Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

#2 in Best Things To Do in Grand Rapids
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Key Info

1000 E Beltline Ave NE

Price & Hours

$14.50 for adults; $7 for kids 5-13; $4 children 3-4; free for infants 2 and younger
Mon, Wed-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Tues 9 a.m.-9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Details

Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

For an art-filled afternoon spent outdoors, head to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Among its 158 acres is Michigan's largest tropical conservatory, five indoor theme gardens, outdoor gardens, nature trails and sculpture gardens, among other features. Highlights for past visitors include the five-story, 15,000-square foot conservatory, the 8-acre Japanese garden and the sculpture garden, which showcases the likes of Auguste Rodin, Barbara Hepworth and Richard Serra, among other artists.

Recent travelers described the park as a "must-see" and advised future visitors to wear comfortable walking shoes. Others praised the interactive children's garden, which includes treehouses, a log cabin, a maze and a sense garden, among other features. If you can, reviewers recommended timing your visit for the park's annual butterfly exhibition. During the temporary tropical butterfly exhibition, which is held in March and April, more than 7,000 butterflies take flight in the conservatory.

Located about 7 miles east of downtown Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is best reached by car (and plenty of parking is available on-site). Admission costs $14.50 for adults, $7 for kids ages 5 to 13, and $4 for children ages 3 to 4; it's free for infants 2 and younger to visit. Discounts are available for students and seniors. The gardens welcome visitors Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Tuesday until 9 p.m. A cafe and gift shop are located on-site. For more information, visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's official website.

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To learn about the life of the 38th president of the United States, consider a visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Though he was born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ford spent much of his life in Grand Rapids. The museum showcases more than 19,000 artifacts related to the president, including items from the 1976 presidential campaign, American bicentennial gifts, and gowns and dresses worn by the president's wife, Betty Ford. Throughout the museum, visitors will learn about Ford's childhood in Grand Rapids, his time at the University of Michigan and Yale Law School, his unique ascendency to vice president and eventually his time as the 38th president of the United States. Visitors also have the chance to see a replica of Ford's White House Oval Office and the original Watergate burglar tools, among other highlights.

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