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.
- More than 130 classes for adults, children and parent/child pairs are offered year-round and 30+ 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.
- Virtual field trips, live and interactive virtual visits, and remote learning resources help bridge the learning gap and make the Frederik Meijer Gardens accessible for children 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.
- An Early Learners program allows parents and educators the chance to explore and experience the GRAM’s collection with kids 0-5 years old through activities designed to increase fine and gross motor skills, further cognitive and emotional development through discovery and play, and activate interpersonal communication.
- For groups unable to visit in person, the GRAM is inviting learners to experience the museum from home via an interactive virtual tour.
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 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.
- Educator resources help you and your learner(s) get the most out of your visit.
- Play kits list fun ideas for at-home discovery.
- Regular open paint, imagination laboratory and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) discovery studio experiences encourage creativity and exploration.
- Biweekly 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.
- Virtual visits, online exhibits, curated documents and more may be accessed as well 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.
- A variety of live, interactive education programs can also be streamed into your home/classroom.
Click here for more details on John Ball Zoo's educational experiences.
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