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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Announces 2019 Calendar of Events

Jan 29, 2019 09:38AM ● By WLMagazine
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the world’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, continues to incorporate its core mission of exploring the duality of art and nature in the upcoming year’s events. A National Treasure: Fred Meijer, His Collection and Legacy Sculpture Exhibition

February 1 – August 25

Although never formally trained in the visual arts or art history, Fred Meijer was deeply interested in cultural endeavors and history and had a long interest in sculpture. In particular, he was initially attracted to historical and figurative statuary in bronze. He began collecting in the mid-1980s according to his own interests. His views broadened in the following years.

In August of 1999, he declared his dream to build a "world-class" sculpture collection, opening a door for collecting beyond his initial personal aesthetic with the betterment and enjoyment of the public in mind. Today, the collection is hailed as among the finest in the world. This exhibition explores Meijer’s legacy through a series of eleven chronological chapters.

A February Affair

Don’t know what to do this winter? We’ve got the cure for cabin fever. Get out of the house and visit Meijer Gardens on Tuesday nights all February long. Our events will entertain, educate and enliven. Great for social networking, date night, or as a gift!

Animal Adventures: Surviving in the Wild

Saturdays, February 2 or February 16

10  11:30 am

Fee:  $5 per child and adult members; $10 per child and adult non-members. Ages 3 and older. In collaboration with John Ball Zoo.

Have fun exploring the survival techniques of a barn owl, a tarantula, a hedgehog, and a Sinaloan snake. Enjoy watching live animal presentations, listening to animal stories, completing art projects, playing animal-themed games, and trying your luck at animal challenges. Perfect for ages 3 to 6, but all ages are welcome. Come in from the cold and have some fun!

Reservations are required and can be made at, by calling Meijer Gardens at 616-975-3144, or John Ball Zoo at 616-336-4300.

Flowers & Chocolate

Tuesday, February 5 or 12, 6:30 – 9 pm

Fee: $63 members, $68 non-members

If you enjoyed last February’s pasta making class, come out and try your hand at making truffles. Our friends from The Local Epicurean, “America’s Handmade Pasta Company”, will be back to instruct you on how to make delicious truffles from ingredients such as flowers, nuts and dried fruits, all while enjoying a three-course meal featuring ricotta ravioli with a dark chocolate marinara sauce. Libations will be provided, and you will also make chocolate bowls to take your truffles home in.

 Sight and Sound

Tuesday, February 19 or 26, 6:30 – 9 pm

Fee: $53 members, $58 non-members

Sight and Sound is a unique evening combining live painting and music. Follow along with Annie Huff from Brush Studio as she renders a painting inspired by the orchid wall in our tropical conservatory, and the vivid colors and primitive style of Henri Rousseau, while Steve Talaga and Robin Connell lend their magic to the atmosphere on the piano. Participation in painting is optional, if you prefer, you can just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds.


 “Fred and Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming” Exhibition

March 1 – April 30

A guest favorite, the Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition celebrates Light & Shadow and features butterflies from around the world flying freely in the 5 story Lena MeijerTropical Conservatory. The 80-degree conservatory is filled with thousands of exotic butterflies from tropical regions across the globe. More than 40 different species of butterflies and moths make this an exciting and colorful exhibition. Throughout the exhibition, butterflies can be viewed drinking nectar from the flowering plants and feeding stations, congregating among stream beds and flying freely. Approximately 800 chrysalides are delivered to Meijer Gardens weekly. Visitors may watch delicate chrysalides and cocoons being placed in the Butterfly Bungalow, where the unique creatures transform and take their first flight. The exhibition is made possible by the DTE Energy Foundation, The Meijer Foundation, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation, Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Media sponsors are Star 105.7 and Blue Lake Public Radio.

 Who Am I? A Butterfly Ballet

Saturday, February 23, 10 am

Fee: $5 per child and adult member, $8 per child and adult non-member

 Sunday, February 24, 12 pm or 2:30 pm

Fee: $5 per child and adult member, $8 per child and adult non-member

In collaboration with Grand Rapids Ballet. Sponsored by Karl & Patti Betz and Jesse & Gia Budrick.

Choreographed by Attila Mosolygo and performed by members of the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company. Mark your calendars now for a thoroughly delightful butterfly ballet! Told through the eyes of a newly emerged butterfly, the story will captivate young and old alike. With colorful costumes, spectacular music and exquisite choreography, this enchanting performance will provide a unique and memorable experience.

To see a sneak peek of the butterfly exhibition, additional general admission fees apply for non-members.

For more information, call 616-975-3184 or 616-975-3147.

An American Sign Language interpreter will be provided for the 10 am performance on February 23.  Reservations for this service are required.  To reserve your space, please call 616-975-3184 or 616-975-3147, or email [email protected]

Gardens of Art Around the World

Sunday, March 17, 2 pm

Suzanne Eberle, Professor of Art History, Kendall College of Art & Design

Fee: Included with admission

Drawing inspiration from gardens and sculpture collections around the globe, Fred Meijer sought to create a unique museum environment second-to-none right here in Grand Rapids. Join Dr. Sue Eberle as she highlights the sculpture gardens that inspired Fred Meijer, as well as some of the outstanding outdoor collections to add to your bucket list.

Master Lecture Series: Secchia Garden Lecture – Kelly D. Norris

Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm

Fee: Included with admission

Join award-winning author and plantsman as he shines the spotlight on Plants with Style. Discover which plants to put on your A-list and which plants will thrive, captivate and enthrall. Be inspired with quintessential plant combinations and discover ways to have your garden reflect its sense of place.

Kelly’s book, Plants with Style, will be available for sale and signing at the lecture.

Great American Collectors

Sunday, April 14, 2 pm

Dr. Craig Hanson, Associate Professor, Calvin College Fee: Included with admission

Fred Meijer, as an art collector, is among a small group of philanthropists who believed that art should be shared widely with the public. He saw his collection as a tool to enrich lives through the power of art. Join Dr. Craig Hanson as he discusses the role of collectors in the United States and the legacy of art patronage.

The Art of Fine Art Collecting

Sunday, May 5, 2 pm

Linda and Scott LaFontsee, Owners of LaFontsee Gallery

Fee: Included with admission

You don’t have to have the resources of Meijer Gardens to build your own fine art collection. Join the owners and artists behind LaFontsee Galleries to learn easy ways to live with original artwork that inspires you every day. Linda and Scott LaFontsee have represented local artists for over 30 years in Grand Rapids



 Great Gardens Party

Wednesday, May 8, 6 pm

Meijer Gardens’ signature spring fundraiser features cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a sit-down dinner, live and silent auctions, a raffle and much more. The live and silent auction highlights exciting trips, unique items, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences as well as plant material for your garden. Horticulture experts will be on hand to answer any questions about caring for plants. Individual tickets are $100 each. Table sponsorships are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 levels. All proceeds support Meijer Gardens’ mission of promoting the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts. 

Michigan All-State Bonsai Show

May 11 – 12

Fee: Free

Enjoy stunning bonsai trees on display in the Huizenga Grand Room. Shop for bonsai, specialty pots and growing supplies from a great selection of vendors. Attend free demonstrations and watch bonsai artists at work.

Fifth Third Bank Summer Concert Series

June – early September

Eclectic selections of world-renowned musicians headline the annual Summer Concert Series at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater. The 1900-seat amphitheater lawn is a great place to enjoy a picnic and great music in the summer weather. The full lineup is announced in April. The series is generously sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, Harvey Lexus of Grand Rapids and Spectrum Health.

Iris Show

June 1 – 2 

Fee: Included with paid admission

Enjoy a variety of tall bearded and Siberian iris blossoms on display, all locally grown for this judged show. View floral designs featuring iris flowers.

Rose Show

June 15 – 16

Fee: Included with paid admission

Enjoy a variety of rose blossoms on display, all locally grown and carefully prepped for this judged show. Vote for the most fragrant rose and get your rose growing questions answered.

 Tuesday Evening Music Club

Tuesdays in July and August

July brings the Tuesday Evening Music Club to the stage at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater, a series featuring the region’s finest performers. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the entire facility in addition to the concerts. Bring a picnic, dance and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. The Tuesday Evening Music Club is sponsored by Priority Health.

Daylily Show

Saturday, July 20

Fee: Included with paid admission

Daylily flowers last for just one day and so does this show. See an amazing variety of daylily flowers that vary in size from less than one inch across to almost 10 inches.

Summer Sculpture Walks

Tuesday, July 30, 6 pm

Sunday, August 11, 11:30 am

Fee: Included with admission

Get off the beaten path and explore lesser known areas of the Sculpture Park with the Curator of Arts Education. See fantastic examples of Modern and Contemporary sculpture instrumental to Fred Meijer’s collection style and legacy. Please meet just outside the Indoor Sculpture Galleries and prepare to walk and stand for at least 90 minutes rain or shine.

National Dahlia Show

August 31 – September 1

Fee: Included with paid admission

Hundreds of dahlias will be on display in the Huizenga Grand Room. Flower sizes will vary from the size of a golf ball to a dinner plate. Many unusual forms and a rainbow of colors will be displayed. Exhibitors from around the country will be exhibiting and attending.

Kent Garden Club Presents: A Standard Flower Show

September 7 – 8

Fee: Free This show features floral designs and a horticulture division that includes beautiful flowers and foliage grown and artistically arranged by members of Kent Garden Club, West Michigan Flower Arranger’s Guild, and Michigan Garden Club District IV.

 Fall Sculpture Exhibition

September 20 – January 5

More information coming soon.


“Chrysanthemums and More!” Exhibition

September 20 – October 27

This annual celebration of the autumn season features an extensive chrysanthemum display with hundreds of flowering plants in both interior and exterior areas. Indoor highlights include varieties on display along the winding BISSELL Corridor and in the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse, while outdoor plantings are featured in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, Michigan’s Farm Garden and Volunteer Tribute Garden. Color tours, tram rides and seasonal children’s activities are available.

Herb and Gourd Fest

September 21 – 22

Fee: Free

Discover a variety of ways to use herbs and gourds in this fall event. A variety of gourds will be available for purchase.

Master Lecture Series: Wege Environmental Lecture

Tuesday, September 24

Fee: Included with admission

The speaker for this year’s Wege Environmental Lecture is researcher and author Dr. Anurag Agrawal.  Using striking visual imagery, Professor Agrawal will talk through the natural history of monarchs and milkweed, highlighting their co-evolutionary battle. The cultural importance of milkweed’s famous toxins will be the subject of one vignette, spanning several thousand years of human history. Finally, the current predicament of monarch declines and conservation will be discussed. The talk requires no scientific background, but will convey the latest research results, and provide a survey of current issues in monarch conservation. Ample time will be left for questions and discussion about all issues, including the fall migration, the history of science and citizen science. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Fall Bonsai Show

October 5 – 6

Fee: Free

See a variety of bonsai on display, from trees in early stages of training to lovely older trees. Watch bonsai artists at work and shop for bonsai trees as well as bonsai tools and supplies.

 Holiday Gift Show

Saturday, November 2

Fee: Free

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at Meijer Gardens! Members and the public alike are welcome. This highly anticipated annual event attracts shoppers regionally, so shop early for the best selection. We’ll even treat you to free gift-wrapping. Members receive a 10% discount on their purchases.

“Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World” Exhibition

November 26 – January 5, 2020

Experience the most magical time of year as Meijer Gardens transforms into a world of winter magic with the glow of nearly 400,000 lights, 42 captivating international trees and displays, strolling carolers, Santa visits and more surprises than can fit under the tree. The Railway Garden, sponsored by Warner Norcross + Judd, is a holiday favorite and winds its way through three separate indoor gardens.

 Christmas Cabaret

December 4

The Christmas Cabaret is Meijer Garden’s signature holiday celebration. This annual fundraising gala is an opportunity to ring in the holiday season in the most festive of ways. Guests will enjoy the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition during cocktail hour and will then be treated to a delicious plated dinner while enjoying holiday entertainment.


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