Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Elf Tree

A little door in a real tree is where the kids of Minneapolis leave messages and gifts for the elves. AKA the Gnome Tree.

Lake Harriet Drive, Minneapolis, MN
Take S. Penn Ave. to Lake Harriet Drive, turn right and park as close to Penn as you can. Cross Lake Harriet Drive and walk down the stairs to the lakeshore park itself. Turn left on the path and go past where Queen is, look on your left, the tree is within about 200 ft. between the bike path and walking path just to the east of the Queen stairs.
Park hours, dawn to dusk. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About The Elf Tree

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Elf note.

The Elf Tree

This is so fun! I was impressed by the bag of responses to each individual letter. The elf has spent a lot of time responding to everyone who has left a note. If you park on S Queen Ave, the tree is right at the bottom of that staircase.

[Texas Visitor, 06/30/2015]

The Elf Tree.

The Elf Tree

This is the cutest little thing. It took some searching to find it, but when we did the kids were really excited. There were zip-lock baggies with little notes and such in the door. I don't know who the elf is, but he or she must be really amazing; what a great thing to do.

[Claros Clan, 08/23/2013]

Elf House.

The Little Elf Tree

The elves are back for the summer! There are notes in the tree and a zip-lock bag full of answers. Each note ends with "enjoy the summer, i believe in you. TM" Yes, they have trademarked that phrase. Weird.

What a great little place for a high rise elf house. Beautiful lakeside view.

[Mary Norvell, 07/15/2010]

Elf Tree door.

The Elf Tree

Stopped by the Elf tree today, no Elves. Several messages and gifts had been left for them by others. The note/plaque on the door said he had moved to his castle. A passerby asked if we saw the Elf yet because he said he usually goes to Florida in the winter.

[Chris Gemlo, 04/18/2010]
The Elf Tree

The Elf Tree is evidently a long-time Minneapolis tradition; kids have been leaving messages and presents and goodies for the elves for generations -- I think at least 60 years.

We didn't know where in this huge park to find it, asked some kids and they knew RIGHT where to go!

[JoAnn Rees, 09/01/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mari's Place - Yard Art from JunkMari's Place - Yard Art from Junk, Minneapolis, MN - < 1 mi.
Showmen's Rest CemeteryShowmen's Rest Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN - 1 mi.
Grave of VP Hubert HumphreyGrave of VP Hubert Humphrey, Minneapolis, MN - 2 mi.
In the region:
Changsha Friendship Pagoda, St. Paul, MN - 13 mi.

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