GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The holiday season is upon us and the Grand Rapids Public Museum is ready to celebrate with new displays and events.


The Historic LEGO Display depicts downtown Grand Rapids in 1925. According to the museum’s website, it includes operating trams, built-to-scale historic buildings and a search-and-find activity.

“There’s a beautiful areal display (that includes) the Blue Bridge and where the Grand Rapids Museum is but what it was previously, as well as the old factories … a lot of the original furniture buildings and factories and things like that should be represented in the LEGO display,” Sara Olson, marketing manager at GRPM, said.

The display is being constructed offsite by the West Michigan LEGO Train Club. The sections will then be brought to the museum and assembled.

“If people wanted to see that progress, between December 3rd and December 5th, they’ll be able to kind of see it go from zero to 100,” Olson said.

It will be on display from Dec. 5 through January. Viewing is included with general admission.


The Herpolshiemer’s Train is “a beloved part of Grand Rapids history,” Olson explained.

“The train used to be known as Santa’s Rocket Express and it hung in the Herpolsheimer’s department store, I believe in the 1940s,” she said.

While the child passenger train isn’t high in the air giving rides, there is a train car that visitors can sit in, take a photo of and reminisce.

The train can be viewed in the Galleria.


Hidden throughout the museum, visitors will find statues of Santas from all over the world and throughout history.

“They’re kind of incorporated into the transitional spaces throughout the museum,” Olson said, adding that there’s a dedicated placard at each Santa to learn more.

For anyone wanting to spot a hidden Santa or elf, Olson said visitors should take a stroll through the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit.

“The Santas were built and displayed in such a way that they are interacting with what exists already in the exhibit. So there are certain shops on the second story of the exhibit that used to have historical things in them but now perhaps they’ll have a Santa or an elf in them,” she explained.

There’s a scavenger hunt available at the front desk for anyone interested in seeing if they can spot all of the hidden Santas and elves.


The “Let It Snow” planetarium show features a variety of holiday classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee as well as a multimedia finale by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

The museum’s website said the show includes thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects.

Tickets for the show are $4 with general admission, $2 for members and $5 for planetarium-only tickets.

Visitors are encouraged to get their tickets in advance for the 40-minute show due to the limited capacity in the planetarium.

The show began airing on Nov. 26 and runs through Jan. 2.


On Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m., the museum will be holding a holiday classics organ concert.

Classics like Jingle Bells, Silent Night, The First Noel and more will be played on the 1928 Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ by Detroit native John Lauter.

“What will be displayed is images that coincide with the lyrics of the music being played so people can sing along but then there will also be a closeup of the organist playing on the organ for the whole auditorium to enjoy,” Olson said.

In-person and virtual options are available. In-person tickets are $15 with a discounted price of $10 for members. Virtual tickets are $10 per household with a discounted price of $6 for member households.

Anyone interested in attending can get tickets here.