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With Beautiful Weather Comes Great Outdoor Excursions!

A Perfect Time Exploring the Outdoors!

An outdoor view of the Japanese Garden at Frederick Meijer Gardens.
Japanese Garden at Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (media by JC)

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.

Tulips moving in the warm Spring breeze in Holland, Michigan.
Tulip Festival 2022 (media by JC)

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:

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!

The American Horse  located at Frederick Meijer Gardens.
The American Horse (media by JC)

Leonardo Davinci inspired the American Horse by Nina Akamu. One of these horses was also cast for Milan, Italy.

"Neuron" as viewed from within and below.
Looking Upward at “Neuron” (media by JC)

This particular sculpture was created by Roxy Paine and is called Neuron. Here is a better look.

"Neuron" as viewed from a few feet away.
Full View of “Neuron” (media by JC)

A side-view of the Grand Rapids Arch.
Grand Rapids Arch (media by JC)

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.

A full view of the patinated bronze sculpture called "Cabin Creek"
"Cabin Creek" (media by JC)

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.

A view of the Japanese Garden at Frederick Meijer Gardens.
Japanese Garden (media by JC)

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.

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