Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Christmas at Meijer Garden
Last night Meta Moerdyk invited us to Meijer Gardens for their well-known Christmas display. Everything was so beautiful and well-done. Throughout the buildings they have several Christmas trees decorated for different countries. Since we have been learning about different countries this year, the kids enjoyed seeing trees decorated according to cultures and traditions we studied. We also enjoyed learning new things about countries and their traditions. Here were the favorites: Anna--Ukraine (she liked the spider webby look), Seth--Ireland (he liked finding the 12 days of Christmas ornaments), Caleb and I liked them all, Nicolas--Germany (he liked looking for the hidden pickle ornament), Lydia--not sure, Russ unfortunately stayed home and studied so he doesn't have a favorite.
Seth also loved the electric train and trolleys that ran throughout several displays of older Grand Rapids buildings made with all natural materials (leaves, barks, seeds, etc).
The favorite of all may have been the 24 foot bronze horse outside. Evidently this is one of only two such horses in the world; the other is in Milan, Italy. Apparently Leonardo de Vinci had sketches of several horses in his sketch book and actually sculpted a similar horse out of clay. He intended to have it made out of bronze, but a war happened and not only did it not get "bronzed" it was completely destroyed. Several years ago an art lover who heard this story raised money to have a bronze "Leonardo" horse made in Italy. Fred Meijer heard about this and was able to use the same mold to make this horse that stands in Meijer Gardens. This picture was taken in the daytime but we saw it at night with the lights shining on it which was also quite neat. I need to get a picture with one of the kids standing by it so you can get an idea of how big this horse is!
The horses and carriages that were giving rides throughout the grounds also added to the ambiance of the night!
I would love to go back and take pictures of some of the more intricate and interesting ornaments on the trees. Just showing a picture of the trees doesn't do the experience justice. I think Russ may want to go next week since he is done with school...?!?