Address

80 Sculptures Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619

Phone Number

(609) 586 - 0616

Date Visited

07/21/2019

Website

Link to Website

Grounds for Sculpture

Description

Grounds for Sculpture is located at 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ. Parking is available in three paved locations, with at least four handicapped (van)-accessible spaces in each location. If you park in the farthest lot, trams are available to get you to the Welcome Center. This venue is primarily outdoors.  There is a large visitor center and several other buildings with installations. All buildings have street-level access with push-button assist. The main pathways are accessible, either paved or easy to navigate gravel. Others offer some challenges or are not recommended for wheelchairs. They are clearly shown on the “Grounds” map.

Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms (with baby-changing facilities) are located in all buildings.  Two, single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms are located in the Welcome Center.  Restrooms can also be found at the Gazebo. There are a variety of dining options.  Check the Visitors Guide for details.

Please make sure to check the venue's website for detailed Covid information.

Checklist

    Number of handicapped spaces:  *
    Location of handicapped spaces:  ** in each parking area
    Surface of lot:  paved
    Distance to venue:  **
    Transportation to venue offered:  tram available from farthest lot
    Terrain:  flat
    Places to rest:  benches outside Welcome Center and throughout the grounds
    Paths and walkways:  main pathways either paved or packed gravel, secondary may be gravel, grass or dirt
    Location of handicapped entrance:  main entrance at each building
    Doors:  street-level with push-button assist
    Number of floors:  one floor in visitors' center
    Elevators:  no
    Ramps:  no
    Steps and staircases:  no
    Width of aisles:  main pathways are wide
    Places to sit:  benches throughout the grounds, but not necessarily on the paths
    Location of restrooms:  in all buildings and at the Gazebo
    Type of restroom:  all are multi-stall, handicapped accessible - there are twosingle-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms in the Welcome Center
    Ease of entry and exit:  OK
    Baby changing station:  in all restrooms
    Available food services:  Rat's Restaurant, Peacock Cafe, Van Gogh Cafe, Gazebo Cafe
    Friendliness of staff:  everyone was exceedingly pleasant, well-informed, and helpful
    Notes:  * at least 4 handicapped spaces in each parking area** some areas are closer than others

Read More

We have not been to Grounds for Sculpture yet this year. Knowing what an easily accessible venue this has been for those with mobility challenges, we believe they are doing their best to keep visitors safe. Please look at the extensive information on their website for specific Covid information.


If you are interested in dining there please check out our “Rat’s Restaurant ” information


Take a look at our “” from our last visit on 7-21 -19 to get a sense of this wonderful destination.


We had heard about Grounds for Sculpture but were unsuccessful in our efforts to get there previously. We finally made it on a lovely, late June day. Unfortunately, we had miserable traffic so the 90 mile drive took us three hours. After our day there, we knew that it had been well worth  the drive!  It was good we felt this way because our return trip was almost as long! But, let me reiterate, it was completely worth it!


Grounds for Sculpture  is a wonderful venue. It was created by Seward Johnson, artist and philanthropist. It is a 42 acre wonderland of sculpture of varying sizes and styles, some permanent, some temporary. Everywhere we walked we found delightful works to view.  There is diversity of objects and subjects. Most are in full view, but some are off the beaten path, within a group of trees, up inclines, along the water.  Some are breathtaking, some whimsical, some make you question if they are “real” people, or not.  A table set for wine and a snack along the shore looked quite real to me. Closer inspection proved it to be one of the art works but it invited me to sit down and enjoy the experience. A statue in some mist beckons one to close closer. I could go on describing more of the things we saw, but you should visit and enjoy them yourself.   “Grounds for Sculpture combines art and beckoning spaces to welcome, surprise and engage all visitors in the artist’s act of invention.  It is a sculpture park, museum and arboretum. “ (website)  In an interview Seward gave to The Times of Trenton (May 3, 2014) he said, “We have all these paths in the park that go different ways and we want people to use their intuition about which path to take, which has nothing to do with what anyone would teach about it… We encourage people to go their own way when interpreting the art itself.”


We purchased our timed tickets online, which gives a bit of a discount, but worried that we would miss our entry time because of the traffic. This is something you need to figure out for yourself.


We found three parking areas, each with at least four handicapped (van) accessible spaces. If you have to park in the “overflow” lot, which is farther away, there is a tram to get you to the welcome center.  Passengers can be dropped off at the center, where there are benches both inside and out.


The large welcome center has push-button assist, street level doors, leading to the ticket counter and information desk. Tours begin here. Free, walking tours, as well as accessibility cart tours (for people with limited mobility) are available. We were very lucky to join a cart tour but it is best to make an advance reservation. The carts only accommodate five people. If you need to remain in a wheelchair, call and discuss it – there are vehicles available that can accommodate your needs. Our accessible tour was wonderful. Our guide was a wealth of information as we toured the grounds on the accessible pathways (either paved or packed gravel).  Our walking tour was also terrific. The docent took us to some of the places that are not as accessible. Not only was she extremely knowledgeable, she was passionate about this place.


Grounds is quite accessible, considering the type of venue it is.  Accessible pathways are clearly marked. The visitor map shows the accessible paths, as well as the paths that offer some challenges and places where wheelchairs are not recommended. We found that the main pathways were either paved or packed gravel and quite easy to navigate. We encountered more than a few wheelchair and walker users, as well as stroller pushers. Some convesation with them led us to believe that it is quite easy to get around. The less accessible places were often up an incline, on the grass, or in tighter spaces.  I would say that even if you are unable to navigate these less accessible spots you are still in for a treat!  The one thing  I believe could be improved would be to have more benches along the main paths. There are benches placed in strategic locations for art appreciation. They could use more benches for people who just need a place to sit and rest. I forgot to mention that there are several buildings that have indoor exhibitions.And…look out for the beautiful peacocks that stroll the Grounds.


There are several food choices from The Gazebo (in summer months) for outdoor snacks;  The Peacock Café (in the Domestic Arts Building) serving sandwiches, salads, etc; The Van Gogh Café (in the Welcome Center) featuring French-inspired street food, crepes, beer and wine: and Rat’s Restaurant (reminiscent of Claude Monet’s Giverny) . Please see our separate listing for Rat’s Restaurant. Even if you do not choose to eat at Rat’s make sure to visit the area! We found Grounds for Sculpture to be a fascinating venue for all (including children). It seems to be a lovely way to introduce kids to art.


Multi-stall restrooms with handicapped-accessible stalls are available in the Welcome Center, Domestic Arts Building, Museum Building , Rat’s Restaurant and The Gazebo.  Single-occupancy restrooms are available in the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts (welcome center).


When we visited this time, in July, 2019, we found everything just as amazing as before. We cannot add anything more to entice you to take a trip to this wonderful venue.


As always, we at Destination Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, www.groundsforsculpture.org, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.



Location


Nearby

Rat's Restaurant