Arts & Entertainment, Nonprofits, and Travel & Tourism

Downtown museum reports best-ever year

November 10, 2017
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Grand Rapids Children's Museum window
The mission of the Grand Rapids Children's Museum is to "celebrate childhood and the joy of learning." Photo via fb.com

A museum in downtown Grand Rapids has broken its attendance record for the third consecutive year.

More than 205,800 guests visited the Grand Rapids Children's Museum between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, breaking last year’s record of 195,000 visitors.

“A lot of people are to thank for breaking this record, but I want to make sure I thank all the kids and families first and foremost," said Maggie Lancaster, executive director, Grand Rapids Children's Museum. "They are why we are here and do what we do each and every day,” 

Attendance varied throughout the year depending on the weather and field trips, but on its busiest days, the museum welcomed between 1,200 and 1,800 visitors. Most came from Kent County, but some also came from as far away as Europe, according to museum officials.

Some larger exhibits, such as “Amazing Dinosaurs” and “Diagnosis,” drew significant crowds. There were also outreach programs and daily STEAM programs contributing to the numbers, as well as a street party for the museum’s 20th birthday.

The number of visitors peaked during the spring, when both the "Amazing Dinosaurs" and "Diagnosis exhibits" opened.

More than 3-million people have visited the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum since it opened in 1997.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss this year declared July 31 “Grand Rapids Day of Play” to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

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