I go to get a feel for spring.
And the best part, it's free. It runs daily through April 10.
St. Paul's Como Park Conservatory has also burst into bloom. As one walks into the sunken garden, the senses are assaulted in the best possible way. In seconds visitors are magically transported into spring.
I love that nearby benches provide a place to sit down so you can drink in this rich and colorful scene. Couples holding hands, grandma's walking with their grandchildren, singles strolling. For many of us, coming here has become a favorite ritual of the season. Free, but donations are appreciated.
U of M Arboretum: Chanhassen. Blooms may not abound quite yet, but there is still plenty of nature to marvel at. Currently there is an interesting exhibit about the history of seeds.
And you can even go online to watch a timeline of various areas at site bursting into bloom. Way cool. Open daily.
Art In Bloom: Minneapolis Institute of Arts -- At the end of April, the four day festival features gorgeous fresh floral arrangements and fine arts.
This is really something to see even if your are not someone who regularly goes to an art museum. It runs April 28 through May 1, 2011.
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