Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
One of the top attractions in west Michigan is Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids Township.
Not just your typical outdoor gardens and sculpture collection, this unique spot combines natural wonders with interesting, family-friendly events all year long. You’ll want to add Meijer Gardens to your Michigan travel bucket list.
Read on to learn more about this fabulous attraction in Grand Rapids Michigan.
About Frederik Mejier Gardens
Among the dense cityscape of Grand Rapids lies one of the world’s most noteworthy and significant botanical and sculptural experiences.
It’s a great plce to escape the city and enjoy a walk through the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.
Here, you can traverse nature trails filled with lush greenery all around or spend time relaxing among spectacular sculptures and gorgeous gardens, all mindfully curated and cared for.
Frederik Meijer Gardens Sculpture Exhibitions
The permanent collection of sculptures at Frederik Meijer makes it a premier art destination and one of the most visited art museums worldwide. Across the gardens and indoors, over 200 works are featured, 50 of which were sculpted by skilled and famous artists.
American Horse, an 24-foot bronze horse by sculptor Nina Akamu is a major attraction. You’ll want to rab some pictues of this colossal horse.
Be sure to see “Eve” and “The Kiss” by Auguste Rodin, Ai Weiwei’s “Iron Tree,” and more.
In addition to the permanent collection housed at the Frederik Meijer Gardens, temporary exhibitions draw in visitors from all over to see unique pieces from acclaimed artists.
Currently, two temporary exhibits are on display and available for guests to visit. Check the event calendar for information on current upcoming exhibits.
Discover Amazing Horticulture at Frederik Meijer Gardens
The horticulture is one half of what makes Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park so special.
The blending of the arts with phenomenal natural settings and gardens makes the experience special. Plenty of different displays and gardens, ranging from planned and manicured displays to natural and native growth, bring a unique feel to each space.
The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden
Find tranquility in simple beauty at the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Sit beneath the Japanese maple and cherry blossom trees and listen to the waterfalls echo through the bamboo in the garden.
See a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the authentic tea house or see the garden’s acclaimed bonsai collection near the zen-style garden when the weather is warm.
Must-see feature: “Long Island Buddha” sculpture by Zhang Huan
Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall English Perennial Garden
The most horticulturally diverse area, the Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall English perennial Garden embodies the Meijer Gardens’ promise to be “Always Growing. Always Beautiful. Always New.”
Explore the Conversation Garden, watching as the natural native plants become more cultivated as you work towards the middle. Stroll through the colorful Allée and Secret Garden, then through Balk Square to see intricate topiaries at the Knot Garden and even more beyond.
Must-see feature: “Leaping Gazelle Fountain” water feature by Marshall Fredericks
More To See at the Frederik Meijer Gardens
Michigan’s Farm Garden
Be reminded of a simpler time at Michigan’s Farm Garden.
The farmhouse, barn, gardens, and animal pens showcase how the land a family lived on provided their meals for them, provided the work was put in to care for the plants and animals. The farmhouse here is a scale model of Lena Rader Meijer’s 1930 childhood home and is a must-see stop when visiting this garden.
Must-see feature: “Lena Riding a Pig” sculpture by Carl Jensen
Lena Meijer Children’s Garden
At the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, children are invited to play, learn, and explore. Here, all five senses help aid in learning as children interact with the plants by smelling and even touching certain plants.
Kids can discover new and unique plants in the Kids Sense Garden, dig for buried fossils at the Rock Quarry, and more at this unique education destination.
The Log Cabin
Must-see feature: “Family of Wolves” sculpture by Leonard Streckfus
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
Five stories of exotic plants fill the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory – the largest of its kind in all of Michigan. Tranquil waterfalls and streams flow throughout the space, winding around the plant life.
Over 500 features species from five continents are housed in this building, including animals. Tropical birds call these indoor gardens home year-round, but in the spring, they share the space with thousands of butterflies from around the world.
Must-see feature: “Butterflies are Blooming” springtime event
Kenneth E. Nelson Carnivorous Plant House
The Kenneth E. Nelson Carnivorous Plant House celebrates all kinds of plants that eat meat. From the familiar Venus Flytrap to more exotic carnivorous plants like pitcher plants, sundews, and butterworts, the carnivores of the plant world are here to educate and amaze visitors.
Must-see feature: Diverse colorful collection of pitcher plants
Earl & Donnalee Holton Arid Garden
See the plant life that lives in the driest areas of the world at the Earl and Donnalee Holton Arid Garden. With two sections divided by continent, one space is dedicated to the Americas and Australia, while the other features arid plant varieties from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
There are plenty of unique and charming cacti, succulents, agave, and more to see here, including the golden barrel cactus and cow-horn Euphorbia.
Must-see feature: “Five Meerkats” sculpture by Tom Hillis
Earl & Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden Parlor
The Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden Parlor aims to replicate the greenhouse culture of the Victorian era.
Greenhouses were a popular way for those during that time to appreciate botany by housing unique, newly discovered plants from around the world. Here, foreign plant collections are housed under glass, much like they would have been in the 19th century, inviting you to admire them as people then did.
Must-see feature: “Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot” sculpture by Edgar Degas
Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden
The Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden portrays examples of the Michigan-native artist’s favorite subjects. Indigenous plants and animals create a natural ecosystem that is both immersive and inspiring.
Wildflowers bloom and bring color in the spring, tall trees provide shade during summertime, and fall colors provide a feast for the eyes as the weather cools, making it a great place to walk the trails any time of year.
Must-see feature: The Little Pond, formerly known as The Kettle Pond
Throughout the year the Frederik Meijer Gardens host a variety of temporary events, ranging from musical events, seasonal nature showcases, and more. Be sure to check for summer concert series, live events and more.
Chrysanthemums & More!
September – October
This annual celebration of autumn will provide a colorful feast for the eyes. This is the largest event of its kind in Michigan, featuring massive chrysanthemum displays, fall foliage, and plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming
March – April
This is the largest tropical butterfly exhibition in the country with thousands of butterflies brought to the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory while still in their chrysalis stage. Throughout the event the butterflies fly freely around the conservatory and special educational programs and activities are available for guest participation.
Holidays at Meijer Gardens
University of Michigan Health – West: Christmas and Holiday Traditions
November – January
This annual exhibition honors holiday traditions and cultures from around the world and includes over 40 unique displays depicting holiday facts and folklore.
While inside, appreciate stunning winter plantings, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and the beloved Railway Garden, then step outside for a unique wintertime walk along the nature trails.
The gardens are a popular with visitors from around the world as well as Grand Rapids Public Schools, who take field trips here. If you go, be sure to stop by the welcome center for a map. You’ll also want to stop by the gift shop for a souvenir of your visit.
Explore Grand Rapids Michigan
About the Author-
Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland and later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school. She is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.