Hands-on learning all summer long

Summer is in full swing and that means Meijer Gardens is bursting with activities for children of all ages. Whether it’s at the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden or Michigan’s Farm Garden, there’s so much to keep kids exploring, learning, and having fun.

“Meijer Gardens is an exciting and fun place for kids and families because there are so many engaging activities,” says Linda Thompson, director of education at Meijer Gardens. “In the Children’s Garden there are artists, musicians, story-times, classic games and ‘storybook characters.’” Now through August 26 is A Classic Summer in the Children’s Garden. Kids can explore the classics in new ways, like during “Stories and Games” every weekday at 10 am.  Classic stories are read and paired with favorite games like Duck, Duck, Goose, hopscotch, and more.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday at 2 pm in the Children’s Garden, kids can engage their creativity and curiosity for music and art by joining a musician with instruments or creating a whole rainbow of garden colors with a local artist.

Have your kids ever wondered how Jack grew such a tall beanstalk? Have they wanted to help Little Red Riding Hood find her way to her grandmother’s house? With an interactive storytime in the Children’s Garden on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 pm, kids can see classic stories come to life with characters played by student actors from Civic Theatre’s School of the Arts.

Out at the Farm Garden, every Friday is packed with activities. In true 1930s-era style, kids can quilt, experience farm chores, and play old-fashioned games from 1-4 pm.

Every month features a new special family weekend. “Meet Me at the Fair” on August 13 and 14 will feature live farm and traditional fair activities like beanbag toss, sack races and ice cream eating. The “Heirloom Tomatoes” weekend on September 3 and 4 will focus on heirloom varieties with cooking demonstrations, sampling and tomato-inspired games.

Take the fun indoors to the Snell Sculpture Education Gallery where kids of all ages can create their own sculpture park. Arrange the sculptures throughout the miniature park and decide how to landscape around them. When the kids are finished, they can give a tour of their creation using little wooden trams. This unique and interactive activity provides an engaging opportunity to learn about the Sculpture Park and develop critical thinking skills, all while having fun.

Note: All activities occur through the end of August.

Event Recap: The Connection’s Hobnobs & Hops

Guest blog post by Laura McPhail
Laura is the owner of The Hideout Brewery. She is a member of The Connection’s Steering Committee and has been a member since its inception.

Laura at The Connection's "Go Green" event last year

 At the Hobnob & Hops Connection event, Wednesday, October 13, my husband, Ken and I got to enjoy the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in an intimate setting.  The farmhouse and the barn with music by Gabe Lundy drifting through the air was the perfect backdrop for an absolutely enjoyable evening.

After grabbing a caramel apple made by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and some delicious Michigan wine it was time to meet some new people.  The “Minute to Win It” games were the perfect opportunity to meet many of the guests, share a laugh and discover some new skills.  Who know you could actually stack 5 apples?

We also got the chance to venture out into the chilly night for an afterhours sculpture tour.  A small, but jovial group of us had a great time on the tram with our tour guide.  We even learned a little something about art!  The nice surprise is that I got to meet new Connection members that had just signed up that night.  After winding down and heading home I realized how much I look forward to seeing them again at the next event in December.

Mark your calendar for “Be Merry & Mingle at Meijer Gardens” on Thursday, December 16, 6-9 PM.