Now that the weather is cooperating!
Let the truth be told; warm weather is all we need to entice us to take the family on numerous outdoor endeavors. This past week we experienced a good deal of warmer temperatures topping lower upper 70s and lower 80s which jumpstarted the surrounding plant foliage. Never was this more apparent than at the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan, which I have written about.
I was a little disappointed we could not take in a parade as there were only two planned this year, and neither were scheduled for the days we visited. Luckily the tulips did not disappoint.
While on the western side of the state, it was the perfect time to visit Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Located roughly 30 minutes from Holland, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this destination has a lot. Starting with
As the name suggests, they are also widely known for their sculptures. As described on the website:
The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection sited both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus.
Even though this is one of the most extensive outdoor sculpture collections globally, there is no way I can truly capture it in this article. We opted to take the 40-minute tram ride around the outdoor 33 acres of property, which proved helpful. The guided tour gave insight into a number of the sculptures, and we then doubled back after the tour for a “closer look.” Here are a few that grabbed us!
Leonardo Davinci inspired the American Horse by Nina Akamu. One of these horses was also cast for Milan, Italy.
This particular sculpture was created by Roxy Paine and is called Neuron. Here is a better look.
The above is a natural work from Andy Goldsworthy. Each layer is roughly 5 tons, and the entire structure is free-standing. The weight of each subsequent stone, imported from Scotland, holds up the structure.
The above horse surprised the group of us. “Cabin Creek,” created by Deborah Butterfield, looks made out of wood. The surprising detail behind this sculpture is that it is made of patinated bronze. Deborah first designed this using wood, translated it to bronze, and patinated it to look like wood. Before this trip, I had no idea a process like this could be performed.
The Japanese Garden is truly something to take in. My kids were “starving” by this time, and we had to roll through here rather quickly. By the way, this mentality goes against the whole Japanese culture. Complete with a Zen Garden, Zig-Zag bridge, and winding paths, they would like you to slow down and take in the tranquility.