Whether you’re interested in science, art or history, nothing beats spending a few hours – or an entire day – at a local museum to explore exhibits and learn something new. And there are loads of cool museums in Grand Rapids and nearby. Stop by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum and more for learning and some hands-on fun for kids.
Take a look at our list of some of the best museums in Grand Rapids, plus some in neighboring towns.
Coopersville Farm Museum & Event Center
- Address: 375 Main St., Coopersville
- Phone: 616-997-8555
- Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
- Admission: $4/adults, $2/ages 4-12, free/ages 3 and under, free/members
This museum was built in 2001 as a way to “honor farming and rural life.” Stop by to check out the changing exhibits throughout the year. There are tractors on display, too.
Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum
- Address: 303 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-254-0400
- Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas day
- Admission: $8/adults, $6/college students with ID, $4/ages 6-18, free/ages 5 and under
The museum gives visitors the chance to experience highlights from President Ford and Mrs. Ford’s lives, plus it provides a lesson in democracy for kids and people of all ages. There are rotating exhibits and special events for families, too.
Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives
- Address: 87 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-540-2943
- Hours: noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
- Admission: Free; donations welcome
This museum aims to promote, preserve and display artifacts to honor African Americans in the greater Grand Rapids area.
Grand Rapids Art Museum
- Address: 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-831-1000
- Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: $10/adults, $8/students with ID, $6/ages 6-17, free/ages 5 and under, free/members; general admission is free on Tuesday and 5-9 p.m. Thursday evenings
Located in downtown Grand Rapids – and known as GRAM – this art museum features rotating exhibits. Stop by the museum store on your way out, too, to pick up some art-inspired gifts. On Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., explore the museum at no charge, thanks to Meijer.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
- Address: 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-235-4726
- Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: $8.50/ages 1-64, free/under age 1; $1.75/Thursday family night
The name says it all: kids are No. 1 here! Little Grand Rapids is a kid-sized version of the town – complete with a grocery store, mailing center, auto service center and more for kids to play. Kids can make music at Just Playing Around in the museum, have some fort fun in Just Fort Fun and so much more.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
- Address: 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-929-1700
- Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Admission: $8/adults, $3/student with school ID and kids ages 3-7, free/ages 2 and under, free/members
This is the second largest museum in Michigan – with over 250,000 artifacts. Visit the Chaffee Planetarium to experience all the beauty of the galaxy without leaving your seat. General admission to the planetarium is $4.
Lowell Area Historical Museum
- Address: 325 W. Main St., Lowell
- Phone: 616-897-7688
- Hours: 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday-Sunday, closed Monday and Wednesday
- Admission: $3/adults, $1.50/children, free/ages 5 and under, free/members; free admission to Lowell residents the first Thursday of each month
Learn about the history of Lowell – whether you’re a resident or a visitor to the city. It features permanent and traveling exhibits, which cover topics including Native American history, Early Settlers, the Lowell Showboat and more.
Muskegon Museum of Art
- Address: 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
- Phone: 231-720-2570
- Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: $10/adult, $6/students with ID, free/ages 16 and under, free/members
Art enthusiasts – both young and old – can visit the Muskegon Museum of Art for a peek at the art collections, special exhibits and much more.
Rockford Area Museum
- Address: 21 Monroe St. NE, Rockford
- Phone: 616-866-2235
- Hours: 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, 1-4 p.m. Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: Free
The Rockford Area Museum aka the RAM, features documents, photos and more are on display to help tell the history of the city of Rockford.
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
- Address: 2 Fulton St. West, Grand Rapids
- Phone: 616-454-7000
- Hours: noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: $5/adults, free/ages 5 and under, free/members
Catch a flick inside of this museum that also houses the UICA Movie Theater, which shows documentaries, independent and foreign films. Or, explore the rotating exhibits. Events, including a family day, take place here, too.
Which museum is your favorite? If it isn’t on the list, tell us about it in comments and we’ll add it!