This holiday season, visit the GRPM and take part in a variety of family friendly programs and activities themed around history, science and culture – and our special exhibits! Visitors can make their own themed snowflakes and punched tin take home crafts, play a variety of games and more! Snowflake Break is included with general admission to the Museum.
Historic LEGO Display
See historic Grand Rapids like never before, built from LEGOs. The 1925-era display, complete with operating trams will showcase what Grand Rapids looked like during the early 20th century, including a section of the Grand River, the Morton Hotel and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation building – a former brewery.
Visitors to the Museum will be able to view this special holiday LEGO recreation on display in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibition, and included with general admission. Built by the West Michigan LEGO Train Club.
Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train
Visitors to the Museum can enjoy a community favorite on display – the Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train. The Train will be on display from Saturday, November 17 through January 18 with the Museums holiday décor and displays, and will be included with general admission to the Museum.
The Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train is instantly recognizable to any baby-boomer resident of Grand Rapids. They remember riding in the train high above the toy department at the Herpolsheimer’s Department Store, which sat at the corner of Fulton and Division streets in downtown Grand Rapids. The monorail train debuted as “Santa’s Rocket Express” when the new Herpolsheimer’s Department Store opened in in 1949.
After passing through the hands of multiple department stores that succeeded Herpolsheimer’s, the train entered the Museum’s Collection in 2000 with a jungle-themed paint job. The Herpolsheimer’s Child Passenger Train was gifted to the Museum’s Collection by The Peter F. Secchia Family.
In 2010, the GRPM contracted with David Winick to begin restoration of the train to its original theme. Using a December 1955 Life magazine photo as his guide, Winick removed the rocket nose added in the 1960s and replaced it with a replica of the original 1949 nose. As multiple layers of paint were removed, the original colors were exposed. The GRPM and Winick were able to complete the restoration of all three cars thanks to funds raised by community members at the Museum’s Collections & Cocktails event in the spring of 2018.
Santa and Elf Hunt
Find 15 historic Santas from around the World in Streets of Old Grand Rapids, and 12 elves hidden throughout the 3 floors of the Museum. The Santa & Elf Hunt is included with general admission.
Let it Snow Planetarium Show
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 multi-media finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects. .