If you are visiting Grand Rapids you need to check out the Grand Rapids Public Museum. I know the name is a bit confusing but trust me on this one! This museum is filled with exhibits that the entire family will enjoy.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Public Museum could be called a history museum, an art museum, a natural history museum but what it really needs to be called is a must-see during a visit to Grand Rapids, Mi!
From the 1928 Spillman Carousel to learning about life in Grand Rapids in the 1890's you will find this museum amazing. We thought we would spend maybe an hour in the museum and three hours later we realized we were still exploring.
We used the Culture Pass GR to visit the museum and many other of our top things to do in Grand Rapids MI! You can visit a ton of attractions with this three-day pass!
Streets of Old Grand Rapids
The Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit gives you a look back at Grand Rapids in the 1890s. This exhibit is a great way to learn more about what life was like over 100 years ago.
There are storefronts stocked with real merchandise from the 1890s.
Grand Rapids Public Museum 1928 Spillman Carousel
A ride on the 1928 Spillman Carousel is a must-do while visiting the museum. There are 44 hand-carved horses along with six other animals including a giraffe, deer, goat, tiger, and camel.
I am going to admit to taking hundreds of photos of the Spillman Carousel. The horses and other animals are truly beautiful.
A ride on the carousel costs $1 unless you are a member of the museum. Make sure to check out the ticket booth where you pay! It is the original ticket booth that came with the carousel.
The Spillman Carousel was manufactured by the Spillman Engineering Company in North Tonawanda, New York, in 1928.
Each of the animals on the carousel took more than 300 hours to be restored by Carousel restorers John and Linda Layton of New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Occasionally a whale is added that was created by the Grand Rapids Public Museum employees to recreate the giant whale skeleton that hangs in the museum.
There are 1,200 individual lightbulbs that light up the carousel. In 2017, all of the lightbulbs were replaced with energy-efficient LED Bulbs.
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium
The Chaffee Planetarium is named after the Grand Rapids-born astronaut who lost his life in the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire, Roger B. Chaffee.
The planetarium offers 40-minute shows.
Things to know when planning a visit to Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum Hours
Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm
272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
The museum is located right across the street from the Gerald Ford Museum near the Grand River.
There is a parking ramp garage right next to the museum.
Grand Rapids Public Museum Prices
Kent County Residents
Adults - $5
Seniors - $3
Students - $3
Children - Free
Adults - $8
Seniors - $7
Students - $3
Children - $3
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