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.

Explore the new exhibit, TOYS! opening Saturday, October 27.

TOYS! is an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones. This GRPM original exhibit features toys and games from the Museum’s Collections and on loan from the community, allowing visitors to imagine, compete and create, while going on a journey of toys through generations. The exhibit will even include a 1980s style arcade!

Through the design process of the exhibition, the Museum worked with several experts from the community making sure the design was as inclusive as possible so everyone visiting can enjoy it. The exhibition will be presented in both English and Spanish, and will also include Braille.




Museum members have the first chance to see TOYS! on Saturday, October 27 during the members only preview from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.!


Thanks to the many donors, lenders, collaborators and friends of the GRPM who shared their toys and ideas with us. We couldn’t have created this exhibit without you:

Arcade Market, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Comprehensive Therapy Center, Dave Dennett, Eileen DeVries, Sophia Forist, Melissa Fortino, Organized by Melissa, Brian Gritter, Great Start, Grand Rapids Public Museum School, GRPS Early Childhood, Highscope Educational Research Foundation, Torin Hodgman, Inclusive Performance Strategies, Dr. Mira Krishnan, Meijer, Sarah Murphree, Rick Overway, Penske, Playmonster, Tim Priest, Becke Shiel, Dr. Phil Stegink, Neal and Silas VanTil, Vidiots, and Gloria Warren.



Sponsored By:












David & Amy Leonard








Chris & Kim Branoff
Jim & Barb Haveman Family


Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
Old National Bank