DEARBORN, Mich. — The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation sets itself apart as a true family destination by appealing to all ages. As the parent of a tween, I know all too well how difficult it can be to plan a day trip that will hold interest for everyone. The Henry Ford Museum does so through designing their exhibits to easily scale to interest and education levels, as well as offering hands-on activities for more than just the youngsters in your group.
American ingenuity is the broad theme of the Henry Ford Museum. Inside this massive building visitors will find sections organized around farm equipment, planes, automobiles, and industrial equipment. And while machinery figures prominently, the exhibits always find a way to relate the machines to daily life. In the automotive section, there are digital displays where kids can learn about design engineering or order a new car while watching their budget. Another exhibit lets groups participate in an assembly line putting together wood models or get hands-on with the building of a real Model T.
Unique artifacts and innovative displays hold interest and make learning accessible to all ages. Adults and teens will appreciate the depth of topics such as the Declaration of Independence, women's suffrage, and slavery in the Civil Rights exhibit, while younger children are still able to relate by seeing George Washington's camp bed or taking a seat in the restored Rosa Parks bus. In the aviation area, there are three commercial aircraft interiors to sit in and get a real sense of what air travel was like in different eras. After that, have some fun folding paper airplanes to test. The Decades displays show common items, such as phones, toys, and entertainment items from the 20th century. That old Atari 2600 isn't too much different from the gaming consoles of today, but kids will have a good laugh at your first cell phone. If you have time, there is also a large format movie theater and bus trips to tour Ford's River Rouge truck factory.
The Henry Ford Museum offers an affordable variety of food and souvenirs. From hot dogs to pan fried trout, there are are plenty of dining options to please every appetite. A restored 1940s diner even serves up classic milkshakes and meatloaf with mashed potatoes. Kids will enjoy watching a machine create a wax mold of their favorite museum items to take home for only $3, while the gift shop offers unique hand made pottery and glass works from Greenfield Village.
The Henry Ford Museum is open most days throughout the year, except for a few Holidays. Tickets can be purchased in person or online for both the museum and Greenfield Village. Annual memberships are a great way to help the budget. Just two visits will save you some money, plus gain access to merchandise and food discounts. Visit the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village website for the latest information on hours, special events, and ticket prices.
Henry Ford Museum link:
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