The Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan now boasts a revamped planetarium, in addition to ever-changing exhibits and more than 250,000 artifacts in its collections, making it the second largest museum in the state of Michigan based on collection size. There are 73 distinct collections, categorized under the following titles: History Collections, Science Collections, and Culture Collections. The Collections span dozens of categories, from advertising, building fragments, to clothing, decorative arts, furniture, photography, posters, uniforms, and weapons. While only a small percentage of the Museum’s holdings are on exhibit at any given time, the museum provides virtual access for a more complete look at the scope and depth of the Collections. Scroll to see the full list with photos or jump to the table of contents.

Grand Rapids Public Museum - Ongoing Exhibits

Grand Rapids Public Museum - Ongoing Exhibits

© Grand Rapids Public Museum

Be Curious

Be Curious exhibits encourage visitors to become familiar with the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s collections.

Engaged in collecting for nearly 160 years, the museum considers itself the community’s institute of collective memory – where people, their stories and things are gathered together and meaning is shared.

Now open, the Egypt: Be Curious exhibition showcases the Museum’s own collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts.

This exhibit reveals certain artifacts, featuring Nakhte-Bastet-Iru, a mummy. See the reconstructed face and skull of Nakhte-Bastet-Iru’s that give visitors a sense of what she once looked like – and how fascinating this truly is.

This exhibit dissects the elaborate funerary practices of the ancient Egyptians by drawing attention to funerary masks, jewelry, and statuettes. Observers then discover how these artifacts were handled in funeral processes, worship, mummification, and celebrations.

West Michigan Habitats

Visitors are treated to West Michigan’s natural environments. These are exhibits that features the natural settings for mounted animals and plants. Dioramas with images, sound, light, and activities exist so children can learn about Lake Michigan’s fish, what life can be found in a microscopic drop of water, and other ecosystems, plus the impact of humans on these environments.

Inside the Kent Scientific Institute room is a re-creation of the museum’s exhibit hall prior to 1900.

What’s New at the Radically Updated Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium?

Having spent more than $1 million dollars to renovate the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, the facility now offers all guests the most comfortable seats in the house from which to observe the galaxy, and each new show takes advantage of Digistar projection technology and new sound technologies for an incomparable user experience.

Just inside the museum, the planetarium is named for the Grand Rapids native astronaut who died in the fire in 1967 on the Apollo 1 spacecraft.

More to Explore

More to Explore

© Grand Rapids Public Museum


STARLIGHT SAFARI: This program is aa adventure for planetarium goers, whereby they test their knowledge of night-sky animal constellations via a live presenter.

UNDER STARLIT SKIES:Learn how to explore tonight’s sky and observe constellations from your own backyard. Expose yourself to the far-flung reaches of the solar system to see incredible planets.

BACK TO THE MOON FOR GOOD:This is a great opportunity to become intimate with the race to return to the moon 40 years after the historic Apollo missions. Learn how a new era of lunar exploration is being privately funded. What a great chance to understand more about the moon’s resources and what humanity’s future on the planet might be.

DARK SIDE: THE LIGHT SHOW:This is an original planetarium production with all the stops pulled out. Pink Floyd’s album is experienced in new and unique ways that should not be missed.

THE LITTLE STAR THAT COULD:Explore the solar system with the Little Star.

BREAKING NEWS FROM OUTER SPACE: This is a must-see show for those interested in astronomy breakthroughs. It is being offered on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Each month, the event will examine the previous month’s outrageous astronomical discoveries. Presenters at the planetarium will act as the visitors’ guide to the ever-changing world of leading-edge science – and there will be time for your questions.

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272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, Phone: 616-929-1700, website, Map

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