play, learn & explore
Lena Meijer Children's Garden
The Lena Meijer Children’s Garden invites children to play, learn and explore. This garden fosters experiential learning and the use of all five senses. Interaction is encouraged as children are welcome to use their senses by smelling and touching specific plants designed for interacting. Whether in the Kids-Sense Garden discovering leaves that feel like lambs’ ears, launching a boat in the Great Lakes, digging for buried fossils in the Rock Quarry or listening to a story, the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden offers plenty of opportunities for family fun!
Great Lakes Garden
The Great Lakes Garden inside the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden is an interactive mini-replica of the Great Lakes. Children can launch a boat, build a bridge and walk on all the Great Lakes states.
Treehouse Village in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden is fun for all ages! Climb into the four connected trees and one giant bird’s nest. Kids can sit in the enormous nest, play the “Who Lives Here” game or look for giant insects.
The Storytelling Garden inside the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden has spots to put on a puppet or theater show, complete with performance hut and amphitheater seats. Children can enjoy story time from June to August.
Mouse Hole Entrance
Enter through a child-sized mouse hole to begin your Lena Meijer Children’s Garden adventure!
Use all five senses in the Kid-Sense Garden, in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Find a leaf that feels like a lamb’s ear, discover a flower that looks like an eyeball or sniff a plant that smells like buttered popcorn.
The Wooded Wetlands in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden allows children to enter the kid-sized beaver lodge and use their imagination to pretend to be beavers.
Dig for buried fossils with your hands or shovels in the Rock Quarry in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden.
Become a pioneer by playing with old-fashioned toys in the Log Cabin, located in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden.
Solve the Butterfly Maze inside the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Navigate the right path and ring the bell to sound a victory!
Friendly Dragon is a whimsical work. Marshall Fredericks designed Friendly Dragon for children, giving him a smile and a relaxed posture so as not to frighten young visitors. Meijer Gardens is home to two casts of the gentle giant, at Fred Meijer’s request.
Friendly Dragon represents a wild, mythical animal who has become friendly—almost like a pet! The sleepy smile and relaxed posture suggests a friendliness intended to draw children in, rather than frighten them away.
Marshall Fredericks. Friendly Dragon, 1992. Bronze, 58.5 x 132 x 57.5 inches. Gift of Fred and Lena Meijer. © Marshall Fredericks.
Family of Wolves
Family of Wolves, by Leonard Streckfus, has been delighting youth and adults alike for many years. It is a much-loved feature in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, specifically sited along the Sculpture Walk area. This colorful sculpture is made of found objects that can be identified as pieces of each wolf. Their placement delights young audiences and helps them understand the importance of sculptures that use found objects and make use of fabrication techniques.
Leonard Streckfus. Family of Wolves, 2004. Steel and other materials, 40 x 157 x 74 inches. Gift of Fred and Lena Meijer. © Leonard Streckfus.