(Photos by Cynthia Price)

By Cynthia Price

The butterflies have come again to Meijer Gardens; can spring be far behind?

This is the 24th year for Butterflies are Blooming and every year seems to be more crowded than the last. The show runs until April 30 so there is plenty of time to see the more than 60 species present this year.

It is worth remembering that the full name of the West Michigan gem located on the east side of Grand Rapids is Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. There is a wide range of wonderful sculpture, including right in with the plants and flowers in the enclosed area and throughout the grounds. Currently, an exhibit of Fred and Lena Meijer’s collection of sculpture over the decades shows the wonderful transition from traditional to modern the Meijers experienced in their collecting. That exhibit lasts until August 25.

The Japanese garden and other areas offer an interesting walk outdoors, and there is a maze of hedges with bells and drums for kids to play on as well as two remote (and sculptural) pipes kids can whisper into and be heard on the other end.

During spring break (Mon. April 1-Fri. April 5), Meijer Gardens will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.