News

Grand Rapids Public Museum Offers Nostalgic Holiday Displays, Exciting Exhibits and More as the Holiday Season Approaches

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced today an exciting lineup for the upcoming holiday season. Visitors to the Museum can enjoy the upcoming Bodies Revealed exhibit, new Design Zone exhibit, popular TOYS! exhibition and a variety of interactive holiday displays and events that are sure to be favorites.

The Museum will host two Classic Melodies organ concerts as part of the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ Concert Series to kick off the Thanksgiving week on Friday November 22 and Saturday, November 23. Hear classic melodies on the GRPM’s 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ by Andrew Rogers. Many will be recognizable to all ages including Cinderella’s Waltz, Chicago, Bye Bye Blues, The Carousel Waltz and more. The final concerts in the 2019 series, Holiday Classics, will take place on December 20 and 21, 2019 featuring Dave Wickerham. For tickets and additional information, visit grpm.org/organ.

On Black Friday, November 29, the GRPM will host a Light Show Double Feature in the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Catch a double feature of The Queen Light Show and Dark Side: The Light Show! Music enthusiasts will rock out to the music of Queen and Pink Floyd paired with stunning visuals on the planetarium dome. The Museum’s doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the first show, The Queen Light Show, starting at 7 p.m. A cash bar will be available before the first show and during a short intermission. Tickets include both light shows, and are $8 for non-members, $4 for members.

Also kicking off on Thanksgiving weekend is the ever popular Let it Snow Planetarium Show. Let it Snow features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multimedia finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects. Tickets are $4 each with general admission to the Museum, free to Museum members and $5 each for planetarium only tickets. Let it Snow will run from November 29, 2019 through January 5, 2020.

The Museum’s Curiosity Shop will participate in Museum Store Sunday on Sunday, December 1. Get a jump on holiday shopping! Discounts up to 50% and additional discounts for Museum members. The Curiosity Shop features a variety of eclectic gifts, Michigan souvenirs, apparel, children’s gifts and more and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All proceeds support exhibits and programs at the GRPM. Admission is not required to shop in the Curiosity Shop.

Details about everything the GRPM has happening can be found online at grpm.org. Slip the lines and purchase your tickets online in advance. Tickets can easily be purchased on the GRPM’s website, including special discounts for Kent County residents.

Holiday Displays

Historic LEGO Display

See historic Grand Rapids built from LEGO® bricks, showcasing what the city looked like during the early 20th century. The 1925-era display, complete with operating trams, will be on display in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibition now through January 11, 2020 and is included with general admission. Built by the Western Michigan LEGO Train Club.

Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train

As an annual tradition, visitors to the Museum can enjoy a community favorite on display, the Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train. Recognizable to any baby-boomer, the train chugged along the ceiling of the toy department at the Herpolsheimer’s Department Store. Seeing and taking photos with the train is included with general admission to the Museum and will be on display through January 13.

Santa and Elf Hunt

Find 15 historic Santas from around the World in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids, and 12 elves hidden throughout the three floors of the Museum. The Santa & Elf Hunt is included with general admission.

The Museum will host the following activities and events throughout the holiday season: 

Breakfast with Santa

Visitors are welcome to join the GRPM for a special morning with Santa & Mrs. Claus for pictures, breakfast, Let it Snow in the Planetarium, a holiday gift and endless exploration of the Museum all day. This holiday fundraiser supports exhibitions and programming at the Museum. Breakfast with Santa has one session remaining at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are limited and can be purchased at grpm.org.

Mark Your Calendars – Snowflake Break!

Looking ahead to the December holiday break, the Museum will again host Snowflake Break that includes a variety of family-friendly programs and activities themed around special exhibits Design Zone and TOYS! Snowflake Break runs from December 21, 2019 through January 5, 2020. General admission includes hands–on activities for Snowflake Break, special holiday displays and admission to TOYS! and Design ZoneBodies Revealed is an additional fee. More information can one be found at grpm.org.

Exhibitions

Bodies Revealed
Bodies Revealed features real, whole and partial body specimens that have been preserved through an innovative process, giving visitors the opportunity to view the complexity of their own organs and systems in a way that’s normally reserved for medical professionals. The exhibit will have 10 full body specimens on display as well as over 100 organs and partial specimens. Bodies Revealed allows visitors to learn about their own bodies and ultimately, teaches the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Advance ticket purchases are recommended as some time slots will sell out.

Design Zone
In Design Zone, visitors of all ages can explore a variety of concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design. Organized into three thematic zones, the activities featured in Design Zone highlight the importance of science and mathematical thinking in areas critical to building creativity and innovation in art, music and engineering. More specifically, visitors will discover the secrets behind how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers and other creative problem solvers do what they do in this new exhibition.

TOYS!

TOYS! is an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones. 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. The exhibit, designed and curated by the GRPM staff, features toys and games from the Museum’s Collections and on loan from community members. Visitors will imagine, compete and create, while going on a journey of toys through generations.

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 www.grpm.org.