Sculpture gardens present some of the most accessible of art options for families; instead of a quiet atmosphere filled with ancient treasures, children can roam about the artwork, exclaiming their delight. For those who enjoy seeing art outdoors, Minnesota has several sculpture gardens that families can enjoy.
Perhaps the most widely known is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden next to the Walker Art Center near downtown Minneapolis. Home of the “cherry on the spoon,” this park includes many other sculptures in various shapes, sizes, and media, as well as a garden walk and an indoor conservatory of tropical plants. Children will like wandering the grassy areas of this large park and seeing the variety of artwork as they round each bend.
North of the Twin Cities on U.S. Highway 8, the Franconia Sculpture Park is a work in progress, and chances are decent that you might encounter an artist at work if you visit. The sculptures here include many reclaimed materials, such as a basketball court and tractor. The mown paths among the prairie grasses and flowers take visitors past the creations, but kids will likely want to spend most of their time at the sculpture that is a useable playground.
On the other side of the state, the tiny town of Arco sits near the South Dakota border in the midst of farm fields and prairie lands. Arco has its own sculpture garden of sorts, a “scenic rock garden” in the city park which borders a lake just outside of town. Here, replicas of the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Bell made out of rocks found in the area are the highlights of the stop. A drive into town yields a look at the rock building that was formerly a gas station, done in the same style by the same artist. If you enjoy the off-beat or quirky, you’ll like a peek at the Arco sculptures.
While art enthusiasts will enjoy the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Center, and other quality art museums in Minnesota, youngsters will be drawn to the larger-than-life artwork in these sculpture gardens in the state.
Photo credits: the author
Linda (minnemom) writes about family travel at Travels with Children.