Holidays light up Greenfield VillageWritten by Art Weber | | email@example.com
Greenfield Village has something special for those who love the idea of an old-fashioned Christmas, for those who love nostalgic Christmas cards, savor it in movies and on television in what we call holiday classics.
This time of year Greenfield Village takes on a different look, just for the Chirstmas season. There, now, scenes from those nostalgic cards and Christmas classics come to life.
All year Greenfield Village and its sibling, the Henry Ford Museum, are part of what’s now called, simply, The Henry Ford. It’s billed as “America’s Greatest History Attraction, the history destination that brings the American experience to life.” It’s all right up the road, off I-75, in Dearborn, Michigan.
At Christmastime The Henry Ford steps it up a notch on select nights as Greenfield Village is transformed into a classic Christmas wonderland.
And, to heighten the mood, the Village shrugs off its normal day-only hours and treats visitors to Holiday Nights.
They bill it as America’s premier holiday celebration.
“Holiday Nights captures the sights, sounds, and tastes of Christmas as it was celebrated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Prathima Ramesh, who works in public relations for The Henry Ford. “Throughout the village visitors experience Christmas in the streets in true Victorian and Edwardian style with live musical performances, hundreds of lit lanterns, ice skating and fireworks.”
Henry Ford executive chef Nick Seccia has outdone himself this year, hand-crafting candy decorations that adorn a new ten-foot-tall illuminated Victorian gingerbread house.
Hundreds of Greenfield Village presenters dressed in period garb greet visitors in the flickering lights of hundreds of lanterns that guide them through the village.
Daytime isn’t too shabby either. Visitors can enjoy the Holiday Homes Tour.
“Just like Americans of the 21st century, those of the 19th century brought the holiday spirit into their homes in different and original ways, adopting and adapting customs from other countries throughout the century,” Ramesh said. “We invite you to take a homes tour in Greenfield Village Porches & Parlors district and see home decorating, cooking demonstrations and special presentations of each home throughout the years.”
All the features of the Holiday Homes Tour can be experienced during the Holiday Nights, with many extra bonuses.
Visitors can take a spin on an ice rink, a major part of the winter celebration in the mid-19th century. Complimentary skate rentals are available or visitors can bring their own.
Strollers can take breaks at any of 30 different fire circles and listen to storytellers weave tales of Christmas or enjoy live music while enjoying toasting marshmallows.
The Village artisans, always a favorite, will be crafting Christmas ornaments.
Kids of all ages can play turn-of-the-century winter sports on the Village Green, then top off the evening with rides on decorated horse-drawn carriages, Model ts, and the carousel. A return to the Village Green at the end of the evening will gather visitors for a sing along with carolers.
There’s plenty of food along the way — seven stops for everything from warm winter fruit dumplings, hot cider, warm muffins and cinnamon rolls, and eggnog or beer. For a more formal sit-down experience the Eagle Tavern, a turn of the century tavern will serve old-fashioned meals.
And those who venture furthest into the village, taking what normally would be the path less traveled, will end their journey at the Robert Frost home.
There visitors will find Santa and his live reindeer.
And that will make all the difference.
Just the Facts
Greenfield Village and the adjacent Henry Ford Museum are located off northbound I-75. Exit north on the Southfield Freeway (M-39) and follow it four miles to Oakwood Boulevard (exit 4). Turn left on Oakwood and follow it for two miles.
Holiday Nights will continue December 19-23 from 6:30 until 10 p.m. Cost is $12.75 for adults, $8.75 for children. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 313-982-6001 or visiting The Henry Ford’s website at www.thehenryford.org.
The Holiday Homes Tour runs Fridays through Sundays, December 22-24 and 29-31 from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.