Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Fun at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

If you live in or near West Michigan, you not only know what Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park are, but have likely visited them; more than once. If you do not live in this area of the country, you may not be familiar with them, but today I'm very happy to share with you about this amazing and beautiful place where you and your grandchildren will be able to explore, discover and have tremendous fun together!

I'll start with sharing how they describe themselves and then what my family thinks of them; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park says . . . 
"Always growing. Always beautiful. Always new. Experience masterpieces of art and nature which will delight your senses at one of the nation's premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Tours, programs and interactive activities are available for visitors throughout the year. Discovery carts are made available periodically so visitors can handle sculptors’ tools and materials, learn about plants in new ways and have hands-on experiences. Printed looking guides lead visitors through changing exhibitions with thought-provoking questions, exhibition overviews and specific things to find. Free public programs for sculpture exhibitions assist visitors in understanding content and ideas through lectures, gallery walks, family activities, DVDs and demonstrations. Check the digital display sign at the admissions desk when you arrive for the day’s activities.
Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has grown to become an international destination. The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection sited both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus. 
The permanent collection focuses on works by established and emerging sculptors from the Modern tradition to the present. Earliest works date to the second half of the 19th century with masters such as Carrier-Belluese, Degas, and Rodin. Starting with these masters, the comprehensive presentation includes sculptors from the late 19th century to the present."
 All of these things are true - they are not "over-stating" anything, but the things which matter the most to me; and are the reasons I enthusiastically recommend Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park as both a place to make day-trips or to spend several days on a vacation, are because of the way my grandsons engaged in and enjoyed their visit to the garden!

Yes, there are no shortage of displays of art and nature adults will enjoy; such as their new Japanese Gardens or the English Perennial and Bulb Garden, but the settings created specifically with children in mind make the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park a place your grandchildren will love! 

I was given tickets for my family to visit, so I could write a review, and I have to say, my family loved their visit! My grandsons discovered, explored, and played in the "Great Lakes" display - a truly unique place with a "model" of the Great Lakes where children are able to splash, play with boats and just get wet . . . what could be more fun on a warm summer day?! Plus the factoids about the Great Lakes made it interesting and educational as well . . . did you know there is enough water in the Great Lakes to cover the entire USA with ten feet of water??? The boys rolled down a hill and just had such a wonderful time! They enjoyed the, "Mouse-hole entrance" (I LOVE the photos of them in this child-sized entrance!), they had great fun climbing, exploring and playing in the Treehouse Village and were amazed and delighted to climb on the hooves of the giant American Horse sculpture . . . it is truly enormous!

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park says; 
"The Lena Meijer Children’s Garden invites children to play, learn and explore. This garden fosters experiential learning and the use of all five senses. Interaction is encouraged as children are welcome to use their senses by smelling and touching specific plants designed for interaction. Whether in the Kids Sense Garden discovering leaves which feel like lambs ears, launching a boat in the Great Lakes, digging for buried fossils in the Rock Quarry or listening to a story, The Children’s Garden offers plenty of opportunities for family fun!"
As the photos show, my grandsons had so much fun playing, learning and exploring . . . and so will your grandchildren! Whether you live in West Michigan and visit the gardens often, or live far away and make Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park part of your vacation plans in West Michigan, you will love your time spent in a place which is absolutely unique and truly wonderful . . . for everyone in the family!

And keep in mind, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a fun place for a family to visit on a warm, summer day, but it is also a great place to spend time any time of the year! At Christmas time they have an amazing display of Christmas trees from around the world and in the spring they have their butterfly exhibit where you can see, up close and personal, thousands of beautiful butterflies flying freely around you! It is the largest temporary, tropical butterfly exhibit in the country and is not to be missed!

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