The Henry Ford

Home Up Lego Exhibit Henry Ford Museum Greenfield Village Pizza Papalis


    On Sunday, November 8th, we loaded the family into the van and headed down to the Henry Ford in Dearborn. Our main objective for the day was to attend the Lego exhibit that was currently on display, but since the weather was so nice we decided that we should spend some time in Greenfield Village as well.

    We started out much earlier than we would have liked on a weekend, especially considering that we were up too late the night before after running some errands after eating dinner. None of the kids were too anxious to get dressed and moving, and I can honestly say that I wasn't ready either. We did manage to get out of the house around 9:00am, which was later than we had planned on leaving, but it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. We stopped to buy donuts for breakfast before picking up my Dad & Mom, who rode along with us. We made one stop in Milford (bathroom break!), but otherwise it was smooth sailing.

    Once we arrived, we headed straight into the museum. Well, straight into the museum after the kids and my Mom took a detour into the shop to check out the toys. We all ended up doing some window shopping before Drew spotted the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile in the museum. We went inside to check it out, and the kids all took a moment to climb into the hot-dog bun and covered themselves with condiments. Once they each had a turn, it was time to move on to the star attraction of the day, the Lego "Castle Adventure" exhibit. This was my favorite part of the day, but Tyler and Samantha were both pretty bored here. I don't think Sam ever really woke up from the early morning, and Tyler wanted to see more Lego City stuff as opposed to the castle stuff that was on display (I admit that I would have preferred the City stuff too, but it was still cool to see what people can do with an unlimited supply of Lego's). Since it was a castle exhibition, there was castle related activities for the kids to participate in as well. Sam and Drew both got a chance to try out the jousting "costume", and Tyler, Sam, and Jayden all got dressed up as dragons and princesses. There was also a large display of various Lego products outside of the castle exhibit. There were several Lego skyscrapers, including a replica of the Renaissance Center in Detroit, as well as several trains, including the Polar Express and the Hogwarts Express (from the Harry Potter movies). Drew settled in at the Lego play area, building away to his hearts desire. I had to bribe him to get him to leave so we could explore the rest of the museum.

    It was getting close to lunch time when we left the Lego exhibit, so we only checked out a few areas in the museum today. All four kids took a turn sitting in the drivers seat of a combine that was on display near the Lego exhibit. Dad wanted to check out the cars and the trains, so we headed that way next. We stopped to check out the Rosa Parks bus on our way past, and each of the kids took a turn sitting in the seat that she so famously refused to give up many years ago. We only briefly wandered through the automotive section - the kids were getting too hungry to spend much time here. Before heading back out to the van for lunch we climbed aboard one of the trains on display, checking out the cab and it's incredibly poor forward view. Drew and Jay also had to make a stop at the diner just to check things out. Boy, what I wouldn't give to have a replica of that in my basement!

    We brown-bagged our lunch today, making sandwiches for the adults and Lunchables for the kids. Since the weather was so nice we opted to stay outside and eat inside the van. After a nice relaxing meal (no fighting from the kids!) we put everything away and walked to the village entrance.

    Once we were inside the village gates we made our way towards the artisan area, where the glass blowers and other craftsman exhibits are. Today we learned a little about weaving fabrics, making and painting ceramic pots, printing presses, and glass blowing. Once again Tyler was selected to assist in the printing demonstration (he had done so during another one of our visits), which disappointed Sam greatly. Maybe next time, kiddo!

    Our next destination was the Firestone farm, which is probably the kids favorite destination inside the village. We took the brief tour of the house before wandering around the yard and barn, checking out the various livestock. We saw a couple of turkeys, which we were informed would be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, as well as chickens, a cow, pigs, sheep, and horses. There was no fox this time, like there was during our winter visit last year, nor was there any baby sheep (although there was one adult that seemed capable of fathering several hundred!).

    After we finished with farm life, it was time to move on to the "big city." We toured the hat shop and the Wright Brothers bicycle shop before moving on to Edison's laboratory and walking across the covered bridge. By this point it was nearing closing time for the village and museum, so we made our way to the exit and into the store. Each of the kids picked out a piece of candy (all less than a buck!), which we made them keep until we got home - no sticky stuff in the van that Tara cleaned only a week or so earlier!

    Before making our drive back home, we stopped at Pizza Papalis in Dearborn for dinner (the 10% off for Henry Ford members drew us in). As is custom for the kids, it was make-your-own pizzas, except for Jay who got buttered noodles (we were warned that the cheesy noodles were really just noodles with nacho cheese on top - which didn't sound too appealing). The four adults shared a deep dish meat lovers pizza. We even ended up with a piece to spare! After finishing off a good meal, we climbed back into the van one last time today and made our way home. All things considered (especially considering the shaky start), it was a very enjoyable day, one which we are already looking forward to doing again.

  • Lego Exhibit - Click here to see pictures from the first part of our day at The Henry Ford, the Lego Castle Adventure exhibit.
  • Henry Ford Museum - Go here to see some pictures of our brief walk through the Henry Ford Museum.
  • Greenfield Village - Follow this link for pictures of our adventures inside Greenfield Village.
  • Pizza Papalis - Here is where you will find pictures from our dinner at Pizza Papalis in Dearborn.


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