GRPM Museum Floor by Floor Overview
First Floor: Vintage Streets and a Tantalizing Carousel
The first floor features the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit, a favorite for many visitors. This is a particularly fun way to step back in time. In fact, you’ll often find volunteers dressed in period clothing interpreting the streets of Old GR. While there is no set schedule for volunteers, visitors can expect to interact with museum volunteers most every day at various times.
The other main attraction on the first floor is the historic 1928 Spillman Carousel. This is my daughters’ favorite section. Take your pick of one of the 44 hand-carved wooden horses and enjoy the ride just like your grandparents did!
Carousel rides are free for members or $1 with general admission.
There is also a little known cove full of dolls from different eras. (Hint: it’s right by the bathrooms!) There is a “please touch” section here which is fun for small hands.
The first floor also features a curiosity shop where fun and unique gifts can be purchased.
Second Floor: Captivating Planetarium, Cafe, and Gigantic Steam Engine
The museum has a very open feeling and the floors can easily be viewed from the banister on the top two levels. There is a pretty amazing old clock tower which my daughter will sometimes just sit and stare at.
The second floor of the museum features my personal favorite area, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Be sure to catch a show here sometime, it is a lot of fun. The Little Star That Could is a great show if you want to take younger kids.
The Museum Café is also located on this floor; you can snack or dine while overlooking the Grand River. Available kids meals include your choice corn dog, macaroni and cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Each meal also comes with chips, choice of juice pouch, chocolate milk or small fountain soda, an apple and carousel ticket for $4.95 (as of 2/2017).
Treat your ears to something new by taking in a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ concert on the Meijer Theater (also located on the second floor). It’s a very unique and cool experience.
Additional things to see on the second floor:
- old steam engine
- learn about Egypt
- take a furniture gallery tour