Grand Rapids Public Museum Announces Lineup of Special Exhibitions Opening in Fall 2018: ‘Expedition: Dinosaur’ and ‘TOYS!’

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) just announced that it will open two new exhibitions this October, Expedition: Dinosaur, a traveling family exhibit, and TOYS!, a GRPM-created exhibition. Expedition: Dinosaur will feature life-sized and life-like animatronic dinosaurs, themed around the hunt for dinosaur fossils. TOYS! will be an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones.

Expedition: Dinosaur – Opening October 14 – Tickets on sale now!

Expedition: Dinosaur explores the fascinating world of dinosaurs and the hunt for their fossils from Stage Nine Exhibitions, on display from October 14, 2018 through Spring 2019. Two special events, Breakfast with the Dinos and the Expedition: Dinosaur Opening Party, will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2018 to celebrate this new exhibit. For details and tickets, please visit

This exhibit has something for every age and interest, from life-sized and lifelike animatronic dinosaurs – some controlled by visitors – to mechanical and electronic learning stations. Visitors can learn about modern imaging techniques like high-energy neutron beams that reveal the inside of a T. Rex skull in microscopic detail never seen before. The exhibit includes a number of hands-on interactives that explain dinosaur movement, digestion, and evolution, and show the life and methods of dinosaur hunters from the 1800s to today.

Expedition: Dinosaur taps into our fascination with these incredible creatures. It is perhaps the closest experience to what it would have been like to be in the presence of a living, breathing Mesozoic-era dinosaur.

This exhibit focuses on the science of paleontology. Exhibit developer Stage Nine Exhibitions engaged renowned paleontologist Dr. Thomas Williamson to consult and inform the exhibit. Dr. Williamson, Curator of Paleontology at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, was featured in the PBS documentary “The Day The Dinosaurs Died.”

Expedition: Dinosaur was developed by Stage Nine Exhibitions. The exhibit at Grand Rapids Public Museum is sponsored locally by Meijer, David & Carol Van Andel Family Foundation, David & Amy Leonard, Keller Ford, Chris & Kim Branoff, FASTSIGNS, Old National Bank, Straight Line Fences and Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown. Media sponsorship by Wood TV8, Wood News Radio, and WGVU Public Media. For more information and tickets, visit

TOYS! – Opening October 27, 2018

Baby Boomers loved Paper Dolls, Erector Sets, and Mr. Potato Head, Gen Xers preferred Holly Hobbie and Hot Wheels, and Millennials have never known a world without Super Mario or My Little Pony. Some toys, like Barbie and G.I. Joe, have adapted to appeal to different generations and remain popular today. Toys and games have changed over time, but the desire to imagine, compete, and create has not. Explore this and more in the new exhibit, TOYS! opening at the GRPM on Saturday, October 27.

TOYS! is an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones. This GRPM original exhibit features toys and games from the Museum’s Collections and on loan from the community, allowing visitors to imagine, compete, and create, while taking going on a journey of toys through generations.

TOYS! is a fun and interactive exhibit experience that is meant to spark inter-generational conversations about the importance of imagination and play, and how toys have changed over time,” said Alex Forist, the GRPMs Chief Curator. “We hope each visitor will remember playing with their favorite toys from childhood, as well as make new memories with their family, friends, and classmates.”

Through the design process of the exhibition, the Museum worked with several experts from the community making sure the design was as inclusive as possible so everyone visiting can enjoy it. The exhibition will be presented in both English and Spanish, and will also include Braille.

Museum members have the first chance to see TOYS! on Saturday, October 27 during the members-only preview from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Members can RSVP to the members only preview at TOYS will be included with general admission to the Museum.

Thanks to the many donors, lenders, collaborators, and friends of the GRPM who shared their toys and ideas for the exhibit. These include: Arcade Market, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Comprehensive Therapy Center, Dave Dennett, Eileen DeVries, Sophia Forist, Melissa Fortino, Organized by Melissa, Brian Gritter, Great Start, Grand Rapids Public Museum School, GRPS Early Childhood, Highscope Educational Research Foundation, Torin Hodgman, Inclusive Performance Strategies, Dr. Mira Krishnan, Meijer, Sarah Murphree, Rick Overway, Penske, Playmonster, Tim Priest, Becke Shiel, Dr. Phil Stegink, Neal and Silas VanTil, Vidiots, and Gloria Warren.

TOYS! is sponsored by: by Meijer, David & Carol Van Andel Family Foundation, David & Amy Leonard, Keller Ford, Chris & Kim Branoff, Jim & Barb Haveman Family, Old National Bank, and Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown. Media sponsors include 13 ON YOUR SIDE and 105.3 HOT FM.

About Stage Nine Exhibitions

Stage Nine Exhibitions conceptualizes, designs, fabricates and tours exhibits that have been enjoyed by millions of visitors worldwide. Current exhibits: POPnology, Hall of Heroes, The Animation Academy, Sweet: A Tasty Journey, Rock U: The Institute of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Expedition: Dinosaur, and Dragons: The Lost Worlds. For more information, visit

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region and is responsible for protecting The Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees, and exhibit/event listings, please visit