Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Grand Rapids: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park




September 6, 2022

Visit Grand Rapids: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Spanning 158-acres in Grand Rapids Michigan, with a mission to promote "the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment, and the arts," the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a must-visit for all ages.  At this very family-friendly attraction, Fred's love of sculpture and Lena's (his wife) love for flowers is on display.

The Children's Garden offers fun sculptures, a playground, hiking paths, water play, story time, and several interactive stations challenging kids to find specific things.

The vibrant colors of the sculptures are so engaging!
Kid-Sense Garden Sculpture

Family of Wolves

It's easy for little ones to want to spend all day in the Children's Garden, but there is so much more to see all throughout the park.

It's pretty incredible to be able to walk through the park and find such mastery of art at nearly every turn.  It's like a treasure hunt!  Below are some favorites, and just a few of the many, many sculptures we saw.



It was incredible to see Eve by master sculptor Auguste Rodin.
The American Horse
A fave of the fam was The American Horse by Nina Akamu.  Inspired by Leonard da Vinci's plans for a sculpture for the Duke of Milan, she recreated two monuments (the other is in Milan).  

Disk in the Form of a Desert Rose


Scarlatti was a juxtaposition between nature and man-made; everchanging and fixed.

Ways to Say Goodbye
My favorite sculpture was Ways to Say Goodbye.  This new piece honors holocaust survivor, Henry Pestka, and the broken glass represents the Kristallnacht (Crystal Night). 

Of course the flora throughout the gardens is just as amazing as the sculptures, with a dazzling array of colors and features.  I'm always intrigued when I visit gardens in other parts of the world, as there are so many species that are uncommon in or you can't find at all in Hawai`i!

If you are limited on time, I highly recommend a tour on the tram.  You'll get to see so many sculptures while learning interesting tidbits at the same time.

The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden is an 8-acre garden designed by Hoichi Kurisu, and is so impressive!  I've been to Japan a few times, and this Japanese Garden was one of the most amazing I've seen outside of Japan!

There are a few exhibits indoors as well. We thought the Carnivorous Plants were quite cool!
Also on exhibit through October 23 is Yinka Shonibare CBE: Planets in My Head.  Such fascinating British-Nigerian-influenced artwork is on display!

You can spend an entire day at the Fredeirk Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and still have more to discover.  I can imagine with each visit, you could pick up new sculptural details, find new flowers, and even form new observations or ideas about the meaning behind the various sculptures.

The openness of the park, unlike a typical museum, means people are much more spread out, and there are enormous sculptures.  You don't have to worry about other people cramming at a sculpture for photos, or constantly having your view blocked.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a great place to envelop yourself in nature while strolling through peaceful landscapes scattered with brilliant works of art.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(616) 957-1580

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