Monday, after we left the zoo, the kids and I went to the hotel and checked in. It was a large hotel, but older, and it had an indoor pool. That was one of the things I wanted, so the kids could enjoy their hotel time as well. After they had swam for almost an hour, we got dressed again, and left to go to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
The museum is normally only open until 5, but this week, they had a night time special- for $10 each, you got entrance to the museum (normally $5 for kids, $8 for adults), Unlimited Carousel rides (normally $1 per ride, per person), a planetarium show (normally $3 each), plus a free kid friendly meal at the cafe (normally $5-7 each). If you have a membership to the museum, it was only $5/person instead of $10.
I wound up purchasing a membership, because the public museum is one of my favorite places to go. I love museums, and finding new things. The membership allows me free entrance to numerous other museums, plus a 10% discount at the museum shop and the cafe, and all planetarium shows are free.
The museum is large, and due to long lines at the cafe, and planetarium show time, we did not get to finish seeing everything we wanted to before closing at 9pm.
Because I literally took almost 400 photos just at the museum, I'll break the posts down to highlight a few of our favorite areas.
First, my personal favorite- Gaslight Village. Actually, this exhibit was renamed "The Old Streets of Grand Rapids" back in 1994 when they opened the new museum. In the old museum, where it was at when I grew up, it was called Gaslight Village.
Several of these store fronts unlock to open up. During the day, museum volunteers man 1 or 2 shops at a time, explaining bits and pieces about the store, the items found in them, and things like prices back during the time when the streets of Grand Rapids looked like this.
One of my favorite shops is the printing press. They have a working 1880 manual printing press that they demonstrate how to use, and print up knowledge based bookmarks for the various shops, and for other exhibits in the museum. They show you hot to set the type, and how printing meant doing each one several times if there are more than 1 color involved. It's fun to see them working!
Because of the night hours, there were no volunteers in the shops that night, but it's still fun to peer through the windows!