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 programs and self-led visits.
  • Classes for adults, teens, children and parent/child pairs are offered year-round and summer camps cater to kids age 3-11.
  • 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.


FAQ About Grand Rapids Art Museum

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is a beacon of art in an art-loving city. For over 100 years, the GRAM has hosted exhibitions, events…

photo by Leigh Ann Cobb for Experience GR

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 an Early Learners Program 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.

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 exploration, 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.

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.

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.


FAQ About John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo has been delighting Grand Rapids residents and visitors since 1891, when a small menagerie of animals – known…

photo by Aly Zuiderveen for Experience GR

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 and are available year-round for various ages.
  • Spring break (K-5) and summer camps (ages 3 through 9th grade) offer games, animal encounters, interactive experiences and more.
  • Offsite, preschool and scout programs are also offered.

Click here for more details on John Ball Zoo's educational experiences.


FAQ About Blandford Nature Center

Blandford Nature Center invites people of all ages to enjoy, explore and learn in nature. Located just six miles from downtown…

photo by Alina Albin for Experience GR.

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 for ages 5-12 and school field trips for all ages immerse students 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