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Meijer Gardens July 14, 2010

Posted by Danielle in Family Stuff.
Well, this past weekend, Bill, the kids, my parents, and I went to spend the weekend in Grand Rapids. We visited my brother and his family, and we all went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens.  If you’ve never been there, it’s gorgeous!  I hadn’t been in a few years, and right now they also have a special Chihuly exhibit (glass) that was scattered throughout the indoor and outdoor gardens.  The glass sculptures were beautiful.

Outside the Gardens

This is one of the beautiful views you get walking up to the entrance of Meijer Gardens.  It’s really just a teaser for what you will see once you are inside!

Chihuly Sculpture

This is one of many impressive exhibits, and also one of the first large ones seen upon entering.  Jack thought it looked like a tower of flames.

Stopping to smell the flowers

Jack is trying to see if these flowers smell good or not.  We had just sniffed some heirloom roses with a wonderful fragrance, so he had to “test out” the other flowers.

On Stage!

This was taken at the amphitheater at the Gardens.  Eric says that they usually have acts like Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson there.


These marigolds were near the stage.  I actually took this picture at my brother’s request.  I think it came out well though, and I love how full the heads of these marigolds are.


Here’s Julia!  She’s now very alert and active at almost 5 months old — can you believe it?  Time certainly flies, that’s for sure.


This bee wasn’t camera-shy in the least.  He just kept going on about his business and I snapped a few pictures.

Field of Stakes

Seeing this exhibit was also very impressive.  Nash thought they looked like big pencils had been stuck into the side of the hill.

Smile for the camera...

Miss Emma sure can turn on the charm!

Running Around

There go the boys, running around this sculpture.  It actually led up to another glass piece which was fenced off.  Apparently, some of the seals had started to break down, so they were trying to repair it before any real damage was done.

Blue spiky ball

Hershey's Kisses afloat

This is one of Eric’s favorite Chihuly exhibits – in particular the big, spiky ball.  It’s definitely a striking exhibit.

Jack and Nash looking at the pond from the other side.

Just Grandpa and the boys

Here’s one of the boys taking a break.  We have, from left to right, Jack, Grandpa, Drake, and Nash.

Horse sculpture

This is one of my favorite sculptures at Meijer Gardens.  I love the majesty that this horse exudes. 


Sitting with Mr. and Mrs. Meijer

Isn’t this adorable?  Here, on the bench with Grandpa and Grandma Meijer are Emma, Nash, Drake, and Jack.

Maze at the Children's Garden

Andrea is leading all the kids through the maze in the Children’s Garden.  This area actually has a lot of really neat stuff for the kids to do. 

Relaxing in the shade

Bill’s relaxing in the shade in the Children’s Garden.  The temperature was starting to climb, and we all needed a break to get out of the sun for a bit.

Emma and Daddy

This is Emma and Eric in the tree house part of the Children’s Garden.  I was actually down below with Jack.  We were counting the spiders that lurked underneath!  (They’re big, fake spiders on huge webs by the way, not real ones.)

Jack and Drake sailing boats on the Great Lakes

This water exhibit is also part of the Children’s Garden.  It was a nice place to cool down.  The kids could sail boats on all the Great Lakes of Michigan, and there was a mister, too.  Emma got a thrill out of pushing the button to make the water mist out and get people wet.  She was good about only doing it when asked, too.

At this point, we took a break from the outdoor gardens and went to lunch.  My brother, his family, and my parents went back to their house.  Emma needed her nap, and everyone else had already seen the indoor gardens.  Andrea has actually been there just the day before with Emma while meeting up with an old friend of hers.

Bill, the boys, and I went back to see the rest of the indoor gardens as well as the indoor sculpture area.  No pictures of the sculpture were allowed, but there were some really interesting pieces in there.  And some of them were the models of the huge artwork outside, so that was interesting.  The first indoor garden we visited was the Arid Garden.

Golden Barrel Cactus

Okay, I had one of these when I was a kid – and I probably killed it with over watering… but I never had any idea they could get to be this big!  These Golden Barrels were huge!


This was an interesting cactus.  It was growing all in and around itself.  In the middle of all the spikiness was this beautiful flower.

Another flowering cactus

This flower was too much to pass up, so I took a picture of it.

Lily pads in a huge urn

This was part of the Victorian Garden, I believe.  I liked how the lily pads grew up and out of the water.  We also saw an example of this happening at Stony Creek, which I also snapped a photo of for the prior entry.

Pitcher Plants

Another variety of Pitcher Plant

These Pitcher Plants were part of the Carnivorous Garden.  They are pretty interesting, and I never knew they varied so much in size and coloring.

Venus Fly Traps

What would a Carnivorous Garden be without Venus Fly Traps?  Need I say more??

Banana Tree


This was Drake’s favorite part of the Meijer Garden visit.  He was absolutely amazed by the bananas hanging so high up in the tree.

Bill and the kids in front of a huge palm tree and Chihuly exhibit

 After seeing these exhibits, we headed over to the hotel to check in and relax while Emma napped.  Jack and the boys played in the hotel room, and then we headed over to Eric and Andrea’s house for dinner.

Relaxing in the pool

My dad took this picture of Eric and his family while we were relaxing in the hotel pool.   We all came back to the hotel to swim in the pool.  It was Miss Julia’s first experience, and she seemed to enjoy it.  



1. Your Garden - July 14, 2010

Meijer Gardens…

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