The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a 132-acre botanic garden that has both indoor conservatories and outdoor gardens. One area of the property, Sculpture Park, contains more than 200 sculptures dispersed throughout the grounds. For those planning a visit, the park is open daily with $12 admission for adults over the age of 14, $9 for students and seniors, $6 for kids 5-13, and $4 for kids 3-4. My family – my husband and myself, my teenage daughter, my toddler son, and my mom – visited the park as our last stop before heading home from our road trip to Grand Rapids and spent about 3 hours here. I regret not visiting the park sooner, as I felt we missed so much during our short time there.
After entering through the main building, the first exhibit you see is the Tropical Conservatory inside the large greenhouse. We saw banana trees, cacti, carnivorous pitcher plants, and other tropical plants. We then walked over to the gorgeous Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. I love how there was a child-size gate to enter through too. It felt very Alice in Wonderland to me – and kids loved going through over and over.
My toddler spent a lot of time at the Great Lakes Garden where he launched boats from one of the great lakes to another on the tiered water table.
There were numerous opportunities to learn about the plants in the Children’s Garden, with some areas even allowing you to use your senses to learn about the plants. Our favorite was the Touch section where there were four different plants with varying textures to touch – the fuzzy leaf was interesting to feel.
And to continue with the whole Alice in Wonderland feeling I had – there’s the white, err, bronzed rabbit!
We then ventured to the Sculpture Park to head to the Waterfall. The sculptures were larger-than-life works of art – most of them very unique, and all of them beautiful.
The waterfall was breathtaking with lily pads and even a bunch of koi fish in the pond.
Probably the best part of our visit to the park was the lunch we had in their Taste of the Gardens Café. Seriously, probably one of the better meals we’ve had in a long time. The food was so fresh and delicious, I felt like I could eat there every day. My son had the peanut butter & jelly kids meal, while the rest of us chose sandwiches that were served with a fresh salad. I had the Calder City Pulled Pork Quesadilla and it was divine. Tender chunks of pork and pepper jack cheese, served with a honey chipotle sauce drizzled on top. A little spicy, but just how I like it.
Again, I wish we had more time to spend at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, but I figure that it’s a great reason for me to make a return visit since we still have so much to see.
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in order to facilitate this review, and I was not asked to provide a particular point of view. All opinions are 100% my own.
This review originally appeared on Trekaroo!