Marvel at the sheer size and scope of the diverse collection and let your kids ride on the carousel on the river in one of the region’s oldest history museums.
Overlooking the west bank of the Grand River, the Van Andel Museum Center is a spectacular modern structure holding the fascinating contents of the 19th-century Grand Rapids Public Museum. An extensive collection is spread across three floors of exhibits, covering science, culture and history. Bring the whole family to enjoy the wide range of fun and enlightening displays.
Marvel at the unusual design of the building, whose Cook Carousel Pavilion stands on the river itself. Your kids will feel like they’re hovering above the water as they ride the carousel.
Choose from the great assortment of sections that together display many thousands of artifacts. Old uniforms and garments reveal old-world fashions, while wars are brought to life by weapons and memorabilia. Pass through the Toys and Games section, the Dolls exhibit and the Sports area with your kids.
Other exhibits trace the history of botany, brewing, advertising and a seemingly endless list of themes. Learn about the American Civil War, decorative arts and South American traditions in this eclectic museum.
Recline in your seat in the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium and gaze up at the stars. Explore some of the temporary exhibits. Past selections have covered such topics as the origin of the mermaid myth and the journey of water.
Artisanal crafts, books and toys are among the selection of items for sale in the Museum Store. Sip coffee with a picturesque view of the river in the Museum Café. Soups, snacks and sandwiches are available.
There is a fee to enter the museum, which offers deals and reduced admission for local residents. Discounts are also available for kids, students and seniors. The site opens every day of the week, morning through late afternoon.
Find Van Andel Museum Center on the western bank of the Grand River, right in the heart of Grand Rapids. While you’re in the area, visit the Eberhard Center, the Gerald R. Ford Museum and the Pearl Street Bridge.