Gerald R. Ford Museum

At the core of the Museum is the permanent exhibit, which allows visitors to experience highlights from President and Mrs. Ford's lives. The exhibit teaches democratic citizenship and allows for quiet reflection. In addition to the permanent exhibits, changing temporary exhibits draw artifacts from Museums all over the country.

Not all museum programming revolves around the exhibits; we also offer a wide variety of family-friendly events and lectures on a regular basis; the Museum Store sells items relating to the Ford presidency, other Presidents and First Ladies, and other souvenirs.

The Ford Museum opened to the public in September 1981 and is part of the Presidential libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.

The Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, Michigan while the Ford Library is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Despite the separation, the library and museum are a single institution sharing one director.

Hours of Operation

Open Monday - Saturday. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open Sunday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day


$8.00 for adults
$7.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$6.00 for college students with ID
$4.00 for youth ages 6-18
Free for children under the age of 5
Free parking is available

Information on the Gerald R. Ford Student Essay Challenge

Grand Rapids, MI

303 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI  49504-5353


Coming soon! Tour of the NEW Permanent Exhibit Galleries

Other Exhibits

The Museum staff has created several online exhibits, either to supplement permanent exhibits or to publicize temporary exhibits. The current temporary exhibit is available for both viewing at the Ford Museum and online. All others are available only in their online form.

Featured Online Exhibit

Growing Up Grand - exhibit mural Growing Up Grand

Glimpse the early years of Gerald Ford and early 20th centuryGrand Rapids.

Upcoming Programs and Events - Grand Rapids

Date Event
  Exhibits in Grand Rapids
November 7, 2017 - February 11, 2018

Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics

Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics, explores the power of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom. Using video, multimedia, photographs, periodicals and artifacts, Louder Than Words showcases the intersection between rock and politics. It explores how artists exercise their First Amendment rights, challenge assumptions and beliefs, stimulate thought and effect change.

Beyond music’s influence on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and gender equality, the exhibit also features other significant moments and figures, such as Bob Dylan, who rallied people against social inequality, and the hip-hop music of the 80s that discussed police brutality in poverty stricken neighborhoods.


  Programs in Grand Rapids

December 13, 2017
7:00 p.m.

70's Punk Night
featuring the Young and the Savage

doors at 6:30 p.m.

Experience the raucous subculture music that shook up the 70's with THE YOUNG and THE SAVAGE, featuring members of local music giants Mustard Plug, Lokella, Shoebox, and Triumph Music Academy! The show is part of celebrating the temporary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, Louder Than Words: Rock, Power, and Politics. free event. refreshments. all ages. ear plugs on demand! Click here to RSVP.

January 9, 2018
7:00 p.m.

DJ Panel: Tony Gates, Ed Buchannan and Steve Aldrich
Moderator: Dr. Ed Martini, Associate Dean WMU

Join us for an interesting panel. Guests will have the opportunity to listen and interact with Classic Rock WLAV DJs who have spent much of their careers in Grand Rapids playing music from some of the most renowned rock artists from the 60s and 70s and continue playing their music today.

Panelists will also share what it feels like to have influenced West Michigan's music scene by playing the music of those featured in the "Louder Than Words" exhibit and beyond. Click here to RSVP.

January 30, 2018
7:00 p.m.

The Vietnam War Lecture Series
Richard Camp (Col. Ret.)
Ringed by Fire, the Siege of Khe Sanh

Hear Richard Camp recount his experience while serving in Vietnam during the 1968 TET Offensive.
The '68 TET offensive began with a barrage of artillery fire on the afternoon of 21 January. At that moment, the far-off "pop" of incoming rounds sent me racing to a trench a few feet from my above ground bunker. Within minutes a stretcher party loped past carrying one of my Marines, who had been struck by a piece of shrapnel. For the next three months my days were spent dodging artillery, mortar and rocket rounds, while preparing for an expected
North Vietnamese assault.
Click here to RSVP.

School and Tour Group Policy

Docent-Guided Tours

Limited to one class. Guided tours are Monday through Wednesday, during the school year. Reserve two weeks in advance.

Self-Guided Tours

Limited to 75 students per visit. For groups larger than 75 students, divide into smaller groups and stagger arrivals by at least one hour.


For both docent-guided and self-guided tours, we require 1 adult chaperone for every 10 students. Teachers are included in this figure. The required chaperones are admitted free of charge. Children 15 and younger, and High School students visiting as part of an organized school visit are admitted free of charge. You will receive a confirmation letter when you schedule your visit.

Scheduling a Visit

Call: 616-254-0400

E-mail: send school group reservations to:

Facility Rental

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a 54,000 square foot educational and cultural facility, located on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. This setting provides a prestigious venue for a meeting, reception, and/or dinner. The Museum offers a 15,000 square foot permanent exhibit, and a 3,500 square foot changing exhibit gallery. Convenient parking.

Venue highlights

library main lobby

Museum Main Lobby

The expansive main lobby of the Museum is an exceptional setting for dinners, special addresses, and receptions. Visitors can also browse the Museum store which offers a variety of unique gifts and books.

Capacity: Sit-down dinner - 100 / Standing reception - 250

library auditorium


The 250-seat auditorium, complete with stage and audio/visual equipment, has the versatility to accommodate symposiums, educational presentations, cultural events, award ceremonies, and musical performances, among others.

Capacity: 254

library courtyard

Museum Grounds

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Betty Ford Garden and the reflecting pool and fountain. The Museum grounds are also home to President Ford’s distinguished burial site.

More Information

General availability for all spaces is Monday - Friday, between the hours of 8 AM – 9 PM. Contact the Museum for information about scheduling an event, rental fee structure, or to review regulations on the use of the facility and the application process. Events must be consistent with the public perception of the Museum as an educational, research, or cultural institution (no weddings, proms, or similar events).

Call: 616-254-0400 / E-mail:

View/Download Rental Document:

For Individuals and Groups with Special Needs

All areas of the Museum and Library are ADA compliant , and are accessible to people in wheelchairs via ramps and elevators. All Museum and Library exhibits are wheelchair accessible.


Parking at both facilities is free, and accessible parking spaces are located in both the main and over-flow parking lots.


Standard wheelchairs are available at both locations at no charge. Strollers are also available at the Museum.


All public restrooms include accessible facilities, and are ADA compliant. All restrooms have baby-changing stations.

Hearing Impaired

To help visitors who are hearing impaired, a number of exhibits include closed captioning or text panels. The Museum Auditorium is equipped with a T-coil assisted listening loop, and hand-held units are available upon request. The Library Auditorium will be equipped with a T-coil loop (summer 2008).

Sign Language Interpreters

With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum is able to provide Sign Language Interpreters at no charge. Sign Language Interpreters who are accompanying school groups or the public and assisting visitors who are hearing impaired are admitted to the Museum at no charge.

Assistive Animals

Visitors, who require Service Animals, such as guide-dogs, are welcome to bring them into the Museum.

Visually Impaired

With a minimum of two weeks notice, the Museum will provide an interpretive guide to groups or individuals at no charge.

Single visitors, adult groups or school groups with special needs can be accommodated at both the Museum and Library with guided tours. Please call (616) 254-0374 (Museum) and (734) 205-0540 (Library) for more information.

Internships / Volunteers

The Museum accepts a limited number of college interns each year to assist with processing, preservation, and digitization of museum holdings. The Padnos Museum Internship Program provides the necessary skills students need to attain a certain level of marketability in the field. For its nearly twenty years in operation, the program has provided lasting experiences for students from around the country.

For more on internships and other volunteer opportunities, contact:
Collections Manager James Draper at (616) 254-0379