New Jersey isn’t boring! There are so many small towns to explore in the Garden State. You can find art galleries, artists’ markets, 24-hour diners, the shore boardwalks, outdoor adventure, and so much more! One of my favorite experiences on a short New Jersey road trip for my birthday was Grounds for Sculpture. You’ve got to see this…
I’m not just saying all this because I spent like ten years living in South Jersey.
New Jersey really is pretty cool! It’s so perfectly situated between Philadelphia and New York City. One train ride and my friends and I could go anywhere. We spent our summers down the Jersey shore or hiking through the Pine Barrens. We loved taking the train into downtown Philly on weekends.
For my 28th birthday, I wanted to do something new. And, as if by divine intervention, I stumbled across a mention of Grounds for Sculpture. I don’t know if you know this about me… but, I love taking selfies with statues. I couldn’t even tell you why. I’ve been doing it for years. If I’m out somewhere and I see a random statue on the street it’s like a little kid in a candy store, “Oooh! Take my picture!!”
So when I found out that Grounds For Sculpture had remained a secret from me for like 14 years, I flipped my lid.
Grounds For Sculpture is an interactive experience with works of art.
Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre park filled with beautiful sculptures, awesome works of art, and lots of surprises – and I think it’s a perfect addition to a New Jersey road trip! It was like the universe was holding onto its best kept secret just in time for my favorite holiday – my birthday!
You guys, I love birthdays more than Christmas. I love making a big deal out of them. I love celebrating the day that my favorite people came into the world because I am SO THANKFUL for them. I’m also the person that celebrates my birthday for like the entire month of April.
So, I invited a bunch of friends over for a Luau themed breakfast, complete with pancakes and mimosas, before we left to head off to explore the park.
Then we piled into the car and sped off toward Grounds for Sculpture!
The excitement started before we even got there. I remember passing an old woman on the side of the road who was waiting for the bus, but something just looked a little off. I quickly realized – she wasn’t real!
That startling theme continued on our way in and throughout the park. I definitely bumped into, and apologized to, a few sculptures thinking they were real people!
Experiencing art like this, in a more engaging and interactive setting, is so much more fun than looking at statues from the other side of a velvet rope.
As you stumble across a beautiful picnic laid out in front of a pond, you suddenly feel enveloped in that sweet, intimate moment. For a moment, you’re almost embarrassed like, “Excuse me! Sorry to intrude!”
But then you’re tempted to sit and look in on this moment from an outsider’s perspective. You’re taken back to a similar moment in your own memories.
From a larger-than-life sized Marilyn Monroe (pictured above… can you see tiny me standing between her legs?!) to ordinary moments in daily life – a picnic, a man playing chess, two women chatting on a bench-, this park is full of fun surprises.
Exploring art and more at Grounds for Sculpture
The park isn’t all realistic sculptures. There are a lot of really neat art pieces to check out, 6 indoor art galleries to peruse, and beautifully landscaped gardens to explore.
Ground for Sculpture also changes out their installations, so what you see pictured here may not be there anymore – but it’s still 100% worth checking out what they’ve got going on because it’s always awesome!
See what they’ve got going on right here.
You can also attend art workshops and children’s events. To see their event schedule, check out their Facebook page.
Location, Details, and Cost
Location: 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Buy your tickets online (you’ll save at least $2)! The tickets are timed for you to enter the park in hour increments. This cuts down on crowds and makes visiting the park so much more relaxing. I didn’t experience any waiting to get up close and personal with the pieces.
The park is open year-round, Tues-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in all weather conditions.
Check out the website for the different seasonal prices!
Do you have a favorite interactive art exhibit? Comment below and let me know where!