It was an early fall day when our family ventured out to the Gilmore Car Museum. If you haven’t been to the museum, just a short drive from Kalamazoo to Hickory Corners, it is a great outing for the entire family. The Gilmore Car Museum features over 300 cars and motorcycles from all eras with a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with pieces of history. The Gilmore Car Museum has expanded over the last year and can truly be considered a ‘collection of collections’.
The campus covers over 90 acres and has several vintage structures for touring. Make sure to check out the re-creation of the 1930s Shell Service station and the Pedal car collection with the vintage Disney movie set from the movie THE GNOME-MOBILE. Surprisingly, there were a number of hands-on opportunities for our children. They loved sitting in the vintage fire truck.
Also, in the Gilmore Heritage Center (home to the main exhibit galleries), a volunteer offered to have our children sit in a 1932 Ford Roadster. It was especially neat to see a collection of Checker Taxicabs that were made right in Kalamazoo! Make sure to point out the vintage pay phone located in the Heritage Center. Our children were amazed to sit in a small booth and dial a rotary phone.
The Blue Moon Diner
A Trip to the Gilmore Car Museum is not complete without a stop to the 1941 Blue Moon Diner. Open seasonally, George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner offers soups and sandwiches and a variety of desserts for an afternoon treat.
The Gilmore Car Museum hosts a number of exhibits throughout the summer. This visit we had a chance to see the West Michigan annual muscle car & swap meet, featuring Mustangs from 1964-1978. The event was truly family-friendly with DJ music, door prizes and even a bounce house for the kids.
The Gilmore Car Museum is open every day, year-round; this includes the Heritage Center and immediate connecting galleries. The Historic Campus and outer buildings are open seasonally, April 1st – November 30th. For more information visit the website or call 269-671-5089.
Adults (18+) $12.00
Youth (7-17) $9.00
Children 6 & under are free
Adults (18+) $13.00
Youth (7-17) $10.00
Children 6 & under are free
Tips For Parents
Children age six and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and plan on walking (the grounds are stroller-friendly) as the buildings are fairly spaced out. Dogs are even welcome at the Gilmore Car Museum! We saw several on our visit. The museum requires dogs to be on a leash and they are not permitted to enter any building unless they can be carried.
School Group Tours
The Gilmore Car Museum offers free tours for school trips. These educational programs are available for students Pre-K through 12th grade.
We’d give the Gilmore Car Museum a thumbs-up for a great, local family outing.