Gerald R. Ford Museum

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

The Museum Store is currently CLOSED on Sundays and Mondays. You MUST purchase admission tickets online on those days. No tickets will be available at the door.

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 closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Admission:

$11.00 for adults
$9.00 for senior citizens and military service members
$8.00 for college students with ID
$5.00 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

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Exploring Wategate

The Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972, forever changed politics, the media, and Americans’ views of the Presidency. This exhibit explores the events of Watergate using a range of artifacts, including courtroom sketches and one of President Nixon’s tape recorders.

October 2022 - October 2024

Upcoming Temporary Exhibit

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The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Express

Celebrate the holiday season with a train display that includes many nods to Gerald R. Ford’s life in Grand Rapids, including South High School, Bill’s Place Diner, and the Quonset Hut used in his congressional campaign. New in 2022 is a replica of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Opens November 19, 2022

Upcoming Programs and Events - Grand Rapids


Date Event
  Exhibits in Grand Rapids
November 19, 2022-January 2, 2023 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Express

Celebrate the holiday season with a train display that includes many nods to Gerald R. Ford’s life in Grand Rapids, including South High School, Bill’s Place Diner, and the Quonset Hut used in his congressional campaign. New in 2022 is a replica of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Museum admission includes train.
January 27-May 28, 2023

America at the Crossroads: The Guitar and a Changing Nation

America At The Crossroads
displays 40 instruments that serve as touchpoints to connect visitors directly with significant moments in America’s evolution—from theearliest Spanish invasion to the nation’s modern status as a global superpower. The artifacts are supplemented with video, photographs,and illustrations that depict important events, artists, and instruments of the last century. It is an exciting and engaging experience that gives visitors the chance to interact with the guitar not only from the perspective of its history, but also through the music it has created and those it has inspired.

  Programs in Grand Rapids
December 4, 2022
2 PM EST

Holiday Story Time

Join us for stories of community and togetherness, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, plus a fun winter story about what happens when all of the animals decide to move into the park ranger's cabin on a very cold night. This event is geared toward children of all ages!

RSVP here. There is no cost to attend the program. Museum admission fees apply if viewing the exhibits.

December 7, 2022
7 PM EST

Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis that made a President with Jonathan Darman

Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for a presentation by Jonathan Darman. Discussing his book Becoming FDR, journalist and historian Jonathan Darman will reveal the riveting story of struggle that shaped Roosevelt’s character and political ascent. Tracing the physical, political, and personal evolution of the iconic President, Becoming FDR shows how adversity can lead to greatness, and to the power to remake the world.

The program will be followed by a book signing.

Reserve your seat in the auditorium. Join via ZOOM.

December 11, 2022
2 PM EST

Holiday Story Time

Join us for stories of community and togetherness, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, plus a fun winter story about what happens when all of the animals decide to move into the park ranger's cabin on a very cold night. This event is geared toward children of all ages!

RSVP here. There is no cost to attend the program. Museum admission fees apply if viewing the exhibits.

December 13, 2022
7 PM EST

Watergate: When the Seventies Really Began with H. W. Brands

Gerald Ford went from the House Minority Leader to Vice President to President in less than one year. He became our nation’s first unelected Vice President and first unelected President under the 25th amendment. Ford’s life mirrored the roller-coaster of his times—the 1970s. 

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, and Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at GVSU are welcoming H.W. Brands back to West Michigan. Bill’s command of history and his skill as a storyteller will deepen our insights into the 1970s and Ford’s place in that pivotal decade.

Reserve your seat in the auditorium. Join via 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:
Kristin Phillips at (616) 254-0374

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.