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Inspiration comes in all forms; they tell us. It can be as simple as looking at an object from the past or walking through an exhibit to learn more about something you have not experienced. Every time I have visited the Grand Rapids Public Museum, I feel inspired. The tiny bits of creativity they weave into each display and exhibit makes me feel like I too can push the envelope just a little. Perhaps I’m a wee bit biased as we are members of the museum, but there is something about being enveloped in a place so rich with history that brings out the best in me.

Exhibits

On our recent trip, I went to the museum to see the new exhibits on Display, Under the Arctic and Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World.

The Arctic explores the effects of climate change in a place where we don’t typically understand. It was fascinating to see Permafrost as it thaws in this form, explaining the drastic amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. As this is a highly interactive exhibit, I thoroughly appreciated how things were displayed. Next to each touchpoint are two hand sanitizers, as well as a couple of containers of Lysol wipes along with reminders to wipe down after you touch. This area is supported by a roving support staff who helps ensure anything handled is cleaned to add to cleanliness. It was a highly educational exhibit made safe in the times we live in with a couple of small actions.

The Outbreak Exhibit is to inform the public of the types of epidemics that plague our world. These epidemics extend beyond just COVID and into other deadly viruses of the no so distant past, including Ebola, the flu, and Zika. It’s interesting to think about the outbreaks that hit other places before hitting us at home, especially in the form of stigmas associated with them. Many people work tirelessly to stop these stands from becoming epidemics, but there is still a real fear, and some slip through. This is why it’s essential to mask up, wash your hands, and sanitize to stop this!

Cost

For General Admission to the museum, adults are $8, and Children are $5. There are additional fees when the planetarium opens up and for special exhibits, which you can find on their website www.grpm.org. Additionally, there is a beautiful gift shop on the premises for one to explore, containing lots of items related to the exhibits and some locally made fare.

I highly recommend visiting if you’re in town. It makes for a fun afternoon and gets those creative juices flowing!

If you’re interested in some other low-cost attractions, check out the Charles H. Wright African American History Museum¬†or Dow Gardens!