Holiday Displays

Visitors to the GRPM this holiday season will experience special activities for the entire family including the ever-popular Herpolsheimer’s Train, historic Grand Rapids built from LEGO® bricks, Santas from around the world, a Santa and Elf scavenger hunt, holiday planetarium show, and more.

Riddles will help visitors find 15 historic Santas from around the world in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit and learn about the traditions of each culture around Saint Nick. Then, visitors will follow clues to try to find all 12 elves hidden throughout the three floors of the Museum. Each year the elves change their hiding spots. The Santa & Elf Hunt is available in English and Spanish, is included with general admission, and can be picked up in the Museum’s front lobby.

Visitors to the Museum can enjoy a community favorite on display – the Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train. The Train is included with general admission to the Museum and will be on display through January 18.

The monorail train debuted as “Santa’s Rocket Express” when the new Herpolsheimer’s Department Store opened in 1949. Recognizable to any baby-boomer resident of Grand Rapids, the train chugged along the ceiling of the toy department at the Herpolsheimer’s Department Store.

Let it Snow planetarium show reindeer running

Let it Snow features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multimedia finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects. Tickets are $4 each with general admission to the Museum, $2 for Museum members and $5 each for planetarium-only tickets. Let it Snow will play November 26 through January 2.

See historic Grand Rapids like never before, built from LEGO® bricks! The 1925-era display, complete with operating trams, gives an up-close view of old-time Grand Rapids with historic buildings built to scale, along with a fun search-and-find activity for all ages. Viewing of this display is included with general admission. This exhibit is built by the West Michigan LEGO® Train Club.

Organist playing at a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concert

Deck the halls this season by enjoying cheerful holiday songs on the GRPM’s 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ and classics such as Jingle Bells, Silent Night, The First Noel, and more. In-person tickets are $20, with a discounted price of $16 for Museum members. 

Kent County residents receive reduced admission every day and Kent County children 17 and under enjoy FREE general admission. For pricing and tickets, please visit

Time: 3:00 pm (45 – 60 minute performance) Free with Admission

History of Tuba Christmas:

Tuba Christmas was conceived in 1974 by Harvey Phillips as a tribute to his teacher and mentor William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through this event, a collection of musicians from across the country pay homage to the heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given high performance standards. 

The concert consists of musicians playing the brass instruments found in the back row of the band: tubas, euphoniums, baritone horns, and sousaphones. Any musician with one of these instruments is welcome to play: home-schoolers, middle & high schoolers, college musicians and community bands. Many players decorate their horns and themselves to create a festive atmosphere.