Birthday Celebrations at The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford in Dearborn is geared up to celebrate what would have been Henry Ford himself’s 150th birthday this summer. Today, Lish Dorset of The Henry Ford fills us in on what’s happening.

Summer is always a busy time at The Henry Ford, from families enjoying a visit together at Greenfield Village to kids enjoying a mid-day, school’s-out-for-summer matinee at our IMAX Theatre. This summer is shaping up to be especially busy thanks to a packed schedule as we celebrate what would have been the 150th birthday of our institution’s founder, Henry Ford.

We’re celebrating Henry’s legacy all year at The Henry Ford, whose birthday is July 30. Starting in June and running through August, pay a visit to Miller School in Greenfield Village and step back in time to the days of Henry’s youth as he experiments with clock parts, machines and principles that challenged him.

You can also visit Henry’s T, a 15-minute dramatic play and hear how this ultimate maker was inspired to build his universal car. Follow up the play with a visit to Henry Ford Museum and learn how to build a Model T yourself.

Both Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are offering guided tours to guests with an emphasis on Henry’s work. Join our master presenters and learn more about his great body of work.

As one of the partners for this year’s celebration of Henry, we’re proud to be among such great Michigan organizations, like the Ford Motor Company, celebrating one of Michigan’s own. Follow the latest Henry Ford 150th news here.

Probably one of the best celebrations of Henry’s vision is Driving America. It’s been more than a year since our revamped automobile exhibit opened back up to the public and we couldn’t be prouder of it. Make sure to visit one of our interactive kiosks located within our Driving America timeline to access our online collections as well as games and fast facts.

It’s more than perfect timing that our fourth (can you believe it!) installment of Maker Faire Detroit happens just a few days before Henry’s birthday. Expect to see some of your favorite makers, like Lifesize Mousetrap and Eepy Bird (AKA “The Coke and Mentos) guys mixed in with new makers and tinkerers July 27-28. We’ll also be celebrating Henry’s birthday by showcasing a few of our own artifacts along with special programming.

While there’s a lot going on this summer, we’d love to hear from you. During your next visit, make sure to share one of your favorite Henry Ford quotes or innovations with us.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her husband and cat, Ronnie. When she’s not sharing some of her favorite artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford with fans on Facebook, she’s at home crafting. You can learn more about upcoming summer activities by checking out The Henry Ford’s blog.

Pure Michigan Indoor Fun

Spring is just around the corner, but there’s still that lingering chance of chilly days where you’d rather stay inside. We all know there are tons of fun things to do outside in Pure Michigan, but there are also great places to go for some indoor fun throughout the state.

We’ve put together a roundup of just some of Michigan’s best things to do indoors below.

Museums

A visit to Michigan’s art, science and history museums can be a great way to spend the day, and with over 400 museums in Michigan one may be closer than you think. There is also plenty of variety in the types of museums across the state. Many areas have local history museums like the Marquette Regional History Center/Marquette County History Museum that showcases the Marquette area’s rich history. Children’s museums like the Grand Rapids’ Childrens Museum are educational but also hands-on, which can be fun for both children and their parents. The Motown Historical Museum located in Detroit is devoted to the legendary music that was started right in “Hitsville USA,” where the museum is located. Also in Detroit is the world class Detroit Institute of Arts, which features over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times. And we can’t leave off The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn – America’s greatest history attraction and the #1 cultural vacation destination in Michigan.

Indoor Water Parks

With a number of exciting indoor water parks right here in our state, there’s no need to travel far for some fun! Whether it’s a day trip or a full weekend getaway, nothing brings families closer together than a Pure Michigan water park adventure. Just a few of the indoor waterparks in Michigan include the Fairview Beachfront Inn & Waterpark in Mackinaw City, The Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth.

Movies

Photo credit: John Robert Williams

Catching a flick is a great way to spend the day, and there are many movie theaters around Michigan to choose from. If heading to the normal theater isn’t your thing, Michigan is home to several classic movie houses that aren’t your normal cinema. The State Theatre in Traverse City was originally built in 1918 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire. It showed the first talking movie seen in Northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre. Now it is home to the Traverse City Film Festival and is open year round showing art house films. The Redford Theatre is Detroit was opened in 1928 and shows “classic movies the way they were meant to be seen,” accompanied by organ and all. 

For more ideas, visit michigan.org. Where’s your favorite place to visit for a day of indoor fun?

Put It on Paper at the Michigan Historical Museum

Literature lovers don’t want to miss Put It on Paper – a special exhibit running now at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing! Mary Dettloff of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources fills us in on what visitors can expect.

Hand-written manuscripts by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A piece of short fiction by a young Ernest Hemingway. The original architectural drawings for the WorldTradeCentertwin towers. What do all these items have in common? They are part a special exhibit at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing called Put It on Paper.

The exhibit highlights the various stages of the creative process used by writers, artists, architects, musicians and designers with a Michigan connection, such as the hand-written manuscripts of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The famed author, a native of Wisconsin, began her Michiganconnection in 1937, when she spoke at the Detroit Book Fair hosted by the J.L. Hudson Department Store. In 1949, the Detroit Public Library named its branch on Seven Mile Road after her, and in a show of gratitude Wilder donated two manuscripts – The Long Winter and These Happy Golden Years – to the library. 

An early Ernest Hemingway handwritten manuscript for his story Sportsman’s Hash, which he wrote while visiting Michigan as a young man.

Hemingway spent time in Michigan as a young man, and while here, he penned a short piece of fiction called Sportsman’s Hash. The original document, written on his father’s stationery, is part of the exhibit and shows Hemingway’s work before he went on to become one of the iconic writers of the 20th century.

Minoru Yamasaki came toMichiganin 1945 as a young architect and in just a few short years would help usher in theMichiganmodern design movement. He designed several important buildings at the height of his career, but perhaps none as well-known as the former World Trade Center twin towers in Lower Manhattan, which would later be destroyed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Yamasaki’s original drawings for the twin towers, along with other materials, are housed at the Archives of Michigan, and select items from the collection are on display as part of this exhibit.

The original architectural drawings of the World Trade Center Twin Towers by Michigan-based architect Minoru Yamasaki. Yamasaki was based in the Detroit area and is one of the celebrated architects of Michigan modern design movement. He also designed several buildings in Michigan, including One Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

Other items in the exhibit include conceptual car design drawings and models, art from contemporary Michigan artist and illustrator Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (best known as a children’s book illustrator, including The Legend of Sleeping Bear), and music compositions by Michigan performers. An interactive area allows visitors to create their own masterpieces, including an area for kids who want to dabble in landscape architecture.

Put It on Paper is on exhibit until August 25, 2013. For more information about the exhibit, hours of operation and admission fees for the museum, go to www.michigan.gov/museum. While at the museum, check out its permanent exhibits about the history of our great state – The First People to 1900 and Michigan in the Twentieth Century. The museum also has a gift shop stocked with interesting Michigan-related items, including several books about different aspects of the history of the state. Group tours are welcome at the museum, and please note that spring school field trip season is the busiest time of the year.

Mary Dettloff is senior advisor for communications for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and a native of Northern Michigan.