If your family is homeschooling or loves taking educational vacations, you may want to take advantage of the many learning opportunities in and around Grand Rapids to supplement your children's education. A variety of local attractions provide immersive experiences for students interested in art, history, nature, science and more. Following is an overview of learning sites and programs – always check with the sites for the most up-to-date offerings.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
One of the world’s 100 most visited art museums is committed to presenting fun, interactive and informative programs about plants, sculpture, the environment and the arts.
- Student field trips may include guided tours, classroom activities and self-led discovery.
- Classes for adults, children and parent/child pairs are offered year-round and summer camps cater to kids age 4-14.
- An onsite library offers reference material on art history, plant care, sculptures, butterflies, birds, garden design and more.
- A library of virtual visits and storytime videos makes the Gardens experience accessible to all, no matter where they are.
Explore more details on FMG educational experiences.
Grand Rapids Art Museum
This highly acclaimed art museum offers a variety of educational experiences that promote critical thinking and literacy skills while fostering an appreciation for works in the museum’s collection.
- Guided group tours and workshops enable students to engage with art and create their own art, encouraging a variety of techniques and mediums.
- Summer art camps provide children ages 4-15 with the opportunity to observe and discuss artwork, discover hands-on art activities and learn collaborative problem-solving skills.
- Arts-oriented scout programming helps girl and boy scouts of all levels fulfill badge requirements, while a Discovery Club engages children ages 3-5 in GRAM exhibitions through games, stories, music and an art project.
- For groups unable to visit in person, the GRAM invites learners to experience the museum from home via its online resources.
Click here and then click on the Learn menu for additional information.
Founded in 1845, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is the oldest museum in Michigan. It is a place of never-ending inspiration and…
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Michigan’s oldest museum is a place of never-ending discovery, with a focus on science, history and culture. It offers a robust education program that includes a mix of free (with admission) and paid experiences:
- Onsite guided education programs for learners to explore through tours, hands-on activities and guided exploration.
- Education camps and classes, including week-long Immerse learning experiences, are scheduled throughout the year.
- Discovery Kits containing artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collection can be rented for one week at a time. They are organized around specific themes, including foodways, fossils, music, space, zoology and more.
- The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at Grand Rapids Public Museum offers pre-made immersive shows as well as live, expert-led shows on a variety of space topics.
- The museum offers a variety of virtual learning opportunities as well, including virtual games, tour videos, discovery kits, and scavenger hunts.
Explore more information on all of the GRPM’s educational experiences.
The Grand Rapids Children's Museum celebrates childhood and the joy of learning by providing an interactive, hands-on…
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
The GRCM’s mission is to encourage discovery and learning through play, so every trip is an educational experience.
- Regular open paint, imagination laboratory and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) discovery studio experiences encourage creativity and exploration.
- Biweekly Toddler Time is designed for little hands (ages 3 and under) to make music, create art, enjoy sensory play and more.
- Monthly low-sensory programming caters to learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other sensory challenges.
Check out more details on GRCM programs.
America’s most entertaining presidential museum is both a loving tribute to the U.S. president who grew up in Grand Rapids…
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Learners can explore history and democratic citizenship at the official museum honoring Grand Rapids’ own Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. The DeVos Learning Center at the museum helps instructors and learners maximize their visit.
- A variety of different programs developed for school grades from K-12 are available to homeschool groups.
- Teacher resources help instructors prepare learners pre-visit and continue the learning post-visit.
- Free, interactive virtual classes, virtual tours, interviews and other digital student resources are available if you can't make it to the museum in person.
Explore more about the Ford Museum’s educational offerings.
John Ball Zoo
Michigan’s fourth most attended cultural facility makes learning come alive using fun, flexible and hands-on teaching methods. Programs are developed for students age 3 to adult.
- Homeschool and virtual school groups of 25 or more qualify for discount admission to the zoo.
- Free learning resources are available to engage and educate students as they explore.
- STEM classes, up-close animal encounters and guided tours deepen students’ understanding of the natural world.
- Spring break (K-5) and summer camps (ages 3 through 9th grade) offer games, animal encounters, interactive experiences and more.
Click here for more details on John Ball Zoo's educational experiences.
Blandford Nature Center
This 264-acre nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary 10 minutes from downtown GR offers a wealth of learning opportunities for all ages.
- Homeschool field trips immerse student ages 5-12 in nature while engaging their curiosity and connection to the natural world.
- Nature discovery programs, self-guided groups and wildlife encounters are offered throughout the year.
- Summer day camps, winter break camps and spring break camps offer a range of experiences for ages 4-12.
- Virtual programs feature a Blandford Educator presenting a live, 45-minute virtual session with your students.
Click here for more information on Blandford Nature Center experiences.
Additional Education Experiences
- Robinette’s Apple Haus offers summer and fall group tours of its apple orchard, apple storage facility and cider mill.
- The Critter Barn features a variety of hands-on animal and farm experiences for kids ages 3- 16.
- Growing with Sprouts at Plainsong Farm is faith- and farm-based education programming for pre-K through 6th grade kids.
- The Kent County Recycling & Education Center provides eco-centered learning experiences, including tours and presentations, pre-made lesson kits and educator resources
Grand Rapids area attractions like Grand Rapids Public Museum and Grand Rapids Art Museum acknowledged the changes to at-home…