Whether you want to see the largest replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s horse, spend some time in an arid, desert environment in January, experience the peace and tranquility of a Japanese Garden or see a top-rated musical act in beautiful surroundings, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a must-visit attraction for all ages. Join us as we take you inside one of Grand Rapids’ most beloved cultural treasures and share with you some of our favorite things about Frederik Meijer Gardens.
Celebrating its 22nd year, Frederik Meijer Gardens has become one of Michigan’s most popular attractions. It all started with one family and their generous philanthropic gifts of land, money and personal sculpture collection to bring to fruition grand plans for a world-class botanical garden and sculpture park. Spanning over 150 acres, the gardens feature a sculpture park, a conservatory, and several unique gardens. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park has become Michigan’s second most-visited tourist attraction, welcoming over 650,000 visitors annually.
For the plant lover, there are over 10 separate and distinct gardens to browse. Beat the cold winter blues by stepping inside the warm and humid Meijer Tropical Conservatory and see over 500 species of tropical plants and birds. Feeling like seeing a wide range of cacti? Head to the Holton Arid Garden. Try to find your zen in the newly-added, tranquil and peaceful DeVos Japanese Garden. Other gardens include an English perennial and bulb garden, a woodland shade garden, a carnivorous plant garden (look out for the Venus Flytrap), a seasonal display greenhouse, a Victorian garden parlor, the amphitheater garden, a children’s garden and a farm garden.
Featuring one of the most comprehensive outdoor sculpture collections in the country, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park’s 30-acre collection is sure to amaze. Featuring over 60 distinct and different sculptures by world-renowned artists, you are sure to find several that leave you intrigued and imaginative. Highlights include Eve by Rodin, Scarlatti by diSuvero, Lying Man by Henry, Grand Rapids Arch by Goldsworthy, Girl Standing in Nature by Segal, Lena’s Garden, and Gilded Champagne Gardens by Chihuly and Long Island Buddha by Huan. By far the most popular and must-see sculpture is The American Horse by Nina Akamu. This reimagined bronze statue is based on a work created by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th Century. The bronze horse is 24-feet tall and over 28 feet long. Surely an inspiring photo opportunity with this massive, life-like creature of a statue.
In addition to the permanent exhibits and sculptures, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park offers a variety of seasonal exhibitions, such as Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World and Butterflies are Blooming, both of which have proved to be immensely popular with visitors. Lastly, fans of popular music should be sure to make a stop to hear some of the music industry’s greats during the Summer Concert Series. Frederik Meijer Gardens is open year-round from 9:00 – 5:00 (opens at 11:00 on Sundays). Admission is $14.50 for adults, $11.00 for seniors and students, and $7.00 or less for children under 13. Members enter the gardens for free.