Celebrate Michigan Car Culture at these 5 Awesome Auto Attractions

The North American International Auto Show will be at the Cobo Center in Detroit from January 18-26, 2014!  To gear up for this grand automotive event, celebrate Michigan car culture by taking a trip to a number of other awesome automotive attractions across the state.  Below are just a few of these attractions you won’t want to miss.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford Museum:

The Henry Ford boasts four one-of-a-kind attractions and 200 acres, including Greenfield Village and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, that will bring you through the ages. Notable treasures such as John F. Kennedy’s Limousine, Rosa Parks bus, and Abraham Lincoln’s chair and experience such as Model T Rides and an assembly plant walking tour make your visit to The Henry Ford truly unique.

Ford Rouge Factory Tour: Within the Henry Ford Museum is the Ford Rouge Factory Tour – a self-guided five-part experience. Visitors can expect to take a 360-degree look at how automobiles are made, see five historic vehicles made at the Rouge or hop in a new F-150.

Greenfiled Village: Entering Greenfield Village takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America’s past. Greenfield Village houses 83 authentic, historic structures including Noah Webster’s home – where he wrote the first American dictionary, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, and the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. Visitors can ride in a genuine Model T, watch baseball from the 1860s and get an inside look at the experiences that shaped our country and our state.

Automotive Hall of Fame:

Located next door the The Henry Ford, The Automotive Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving automotive history  by celebrating the men and women of the industry. Features includes honorees of the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Soichiro Honda Atrium with a 3-story glass pyramid ceiling, a 65-foot long mural painted depicting the impact of the automobile on the world, and galleries showcasing early days of the automobile, the rise of the auto industry, and how it has changed our daily lives.

Gilmore Car Museum:

Photo courtesy of The Gilmore Car Museum

The Gilmore Car Museum located near Kalamazoo is regarded as one of the top car museums in the nation. The museum features over 250 cars and motorcycles from across the decades.  The Gilmore Car Museum began in 1963 as the hobby of Donald S. Gilmore after his wife gave him an antique car for his birthday. Today, his hobby has grown to include historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, muscle cars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and nearly three miles of paved roads. Be sure to visit the restored 1941 Silk City Diner or stop in for a bite at the museum’s very own George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner.

Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame:

This unique museum located in Novi, MI showcases all forms of motor sports including race cars, trucks, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and boats. The Motorsport museum houses over 40 racing and high performance vehicles.  The collection is constantly changing showcasing photographs of racing personalities and manufacturers, racing videos, driving simulation, games, driver uniforms and memorabilia displays.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House:

Photo courtesy of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Photo courtesy of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Take a step inside the home of one the American auto industry’s most well-known figures. The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House lets visitors experience the story of the Ford family in a historic mansion rich with art and antiques spanning the centuries. Located along Lake St. Clair, visitors can explore 87 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and grounds and view Mr. and Mrs. Ford’s personal cars.

Car culture runs deep in Pure Michigan. These are just a few of Michigan’s car culture museums and attractions throughout the state. For more information on these attractions, NAIAS 2014 or other auto-related events, visit michigan.org/events. 

Have you visited any of these automotive attractions in Michigan? Tell us about your experience!

Enjoy Traditions Old and New at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

 

Photo by Michelle Andonian Photography

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village kicks off December 6th and runs until December 28th. Today, guest blogger Lish Dorset from The Henry Ford in Dearborn tells us what’s new at the event this year.

Whether you’re a new visitor to Holiday Nights at The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village or never miss a year, this year’s holiday season celebration has some wonderful new additions you won’t want to miss.

As you make your way through the village during your visit, make it a point to visit Smiths Creek Depot. Inside this 1858 depot you’ll find a group of Civil War-era presenters creating relief boxes for soldiers fighting far from home during the holidays. Just as we send care packages to soldiers today, families sent their loved ones boxes of needed and appreciated goods during the Civil War. What might you find in a box like this? Favorite foods, often wrapped in small boxes or tins; letters and cards, as well extra paper and writing utensils so letters could be sent back home; books; candles; socks (a crucial item to have during colder months); and things to pass the time, like playing cards.

Photo by Michelle Andonian Photography

Photo by Michelle Andonian Photography

Also new this year is a special reading of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Adams Family House. The house is undergoing renovations right now, so it’s been closed to the public. However, fans of the house can still gather around a warm fire circle and listen to a Christmas literary classic.

Taking in all of the sights, sounds and smells during Holiday Nights is definitely going to make you hungry. Make sure to try our new individual plum pudding desserts or stop by one of our carving stations while walking from house to house.

Photo by Michelle Andonian Photography

If you visit The Henry Ford this holiday season, make sure to share your photos with us online – tag them with #GVHolidayNights. We can’t wait to see what inspires you during your visit.

Have you been to Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village? Tell us about your experience. 

 

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak. 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 Holiday Nights by check out The Henry Ford’s blog.

Crowd Favorites Meet New Makers at Maker Faire Detroit 2013

Maker Faire Detroit returns to The Henry Ford later this month! Lish Dorset, social media manager for The Henry Ford, fills us in on what you can expect this year at the popular event.

It feels like 2013 has been flying by so far, especially when you think that Maker Faire Detroit is right around the corner. For our fourth installment of the popular DIY festival, we’re mixing a bit of the old with a lot of the new for our guests to enjoy July 27-28.

We received some truly fantastic applications this year from makers both from Michigan and across the country. More than 400 creative individuals will take to Henry Ford Museum and our specially-constructed outdoor midway for two days of hands-on fun and learning. Crowd favorites, like EepyBird (the Coke and Mentos guys) and Life-Size Mousetrap (a 25-ton Rube Goldberg machine) will return along with Gon KiRin, a 64- by 26-foot fire breathing dragon for one final appearance at Maker Faire Detroit. It’s always exciting to see fans ask for some of their favorite makers and exhibits year after year.

Joining our tried-and-true favorites are a crop of new-to-us Maker Faire Detroit participants. We’re pleased to have makers from all corners of the state come to The Henry Ford this month for Maker Faire. Cities, such as Lansing and Grand Rapids, will have representation as they show off their projects to a whole new audience.

Inside, the area’s best computer thinkers will be trying to “hack” Henry Ford Museum thanks to Compuware’s programming-themed “Hack the Museum” hackathon going on both days. Keep up to date with Maker Faire Detroit news and scheduling information with Compuware’s app, too. (Visit iTunes and search for Maker Faire Detroit 2013 to download this free app to start planning your visit.)

This year’s event will also honor our institution’s founder, Henry Ford, as we celebrate what would have been his 150th birthday just a few days after the big event.

As Maker Faires, both big and mini, continue to gain popularity and draw bigger and bigger crowds, it’s important to us to see groups recognize the power of the making movement. Recently the Michigan House and Senate passed a resolution recognizing the contributions Maker Faire Detroit has made to the state of Michigan. We’re honored to say that July 27-28, 2013 is officially recognized as Maker Faire Detroit Weekend in Michigan. It’s a wonderful honor and once again reinforces that the maker movement is hear to stay.

If you come to The Henry Ford for Maker Faire Detroit, make sure to share your experiences with us by tagging your posts, tweets, and photos with #MakerFaireDetroit. We can’t wait to see what inspires you.

Lish Dorset is the social media manager for The Henry Ford in Dearborn. She lives in Royal Oak with her family. 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 and thinking of new project ideas for Maker Faire Detroit.