Every year the Frederik Meijer Gardens, home to some amazing sculptures and horticulture year round, puts up an amazing display of Christmas trees and other holiday decorations from around the world. In addition to the trees, they also put up a model train that zooms around the seasonal exhibit and Victorian garden area, high atop a model of the city of Grand Rapids. Each beautiful building is created with natural materials, and somehow the artists make them look strikingly like the originals. There were a few new ones this year, my favorite of which being the model of the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
It was gorgeous from far away, and up close you could tell it was made with hundreds of tiny pressed flowers, giving it the look of glass shining in daylight.
The artist Van Andel Institute used beautiful seed pods to recreate the unusual roof line of an iconic building downtown.
Even Fifth Third Ballpark got the natural treatment this year!
After the Railway Garden exhibit, we headed into the conservatory to enjoy a little eastern holiday cheer. Diwali was represented by a beautiful mosaic made out of beans and legumes, though it appeared that the overhead sprinklers in the room had gotten to it a bit and was making the artwork rather ... puffy. Nonetheless, it was still beautiful.
I don't remember the Gardens doing this last year, or maybe I just forgot, but this year they gave the kids little cards with pictures of particular ornaments on them so they could go on a little scavenger hunt while looking at the Christmas trees. Baylor got a gourd ornament from the baobab tree in the African exhibit, and Mollie got a straw ornament from the Swedish tree.
Of course, her tree was all the way back at the beginning near where we hung up our coats, so she had to wait a bit to find hers.
But she had fun anyway!
As usual, we had a great time seeing all the holiday decorations at the Gardens, and I so enjoy and appreciate having this as one of our family traditions.