The folks at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich.,
know how to make history fun for kids-lots of costumed
"interpreters" staying in character to talk about their lives in a
small, turn-of-the-last-century village. In December, the living
history museum is a showcase of Christmas as it was celebrated in
the early 1900s.
Only a handful of the 83 historic buildings at Greenfield
Village are open during the annual Holiday Nights festival, but my
family still found plenty to see and do when we visited. We rode in
a Model T, then grabbed a cup of hot chocolate and wandered over to
listen to a soldier talk about his experiences. Next, we followed
our noses to a house where a woman was baking on a wood-burning
stove, marveling along the way at the beautiful holiday decorations
and listening to the strolling carolers.
We could have taken a spin on the ice rink (bring your own
skates or borrow a pair there), but opted instead for a ride on the
turn-of-the-century carousel. It was fun, but probably not worth
the 40-minute wait.
Greenfield Village is a five-hour drive from Chicago, so
plan to stay overnight and check out the Henry Ford Museum of
Americana the next day. Look for hotel deals and combination ticket
discounts on the Greenfield Village website.
We stayed as guests of the stately Dearborn Inn, just down
the street from Greenfield Village. The elegant hotel was decked
out for the holidays and, while it is family friendly, I kept a
careful eye on the kids for fear they would break one of the
gorgeous antiques in the lobby.
Holiday Nights will be open from 6:30-10 p.m. Eastern time
Dec. 4, 10-11, 17-23 and 26-27 this year. Admission is $17, $15 age
5-12, free for kids 4 and under. Reservations are
Dress warmly; it can be chilly. It's possible to bring
strollers and wheelchairs, but this is a faithfully executed
historic village so the houses aren't handicap
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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