When on vacation, you are fortunate to experience one utterly awe-inspiring moment. At Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we experienced several. A number of scenes and gardens captured our hearts and left us with us with special memories to take home.
We visited the garden not too long after it opened for the day. I do advise visiting early because smaller crowds will leave you extra time to relish the peace and serenity of the setting. Additionally, the park is ENORMOUS so you will want to give your family ample time to explore.
We began our journey by exploring the large sculpture park. Most of the other guests headed straight towards the Children's Garden and Japanese Garden, so we were largely alone. Our first stop was the magnificent The American Horse inspired by the DaVinci horse. The horse is utterly striking! Truly a must see!
Then, we took a moment of contemplation at a waterfall with a coy pond. A magical moment!
Sculptures are well positioned on the walk--nothing too clustered. We had fun trying to guess each piece's title based on our own interpretation. We each found pieces that spoke to us and had fun sharing insights.
After, we headed over to the new Japanese Garden. The Japanese Garden just opened this past June and packs quite the aesthetic punch. There is a small hill that you can climb for a spectacular view. We arrived there fairly early in the day, so it wasn't very crowded. A time to reflect! A Japanese tea house, a bridge ready to pause on, sculptures throughout and more inspire. I probably could sit in this garden pondering the world all day!
The Children's Garden engages from the very beginning! We were pretty impressed by the number of birds that were in the garden despite children enjoying themselves exploring and wandering about. We did climb a treehouse structure in the wooded wetlands where we could see birds from above. A walk through the area itself, also provided a lot of bird viewing. There are plenty of places for kids to explore nature using different media. Child-sized sculptures also are threaded throughout!
Children will also love a visit to the farm! The farm has a spectacular garden growing right now! There are various sculptures of farm animals--pretty adorable!
Near the farm is a large wetland area. This area seemed a bit quite and tucked away. We enjoyed a stunning view of the wetland and found it quite peaceful. The area was ideal for viewing waterfowl!
We left exploration of the conservatory until the end. The day of our visit was a bit overcast, so we wanted to see as much as we could before rain. By the time we arrived in the conservatory, we had already seen a lot. But, we were still awed by the conservatory itself! The very lofty ceiling itself is a sight to behold--I don't think I have been in such a large conservatory before! There are several gardens within the greenhouse. My favorite is probably the Victorian Parlor where we found a Degas Sculpture! The meerkats in the arid greenhouse were also a delight!
As you can see, there are SO MANY treasures to be uncovered at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park! The park is a fantastic way to help everyone engage with nature and enjoy art. Truly one of those places that you can discover and rediscover again and again!
Things to know:
- The indoor conservatories are sizable, so if it is rainy during your visit there is quite a bit to see inside.
- There also are indoor art exhibits to view.
- You cannot bring food into the park but there is a cafe outside.
- Bring sunscreen, bug repellent and water.
- Grab a map when you enter--the park is HUGE so it will be helpful!
- The gift shop is worth a stop and does have locally made as well as made in U.S.A. items!
A special thank to Experience Grand Rapids for hosting our visit!
**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Experience Grand Rapids did provide complimentary admissions for the purpose of accurate reviews.