Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a one-of-a-kind destination for art, nature and inspiring experiences. Located in Grand Rapids at the corner of 28th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue SE, it’s open year round to visitors from across Michigan and around the world. Designed by renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf with gardens by Tom Wartenberg, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has become one of America’s must see destinations for public art.
The park features more than 100 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds that are home to outdoor exhibits including sculptures designed by artists like George Segal, Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy and Jaume Plensa, as well a five-acre lake, outdoor amphitheater and the largest tropical conservatory in Michigan. The gardens are home to thousands of plants from around the world as well as dozens of sculptures throughout the park. For those interested in exploring the grounds of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, here’s a list of 10 must-do’s:
Top 10 things to do at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park:
1) Take pictures by the large bronze lion statue outside of Meijer Hall.
Visitors to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park will find this statue outside of the museum. Simply by taking a picture here, you can bring your best friend or significant other into the experience with you!
2) Explore the area known as “The Sensory Garden” which features scents such as lilacs or roses
The Sensory Garden features scents that are not typically found in nature, giving visitors a unique experience as they walk through it! It even changes throughout the seasons to create different smells for guests who visit at different times of the year.
This is one of our most popular areas within Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. There are a variety of flowers throughout this area, including ones that smell like chocolate or vanilla!
3) Visit the Children’s Garden
If you find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan, be sure to visit the Children’s Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This is a free attraction that will delight children and adults alike with its whimsical design and interactive features. The garden offers plenty of space for kids to run around and explore nature while learning about animals like frogs or bugs they might encounter on an adventure outdoors. You can also take a seat on one of the park benches to enjoy the peaceful surroundings after spending time looking at all of the wonderful sculptures throughout this beautiful outdoor oasis!
4) Get lost in the Japanese Garden – it’s beautiful!
The Japanese Garden features an incredible water feature which is perfect for photos! This peaceful park within the larger Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park offers a quiet place to sit, relax and enjoy nature. There are areas throughout the garden that allow visitors to get closer to plant life than they might be able to in other places, making it a unique experience for people of all ages.
The Japanese Garden also features an incredible water feature that flows through the garden in different ways, depending on how much rain has fallen over time. Take some beautiful photos by this calming body of water.
5) Make sure to check out the Butterfly House!
The Butterfly House features more than 20 species of butterflies that are native to Michigan. There are also other types of insects inside the enclosure, including some beautiful beetles! The habitat is set up so that it’s easy for visitors to see all kinds of different creatures at once, giving them an interesting way to experience nature and learn something new about local wildlife.
In addition, the enclosure also features a waterfall and pond which are home to many different types of creatures including frogs!
6) Explore the Rock Valley!
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is made up of several different areas, but one of our most popular attractions within the park is called Rock Valley. This area features large rocks that visitors can climb on in order to get a closer look at some of the gardens throughout this outdoor space! If you’re looking for an activity that’s a little more exciting, this is it.
Visitors to the park will also enjoy exploring different sculptures throughout Rock Valley as well! There are large rocks and boulders placed around some of these works of art so you can get an up-close look at something interesting during your visit.
7) Bring your pup along for a walk or run in one of their dog parks!
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is dog-friendly! There are several areas throughout the park where owners can bring their pups. One of these spaces is called Dog Wood, which features a pond that’s perfect for dogs to go in and cool off after spending time out on the trails with their humans. If you have a pup, be sure to bring them along for an adventure at this beautiful place.
8) Walk through their Discovery trail!
The Discovery Trail at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a great way to get up close with nature. This path features different types of plant life as well as information about the sculptures that are on display throughout the park.
This trail isn’t very long, but it’s fun to learn more about some of these pieces of art as you walk through the park.
9) Head down into one of six caves carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago!
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park features six caves that were carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago. Visitors can explore these spaces to learn more about the history behind this outdoor oasis as well as natural geology.
The entrance to each cave is a little different, but they all feature stairs leading down into the space so you can get an up-close look at some of the rock formations in these spaces.
10) Have lunch at The Terrace Garden Cafe or relax with a drink from The Gazebo Bar while taking in views of Lake Michigan!
The Terrace Garden Cafe is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner! This cafe features locally-sourced food as well as seasonal menus so you can try something new every time you visit the restaurant. The dining room has beautiful views of Lake Michigan and beyond, which makes it an even more enjoyable experience.
There are many different things to do when visiting Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park! If you’re planning a visit soon, be sure to include some or all of these activities into your itinerary for the day!