Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World (at Frederik Meijer Gardens)

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World (at Frederik Meijer Gardens)
Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.
Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.

Autumn in Michigan came quickly and the holiday season will soon be here. As your family and friends gather together to celebrate your own holiday traditions, be sure to check out some of the seasonal traditions that the city of Grand Rapids and its institutions has to offer. One of these seasonal favorites is the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition at Frederik Meijer Gardens. In order to learn more about the exhibition, I held an interview with Andrea Wolschleger, the public relations manager at the gardens.

How long has this exhibition been going on (how many years)?

This will be the 19th year Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World will be at Meijer Gardens.

Describe the exhibition in your own words

Meijer Garden’s Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition is an annual exhibition celebrating over 40 international holiday traditions. The Railway Garden spans through four greenhouse spaces and holiday programming features family-friendly events such as Roof Top Reindeer, Santa Visits and Horse-Drawn Carriage rides. This exhibition makes Meijer Gardens a festive place to enjoy the holiday season.

What is your favorite part?

My favorite aspect of this exhibition is the Railway Garden. As soon as you step into the greenhouses, you’re greeted by the smell of cedar, lush plantings and over 30 handcrafted Grand Rapids landmarks. The model trolleys, landmarks and trains weave throughout four greenhouses bringing together the lush plantings with storybook scenes. It’s truly not a sight to be missed!

Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.
Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.

Is there any extra cost?

No.

How long will it be going on for?

The exhibition runs November 26-January 5, 2014.

Are there are any new additions (decor, certain events, etc.) this year?

Yes! Debuting this year is the Korean hanbok. The hanbok is the traditional dress for the Seollal, the Korean New Year and most significant holiday recognized by Korean families. With its strikingly vibrant natural silk and intricate detailing, this garment is the centerpiece in a redesigned display, which more authentically honors this historic culture.

How many visitors (additional to the garden/park) does this draw in?

We have about 75,000 visitors from all over the nation come to see Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World.

What is a must-see part of this event?

There are so many great things to see in this exhibition, it’s hard to pick just one thing as a must see! I’d recommend seeing: The Railway Garden, walking through the Scenic Corridor filled with decorated trees and cultural displays, bringing the kids to see Santa on Tuesdays (Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17) and visiting the reindeer on Saturdays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21).

Are there extended hours (evening/weekend) in order for visitors to come see this?

Yes! Our extended holiday hours are as follows: Open until 9 p.m. on December 17-21, 23-24, 26-28, 30-31 (Please note: Meijer Gardens is closed on November 28, December 25 and January 1 and will close at 5 p.m. on December 24 and 31).

Photo courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens.
Photo courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens.

Normal Business Hours & Admission Rates:
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat: 9 am-5 pm
Tues: 9 am-9 pm
Sun: 11 am-5 pm

Adults (14 – 64): $12.00
Seniors (65 and older): $9.00
Students (w/ student ID): $9.00
Children (5 – 13): $6.00
Children (3 – 4): $4.00
Children (2 and younger): Free

I hope that you and your family and friends have a joyous holiday season. Cherish the memories you make together and explore new traditions in the metro Grand Rapids area. Be sure to visit Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World and add it to your annual Christmas celebrations.

Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.
Photo courtesy of William J. Hebert.