Friday, October 17, 2014

Hallowe'en at the Greenfield Village | The Henry Ford

One of my all-time, absolute, most favorite places to visit: 
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village 
It's located just outside of Detroit, in Dearborn, Michigan.
I love American history and this beautiful place brings the past to life.  The Henry Ford illuminates the determination and innovative American spirit that lives inside all of us; it shows us the humble beginnings of our nations most beloved inventors, civic leaders and creative geniuses. It's a hands-on, interactive living museum; a collection of real life pieces of history from our nation's most talented pioneers of industry, technology, and social justice.
If you have not been, you really must go.  Perhaps this is the first you are hearing of it...Well, I was shocked to learn about it too!  How could I not know about such an outstanding American treasure...??!  I was a little bit sad, thinking about how I had missed the opportunity to attend for so many years... However, I am making up for it now...

I am beginning a new feature on the Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog called: 
Best of the Midwest
It's a wonderful way for me to occasionally highlight a place or business that is exceptional in every way....and therefore, The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village will be the first and very deserving destination to be called Best of the Midwest on Blue Ribbon Kitchen.

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is exceptional.  Full stop. Period. End of story... 

Actually, it cannot be the end of the story, since I'm just getting started... but you get the picture.  I could not like this beautifully manicured, lovingly preserved, educational, and historical collection of our shared history anymore --even if I tried.  And yet, I come away after each visit, loving The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village more than the time before.  There is always something new to see, more to learn and a new exhibit waiting around every turn.

A brief overview in case you are not familiar--(As I once was)
Here is a link to: 
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

The Henry Ford Museum 

The Henry Ford is a collection of genuine artifacts from American innovators, inventors, presidents, and important individuals that helped shape America into what it is today. The collections are a record from our nations early beginnings.  Henry Ford, in all his infinite wisdom, created a place to share this uniquely American history that houses treasured relics that visionaries produced along the way.  The Henry Ford is home to presidential limousines, a premier automotive exhibit, airplanes, steam engines, the Rosa Parks bus, the 1896 Ford Quadricycle, even the Oscar Mayer Wiener-mobile.  There so much to see and learn inside the walls of  The Henry Ford Museum. Many of the exhibits are interactive, making it an entertaining place for visitors of all ages.    
...And this is just the museum....

The Greenfield Village

Where to begin... It really is like stepping back in time.  The streets are filled with Model T automobiles that you can actually take a ride in through town... Townspeople stroll through the streets in period costumes; early bicycles are ridden up and down Main Street... It is truly a sight to behold.  Henry Ford collected and preserved the homes of early pioneers of industry and American icons, here at Greenfield Village.

You can go inside the actual home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, as well as visit their actual bicycle shop...Visit the boyhood home of Henry Ford, the Firestone Farm, and the home of Robert Frost...  Visit Thomas Edison's laboratory that was moved to the Greenfield Village from New Jersey and see the lab exactly as Thomas Edison had it when he created the incandescent light bulb... Thomas Edison even visited Greenfield Village for the dedication of his Menlo Park Laboratory buildings and took time to rearrange the bottles on the shelves so that his workshop was in proper order for the sake of history.  Visit the real courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.  For train enthusiasts, stop and see the Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse. You can even watch 1890's baseball teams play ball during the summer months or travel through the village on a 19th century steam locomotive. For the young  and young at heart, take a ride on the ornately carved 1913 Herschell-Spillman Carousel. Of course, I'm only highlighting just a very few of the many historic homes that are a part of the Greenfield Village.
It's fabulous.  Henry Ford even went so far as to bring the surrounding soil from the home state of each property he to always be connected to the place from which it came.
The Wright Brother's home from Dayton, Ohio.  The staircases and wooden carved mantles were all crafted by Wilbur and Orville.  You can sit on the back porch and recreate the photo the brothers took so long ago.  Same house...the exact one!

Hallowe'en at The Greenfield Village

We had a great day, the weather was clear and crisp and the trees were just starting to turn amazing autumn colors.

We spent the day at Greenfield Village...followed by the Hallowe'en Spectacular... A vintage Halloween celebration that is as creatively designed as it is hauntingly delightful. Hallowe'en in the Village was the quintessential old-time Halloween party ...spooky and full of eerily vintage Halloween images and sounds, but it remains not too scary for even the littlest trick-or-treater.  
Costumes are also is after all, the Halloween season!

Crackling bonfires, cauldrons, a dancing band of skeleton musicians, a dark and mysterious covered bridge full of mist and intrigue, and a galloping Headless Horseman are just a few of the treats you see while visiting.  Beautifully costumed characters await your arrival along the mile long Halloween trail.  Treat stations are placed every so often among the jack-o-lantern lined walking paths.  All, guests young and "old" of the Greenfield Village Hallowe'en event are encouraged to trick-or-treat...  

Main Street, is all aglow with vintage paper lanterns, strung up lights and orange and black bunting.

A charming, costumed character greets you along your Halloween adventure.
 The grim reaper walking ominously through an open field next to a crackling bonfire is a little on the super creepy side of things...but it was set back off the main path enough... I don't think most smaller children were aware it was there... It was very Halloween-ish.
Only a set amount of tickets are sold for each half-hour admission time slot. The clever system for admission makes the crowd very manageable and walking through the displays are enjoyable.  It is a superb event, from start to finish.  The Henry Ford exceeded all of my very high expectations!
 The Headless Horseman chases Ichabod Crane through a corn-stack filled field at a full gallop... It's magical seeing this Halloween tale of  Sleepy Hollow come to life before your very eyes.
Blurry...from the full gallop...but the Headless Horseman rides on into the night!!
There are two weekends left in 2014 for the Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village.
The Greenfield Village will also be open select dates for the a Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village ...Iv'e never been to the Holiday event...but maybe I should go!

If you make it to The Henry Ford Museum and/or The Greenfield Village, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


You cannot see both the museum and the village in the same day...there is way too much to cover. Either plan for two days or plan ahead which one you intend to see if only visiting for one day.

The Greenfield Village is open daily April 15 - November 2 (regular season), and open for special seasonal events too.  If you go during the "off season", the town seemed slightly less active.  During the summer months the town is bustling with activity and there are multiple live programs offered throughout the day.  Please know, I loved my Hallowe'en visit, just noting that I noticed a less busy and slightly less full village while there.

If you LOVE The Henry Ford as much as I did, consider checking out the annual memberships.  You can apply your single day admission towards any of their annual passes--as long as you sign up for the annual membership on the same day that you are visiting.  It's more economical to become a member--if you think you would visit at least one additional time in a year.

Riding the Train, the Model T's, The Omnibus, or the Carousel requires an additional fee.  They offer ride bracelets for unlimited rides.  We did get the ride bracelets, but later in the day the lines were longer and we didn't end up riding as many things as I initially thought we would.  (Sometimes I am hesitant to wait in a line, when I could be off taking in additional historic homes...seeing the sights...) You can check on the website to see the individual cost for each ride, and decide which option would be best for your trip.

There is plenty of walking at both venues... make sure you bring comfortable shoes.

They have a nice selection of food and refreshments for kids and adults...and The Henry Ford does allow outside food and drinks, --in small amounts, like snacks and picnic lunches. (as of 10-17-2014)

They have a fabulous gift shop with many handmade goods from the talented craftspeople of The Greenfield Village, pottery, woven rugs, tinsmith goods and glassware.  Light snacks and beverages are also available in the gift shop area.


  1. I have been going to Greenfield Village ever since I was a kid. Each year a different time of the season. If you like Halloween, you should go for Holiday Nights. Luminaires everywhere and you can have roasted chestnuts and carolers stroll much much more. Eating at the inn is an experience too! Thanks for sharing a piece of living history that my family has enjoyed for many many years. Janice

  2. Janice, I am certainly going to have to make another trip up to the Greenfield Village after reading your description of the Holiday Nights!! It sounds like something I would really enjoy... We ate at the Eagle Tavern Inn on this trip... I didn't include that post was running long. I agree; it was charming. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!!