Magical Blogorail: Family Adventure – Museums

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are discussing museums that your family needs to visit.

THE   HENRY   FORD

My wife and I first visited this museum in 2007. At the time, we were living just outside of Windsor, ON. Being as this was just across the Detroit River from Dearborn, MI. it made for a short drive, and we had season passes for a few years.

Partnered with The Henry Ford is Greenfield Village, a re-creation of turn-of-the-century living featuring actual historic houses and industrial buildings from around the United States. But more on that later.

Henry Ford was an avid collector. Of course, his collection of cars is front and center in this museum:

But he also collected planes, trains, farm equipment, antiques, furniture, silver artifacts, chandeliers, and so much more. So this museum is a well-rounded peek into the past! And also a peek into the humorous side of this famous man:

Don’t you wish you were an Oscar Mayer wiener… mobile?

Did I mention Henry Ford collected everything? I purchased a book called Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile by Dave Ihlenfeld and it was a real hoot! The cover features a Wienermobile parked in someone’s driveway. Too much!

The museum even has some unique things you can’t find anywhere else, like these concept models:

The one on the upper left became the 1960’s Batmobile!

Now onto Greenfield Village:

    

This working village is made up of a farming community, an industrial section, a Main Street area, and a residential district. Model T Fords whisk you along paved roads past Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park factory, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and homestead, and even Mr. Webster’s house, where you can see a display of his works, including his most famous dictionary.

These buildings aren’t replicas! They are the actual houses, bought and saved and moved, brick by brick or board by board to Greenfield Village. Yes, you will be walking on the same floors as the famous people listed above!

Oh, and Henry Ford even moved the farmhouse of his friend Mr. Firestone to the farming district. You may have his tires on your car.

But the Village isn’t just about historic houses. Each year they have two car shows: The Motor Muster and Old Car Festival.

Muscle Cars and Vintage Automobiles

And they have Jazz Festivals, Food Festivals, Holiday Events, and so much more. Even celebrity trains drop by:

There are similarities between Disneyland and Greenfield Village. Both have vintage carousels, steam trains that circle the property, period-costumed characters roaming around, and vintage vehicle rides.

All Aboard!

And just one more thing before I wrap this up: Walt Disney visited Greenfield Village twice before he opened his first theme park, Disneyland, in 1955. He posed for a tintype picture while visiting the Village on April 12, 1940.

Karen and I consider The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village our second home-away-from-Disney! The sheer number of things to see and do, the level of quality and cleanliness, and the friendly staff, make this museum every bit as exciting and memorable as a visit to Disneyland or Walt Disney World!

And I don’t say that lightly!

For more information on museums to visit with your family, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure : Museums

Walt’s Tintype Portrait at the Greenfield Village

When my wife and I lived in the Windsor area, just across the border from Detroit, we held an Annual Pass to The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. But our favorite part of that great institution was Greenfield Village!

Here you can go back in time to when the electric light bulb was only installed in one house, the Model T was just getting started, and living was simpler and more wholesome. And you can even ride in a real Model T, just like we did here:

But if that’s not enough to get you to make a trip to Michigan, how about visiting a site where Walt Disney himself visited? Now if that’s got your interest piqued, then you need to visit this building:

Unassuming, ain’t it?

This is the Tintype Studio where Walt Disney and Ward Kimball got their portraits done during one of the two visits Walt made to Greenfield Village. Trivia: Both trips were made before Disneyland was constructed, and some say Henry Ford’s property influenced some of the features found in Walt’s Park.

Note Walt’s pose in the bottom left corner

So if you live in the States but a trip to California just isn’t going to happen, than perhaps a trip to the other Park that Walt walked in might be more within your reach!