Grand Rapids Public Museum rides for new planetarium upgrades

This Friday, June 21st, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is introducing a new signature event to its repertoire. “The Rides” is a twilight and midnight cycling event whose proceeds directly benefit the upgrades to the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Starting and ending at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, participants will ride through the city of Grand Rapids in support of the community, a healthy lifestyle and the planetarium.

“The Rides” is a first of its kind event for the museum and the community, yet still follows the mission of the museum to “enrich the life of [the] community through experiences of the wider world in a uniquely Grand Rapids context.” Join the Grand Rapids community, museum staff, and “The Rides” Street Team by registering to participate or volunteer today. Registration has been extended to Tuesday, June 18th.

Kate Moore, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, discussed the details of the event and impact that “The Rides” will have on the museum and surrounding community.


Kristin Coppens: Why did the museum want to do a cycling event for the public?

Kate Moore: The museum has another signature event that has a gala type of feel, but we wanted to appeal to a different audience while still bringing the community together. We plan to make this an annual event that benefits the museum. “The Rides” falls on Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, which fits with a twilight and midnight ride.

KC: What upgrades are planned for the planetarium? How do you envision the upgrades impacting the community?

KM: The upgrades are planned for fall of this year. The planetarium will be receiving a complete digital and technology upgrade that allows for high-definition shows that are either purchased or produced by the museum. The upgrades open the door for more opportunities from community organizations, universities, schools and other partnerships. Overall, we will be able to showcase more and provide a more quality and timely product.

KC: Describe in detail event features for “The Rides.”

KM: The first twilight ride occurs at 8pm and is meant for families and children 12 and under. This ride is 7 miles, begins at the museum, and incorporates activities, food, and five educational stops along the way. Kids can receive stickers at each stop to redeem a gift from the gift shop after the ride. The second ride is a midnight ride meant more for adults. This ride is 13.3 miles and includes activities, food, and laser light shows. The museum will hold before and after parties with food, music, and more. The museum itself will be open to participants until 2:30am.

KC: How does the museum work towards building a healthier community?

KM: We focus immensely on the local movement and community engagement. As a museum, we are an educational institution and that means that we promote a healthy mind and healthy lifestyle. The museum enriches the experiences you already receive in school and we hope to promote family time and community support through our exhibits and our event initiatives.

What is your favorite exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum?

Photo credit: drtel and Grand Rapids Public Museum



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