Connecting Nature – One Lego at a Time

Last Updated on December 24, 2012 by Jody Halsted

Butterfly at Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa
In the Butterfly Wing

Reiman Gardens, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, is always a beautiful pace to visit.  Following Iowa’s seasons, there is always something new to discover.

Each year Reiman Gardens chooses a theme that carries through the gardens, educational programs, events, and even the gift shop.  The theme for 2012,”Some Assembly Required”, drew my family’s attention in a big way- with fun Lego sculptures throughout the grounds!

Water Platter and Koi Lego Sculptures
The Water Platters and Koi on the pond are a surprising placement

27 individual Lego sculptures are scattered both indoors and out, some pieces so seemingly delicate you wonder how they can stay together.

Hummingbird and Flower Lego Sculpture, Reiman Gardens, Ames, iowa
The larger than life Lego hummingbird hovers over a bed of tulips

My girls ran along the paths of the gardens proclaiming, “We found another Lego sculpture!”  With no true route in mind, we wandered, willy-nilly, through the myriad of gardens.  As we examined each new sculpture, Brenna, my eldest, would read the information in the brochure, telling us how many Lego pieces each sculpture took to create.  Hummingbird & Flower: 31,565.  Mother Bison: 45,143.  Calf: 16,229.

Mother Bison and Calf created from Legos at Reiman Gardens, Ames, Iowa
Mother Bison and Calf graze in the Stafford Garden

But the Legos aren’t just for looking at.  Take time to wander into the corn crib in the Children’s Garden and try your hand at creating sculptures.  Add on to building that has already begun, or create your own masterpiece.

Creating art with Legos at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa
Future Lego Artists?

We spent just over two hours at Reiman Gardens.  Not only was it a fun family adventure, but we snuck in some education as well.  Brenna learned to read large numbers, we talked about how each sculpture fit into the theme of “Nature Connects”, the girls asked whatever questions came to their minds and we had great discussions about everything from germinating acorns to where frogs go when it’s cold.  Because the true beauty of displays like this is that they bring your family together.

Even if you do have to visit the butterflies twice…

Butterfly at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa
Delicate butterflies fill the Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens

Lego sculptures are on display at Reiman Gardens through October 28, 2012.  Reiman Gardens is open daily for fun, and educational, family outings. 


Children age 3 and under Free
Youth age 4-17 $4.00
Senior age 65 and above $7.00
Adults age 18-64 $8.00

Family Rambling would like to thank Reiman Gardens for passes to view the Lego sculptures.

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      1. @iatraveler fantastic let me know if I can help with plans! What’s your route? If in Galway we must meet! Exciting 🙂

        1. @Annb2 Have 3 days in Connemara planned. Passing through Galway on our way to Limerick on June 4.

  1. How in the world does that hummingbird stay up? Those are some really amazing sculptures. Very impressive display!

  2. We were at the Gardens a few years ago (no Lego exhibit) and had a wonderful afternoon!  They are very family friendly, butterfly exhibits/room are amazing and I have tons of pictures of the kids just enjoying nature.  What a fun addition to the gardens this year!

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