I can remember first going to visit the exhibits at the old GR Museum when I was child during the 1960's. This was our first visit to the new environs and we were surprised to see a several of the old exhibits/dioramas still being used.
The evening we toured the museum, just before closing time, there were a group of young people ball room dancing in the main lobby. What an innovative and refreshing use of this magnificent resource to the community. The museum was jumping!
My favorite exhibit was still my favorite from my earliest memories of the Museum - the Streets of Old Grand Rapids recreation. I enjoyed our relaxed stroll through a full-scale detailed re-creation of Grand Rapids from the 1890's and the feeling of being somehow transported back into another time. We also visited the Planetarium show that evening.
You should park in in the Museum ramp, located behind the Museum on Front St. Also plan on bringing a camera, comfortable shoes and an expectation that you will have a good time learning something new.
As one of the Grand Rapids area's many educational institutions, I think the GR Public Museum is still inspiring that sense of discovery and learning about the colorful and relevant history of greater Grand Rapids.
They continue to do a magnificent job of preserving the treasures of the past and increasing their displays relevance by appropriating and incorporating items from our present - all effectively used for teaching the important lessons for our future.