Skip to main content
Blog Posts

Grounds for Sculpture

Rat's Restaurant.jpg
Photo by Jana Wilde

Have you ever seen a giant reaching out from the ground? Three witches cackling around a cauldron of boiling goo? A futuristic contraption seemingly floating on water? Well, all of these and so many more are held in the same park right under our noses. The attraction, Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, is a massive park and museum housing and conserving many contemporary sculptures.

Men at Cards.jpg
Photo by Jana Wilde

Grounds for Sculpture has favorites kept in the park constantly, but it also has rotating exhibitions that pertain to current issues and keep the experience fresh and interesting. When I went to the park years ago, I saw some larger-than-life sculptures that I had to stop to take in, some abstract creations that baffled and confused me, some interactive scenes that I touched and took pictures with, and some smaller pieces that would just catch my eye as I passed them by. At one point, I entered a beautiful arbor tunnel and caught a couple stealing a moment of closeness. I was startled for a second, but when I looked closer, I realized they were made of metal. The park has a lot of sculptures like this one that almost look like real people having a picnic or sitting at a table playing cards.

Photo by Jana Wilde

Beyond the incredible sights of the garden, Grounds for Sculpture has gorgeous places to eat. Near the entrance of the park is the Van Gogh Café which has a vivid rendering of Starry Night on the ceiling and lanterns like the ones in Van Gogh's The Night Café hanging from above. But the fine dining experience is at Rat's Restaurant. The outside looks like a huge European country house surrounded by slow burbling water and sprawling greenery. You can dine inside with the cozy ambiance of wooden walls, floors, and ceilings; an overhead candelabra; and warm orange light coming from paper lanterns arranged in a circle around the room. Or you can dine outside under the awnings and umbrellas and watch sunlight reflect off the water.

After dining, there will still be plenty to see for the rest of the day!

Giant Reaching from Ground.jpg
Photo by Jana Wilde