Located just east of Philadelphia near Trenton, New Jersey, Grounds for Sculpture is one of the most beautifully eclectic sculpture gardens you will ever visit. The Park is located on 42 acres of woodlands that once occupied the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Ferris wheels and farm exhibits have been replaced with bucolic fields, ponds, and towering artwork. Many of the sculptures towered over me, maybe five or six times lifesize. Many of the works featured sculpture versions of paintings (many of them from the impressionists period), pop culture icons or tableaus of people doing what real-life people do in parks, relaxing, reading a newspaper or snuggling with a loved one. Every turn on the meandering wooded trail rendered a new surprise.
I especially liked the way the park and walking path that brought the art in tandem with bridges, ponds, shaded glens and meandering (and noisy) peacocks. Forty-two acres may seem small but the paths curve a lot. You can get a nice walk in. The Park also has an indoor museum for the colder months too. If I lived closer, I can definitely see myself getting a season pass. The artwork and natural setting would be a greater motivator for me to do weekly walks.
Many of the sculptures featured figures of people doing what a lot of people would be doing outdoors on a warm summer day, chatting playing cards or just pondering.
While climbing on the sculptures isn’t allowed, you can touch them, in fact, many seemed to be designed for interaction.
I really liked “The Wizard”
If you happen to visit on a warm day, why not bring a lunch and have a picnic. It will take a couple hours even if you rush, so why not slow down and make an afternoon of it. There are two cafes on site but they are a bit pricey. The VanGogh Cafe is aptly named as the design makes the place look like it jumped right out of one of his paintings. The park can get pretty busy. It is about an hour east of Philadelphia and about 90 minutes south of NYC. Once we all get out of quarantine, being outdoors will be on the minds of many. I would definitely recommend a visit. The admission is 12.00 USD but Groupon often offers two-for-one tickets. You’ll find the grounds for visiting Grounds for Sculpture are many.