Gerald R. Ford Museum

Tickets to the museum can be purchased at the door or online at Visit the Museum.

For school visit information email: Fieldtrip. For adult tour information email: Group Visits.

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.

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

Monday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Thursday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday: 12 PM - 5 PM
The Museum is also closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Admission:

$13.00 for adults
$11.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$10.00 for college students with ID
$7.00 for youth ages 6-18
Free for children under the age of 5
Free Parking is Available for all Museum Patrons

Grand Rapids, MI

303 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI  49504-5353

616.254.0400

Tour the NEW Permanent Exhibit Galleries: Explore the Museum

Other Exhibits

The Museum staff has created several online exhibits, either to supplement permanent exhibits or to publicize temporary exhibits.

Feature Exhibit

logo

A Heartbeat Away: The American Vice-Presidency

This original temporary exhibit honors the 50th anniversary of Gerald R. Ford’s Vice-Presidency. With Ford as a starting point, the exhibit explores the history of the office from the nation’s founding to the present moment. Using historic artifacts including head of state gifts, campaign memorabilia, and personal materials, the exhibit highlights the stories and experiences of specific Vice Presidents, focusing on those who—like Ford—unexpectedly rose to the Presidency.

August 9, 2023 - June 9, 2024

Upcoming Programs and Events - Grand Rapids


Date Event
  Exhibits in Grand Rapids
Opening August 9, 2023

A Heartbeat Away: The American Vice-Presidency

This original temporary exhibit honors the 50th anniversary of Gerald R. Ford’s Vice-Presidency. With Ford as a starting point, the exhibit explores the history of the office from the nation’s founding to the present moment. Using historic artifacts including head of state gifts, campaign memorabilia, and personal materials, the exhibit highlights the stories and experiences of specific Vice Presidents, focusing on those who—like Ford—unexpectedly rose to the Presidency.

  Programs in Grand Rapids
March 14, 2024

6:30 PM

Merze Tate: The Global Odyssey of A Black Women Scholar with Dr. Barbara Savage

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum are thrilled to host University of Pennsylvania professor Barbara Savage. She will be discussing her new biography Merze Tate: The Global Odyssey of A Black Women Scholar (Yale University Press; November 2023) which tells the astonishing story of a woman, who, despite living in what she called a “sex and race discriminating world,” never allowed her intellectual ambitions to be thwarted.

Book signing to follow the program.

Register to attend this event in person in Grand Rapids or virtually over Zoom.



School Group Visits and Current Programs


Coach Tours

Group admission discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All adult groups are self-guided.
We suggest approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours to view and enjoy the 15,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibit space. Tour buses are encouraged to use the circle drive to safely drop off their passengers on the Museum plaza.

 

Email: Group Tours

Parking is free in the south lot (located off Pearl Street NW), and several handicap spaces are available. If you bring a motor coach, bus, or an RV, parking will be on Scribner Avenue, located directly west of the Museum. It is a one-way street and runs north/south.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is the final resting place for President and Mrs. Ford. Their memorial gravesites can be viewed daily from 7:45 AM to 5 PM.

Plan an Event

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

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 10 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: ford.museum@nara.gov

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

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

Wheelchairs

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

Restrooms

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 is equipped with a T-coil loop.

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.

Volunteers

The Gerald R. Ford Museum is always seeking volunteers to assist with tours, educational programs, and public events. If you enjoy history, join us! For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Museum, please download the Volunteer Service Application Form.

For more on volunteer opportunities, contact:
Richard Weld at (616) 254-0373

Internships

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.