Planning a Visit for Your Classroom

At this time, some offerings for group reservations may be unavailable or modified to ensure the safety and health of our visitors and staff. 

Students in after school science program
Work with us to build your ideal Museum visit including tours and planetarium shows! We offer self-guided and guided programming for any classroom visit. Including:

School Group Reservations – Pricing & Details

For groups of 20 or more.

Kent County Schools student general admissionFREE with reservation
Student general admission$3.00 per person
60 minute guided education programs$4.00 per person
90 minute guided education programs$5.00 per person
Planetarium show additional fee$4.00 per person
Planetarium-only visit$5.00 per person
Collections Archives Tour (Offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays)$4.00 per person + $75 Tour fee
Custom Museum staff lecture/tour fee$75.00
Hourly fee for Museum staff development of custom program$75.00

The Spillman Carousel is currently closed for major renovation through Fall 2020. 

  • Payment for group sales is due 2 weeks prior to visit.
  • Group sales will be billed based on the number of students in the class at the time of payment. If the group numbers decrease within that 2 week period or on the day of the visit, the GRPM is not able to issue a refund.
  • If additional students or adults are with the group on the day of the visit, additional tickets will need to be purchased upon arrival at full-price (no group discount)
  • Groups will receive 1 complimentary adult (teacher, school staff, or chaperone) with every 5 paid students.
  • Memberships are not applicable for group booking discounts.
  • Refunds:
    • Please note that a full refund will be given if the visit is cancelled 48 hours prior to the visit.
    • No refund will be given for cancellations within 48 hours of the visit.
    • Exceptions include emergency school closure or snow day.

For additional questions, call Group Scheduling at 616.929.1734.

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Crystal Flash over 10,000 students from rural schools have been able to visit the GRPM with their transportation costs covered. Funds have been allocated for the 2019-2020 school year. Please check back in the summer for funds for the 2020-2021 school year.

Guided Education Programs

Immerse student raises hand in exhibit program
Guided education programs are delivered by the Museum’s dedicated volunteer and staff educators. Programs provide learners opportunities to explore culture, history and science through tours, hands-on activities, and guided exploration.

Museum Programming Strands:

  • Explore – These exhibit explorations will help students hone their skills to become museum learners for life.
  • Investigate – Hands-on primary source investigations will help students unveil the stories held in the Museum’s artifact and specimen collections.
  • STEAM – Students will learn about a variety of science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math concepts, utilizing innovative Museum technology and resources such as neuroscience research equipment and electronic prototyping materials.
  • Discover – This series of diverse, place-based programs emphasize where local examples of history, culture, and science can be found in the Museum and in the city of Grand Rapids.
  • Share – Storytelling, empathizing, perspective-taking, and creative writing will push students to engage at a deep level with the experiences of diverse individuals who have lived throughout history.




STEAM programs sponsored by:

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Discovery Kit Loan Program

E2007.32.2 African Wedding necklace

Discovery Kits include a variety of artifacts and specimens from the Museum’s Collection that allow students to investigate global and local objects. The Collections support the Museum’s mission of inspiring curiosity and discovery around science, history, and culture. Each kit includes objects from the Museums archives, helpful resources and suggested activities.

Discovery Kits are a great way to incorporate primary source and object-based learning into the classroom or as a way to prepare for or extend a Museum visit.

GRPM staff are taking extra safety precautions with this program to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Loan items are quarantined and appropriately sanitized between each reservation.

Discovery Kits Themes 

  1. Foodways: Food is a universal language. Discover how cultures around the world work in the kitchen.
  2. Fossils: Step back on the geological timeline to explore a variety of plant and animal fossils. 
  3. Hats: What people wear on their heads can tell us an interesting story; learn the history behind headwear from across the globe.
  4. Holiday Traditions: Winter ’tis the season for celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more. Learn how trees, drums and shoes play a part in holiday traditions around the world.
  5. Jewelry: Did you know that shells were once a form of currency? Learn more about the significance of the materials used to create jewelry from five continents.
  6. Music: Music is one of the first elements of culture we think of; investigate a variety of musical instruments from around the world.
  7. Anishinabek Culture: Learn how Anishinabek have lived alongside the natural world through a variety of artifacts that tell the story of the first people of this place.
  8. Newcomers: If you were moving to a new country and had only one suitcase to pack, what would you bring with you? Take a glimpse into the immigrant experience with this discovery kit.
  9. Numismatics: Yen, Roman coins, credit cards… Explore currency from around the globe.
  10. Space: Space, the final frontier! Discover the story of Roger B. Chaffee, a hometown hero, and get an up-close look at space fragments.
  11. Zoology: Investigate specimens native to West Michigan and from around the globe. Discover where these species live, what they eat and what makes them special!

Reservation Information

  • Rental length: 1 week
  • Cost: $25 per kit (fee may be waived for schools depending on circumstances)
  • Pick up and drop off: Kits can be picked up any time after 12:00 pm Monday of your confirmed week. Kits must be dropped off no later than 5:00 pm the following Sunday.

For questions about this program or how to best leverage the kits, please contact group scheduling at or 616-929-1734.

Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Visit the GRPM’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium for an out of this world experience! The planetarium has a variety of shows to choose from to learn all about space, science, art and more, or just enjoy an entertaining show! Shows are approximately 45 minutes each, and are $4 per person.


Planetarium Movies are pre-made immersive shows that incorporate animation, video, and special effects. They can be on a variety of topics ranging from astronomy, Earth science, physics, and even entertainment! Many of these movies also include a live portion, during which viewers can learn about the constellations and planets in tonight’s sky (see “Live Introductions” section below for further information).


The following shows are presented live by a planetarium expert. Often the shows can be customized for a particular age group, and visitors are encouraged to interact and questions throughout for a truly unique experience!


Many Planetarium Movies include a live introduction about the night sky (unless specified in the movie’s description). Any of the following special introductions can be chosen instead, for a more custom planetarium experience.

Post-Secondary Education Programs

Board member works with science curator with animal skull in Collections

Work with our professional curators and educators to design a customized experience for your post-secondary education program.


The GRPM encourages mutually beneficial collaborative projects with academic faculty and student classes. To discuss your ideas or present a proposal for collaboration, please contact the Education Department at 616.929.1706.

Education Programs supported by:

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