Grand Rapids Marathon
Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grand Rapids Attractions

The John Ball Zoological Garden houses a number of exotic creatures from all around the globe. This grand zoo has blossomed despite early hardships when a lack of funding threatened to shutter the zoo. Today, the zoo is home to just over 1,000 animals representing over 200 species. Some of the more exotic animals include African lions, snow leopards, and Komodo dragons. In addition to zoo animals, the zoo is also home to an aquarium with several exhibits. At the aquarium, visitors may see sharks and rays, among other animals. Zoo guests may even touch living sea creatures in a special open tank.

The impressive Public Museum of Grand Rapids is one of the oldest history museums in the United States. The museum's exploration of local history begins with the Native American populations that once flourished in the Grand Rapids area. From there, visitors may observe Grand Rapid's early history as an important furniture manufacturing center. Another exhibit displays a faithful recreation of the Grand Rapids business district in the early 1900s. Other highlights in the museum include a colorful carousel ride for children. This beautiful relic from 1928 features a number of hand carved animals. The museum is also home to an exhilarating planetarium with light shows and much more.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is one of Michigan's most appealing cultural attractions. The Sculpture Park features over 100 sculptures by artists from around the world. These sculptures are spread through the peaceful park, giving visitors a chance to exercise while going from one piece to another. The park's most famous resident is "The American Horse" by artist Nina Akamu. The Meijer Gardens display many exotic, colorful and unique plants for the visitor's viewing pleasure. Visitors may enter an impressive conservatory that houses many unusual plants, including fig trees, orchids, bamboo trees, and coconut palms. Other sections within the conservatory house carnivorous plants and many cactus plants.

The Grand Rapids Children Museum seeks to educate children about the world around them in a fun and interactive way. The museum teaches children about agriculture with a fun farm exhibit, letting children get right into the action on a pretend farm. Children can pretend to pick vegetables, feed animals and gather eggs. After working hard on the farm, children can move on to the museum's pretend grocery store. The museum's other delights include a giant Lite Bright, a light table with translucent tiles, and an exhibit about bees. The museum also has a special and safe play area for the youngest patrons.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum honors the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. The museum focuses on Ford's personal life and career as a politician. Visitors can get a close glimpse into Ford's personality through pictures, videos and informative exhibits. These personal exhibits also pay tribute to Ford's devoted wife, Betty. History fans will enjoy the museum's in-depth look at the infamous Watergate scandal. This exhibit even includes the actual burglary tools used in the break-in.