When visiting Grand Rapids or West Michigan, the Fredrick Meijer Gardens usually comes up as a must see. And for good reason.
As “one of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, Meijer Gardens includes Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; five indoor theme gardens; outdoor gardens, nature trails and boardwalk; sculpture galleries and permanent sculpture collection; library; café; gift shop; classrooms; and meeting rooms. Both indoors and outdoors, the 158-acre main campus is barrier free and handicap accessible.”
Visiting Meijer Gardens is often an all-day event, especially in the summer. And this summer is no different, it’s even a must do.
Ai Weiwei, internationally renowned artist and activist, has “his first show in the upper Midwest as well as the first of its kind for the artist at a botanical gardens or sculpture park.” Entitled, Ai Weiwie at Meijer Gardens: Natural State, the exhibit a unique experience designed just for Meijer Gardens.
Weiwei is a champion of free speech and global human rights. As one of the internationally known cultural voices of the 21st century, his exhibitions have shattered attendance records in London, Paris, Helsinki and San Francisco.
Meijer Gardens in not a stranger to Weiwei’s work. It is the permanent host of his largest outdoor sculpture to date. Iron Tree stands 22 feet above the ground and spans 22 feet wide.
This exhibit is open until August 20th. Although open since January, the summer months are the best time to explore Meijer Garden in my opinion.
I made my visit in late May, and was blown away by the work of Weiwei. Meijer Gardens is an amazing sight without a featured artist, but with Weiwei’s exhibit, it's a must see this summer.
Tuesday Evening Music Club
I suggest planning your visit on a Tuesday, if you are able. Starting today, the Tuesday Evening Music Club brings talented local and regional musicians to the amphitheater stage every Tuesday night.
Cost of attendance is included with admission or it is FREE for Meijer Gardens Members. Most music is from 7pm - 9pm, but be sure to check the individual event schedule to verify.
More info can be found on their website.