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Children's event at Greenfield Village

Eugene, Oregon
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Children's event at Greenfield Village

This board seems busier than the Dearborn one, so here's my question:

Just found out on the website that the weekend we will be there, May 6-7, is some big to-do for kids with Thomas the Train, etc. Based on the ability to buy advance tickets, it looks like they literally sell hundreds of tickets at (not sure if it was 1/2 hour or hourly) intervals...yikes! Most are sold for the early times when we would be there (we have to drive to Cleveland that afternoon), some I'm guessing there will literally be thousands of kids there in the early part of the day.

Much as we'd like to do Greenfield Village, would this make it a miss for you?

We'll be going to the Henry Ford for sure the day prior, the kids stuff is just at GV.

What else can we do on Sunday morning in the area? (we'll be staying in downtown Detroit at the end of the trip). We'll be doing the Motown Museum, the Charles Wright, Eleanor and Edsel House and exploring downtown at that time.

Was thinking of Ann Arbor maybe? Just look at the university? Anything else to do in the west/south burbs with a car? Or on the way to Cleveland?

6 replies to this topic
Dearborn, Michigan
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1. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

Were I doing it, I would get to the village when it opens and then go immediately to the houses or shops of greatest interest far from the entrance to the village and work my way back.

While Thomas will be a very busy time in the village, this annual event is mostly for very young kids who are not likely to be as interested in the historical houses.

Eugene, Oregon
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2. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

I appreciate what you're saying, but I think it's a very pricey ticket for a family to take their little one on a 20 minute train ride, then leave...so I think it will be pretty crowded all day.

But I've come up with a perfect solution.

When we got back to Detroit the following Friday, we were going to go to the Eleanor and Edsel house that day. I asked my husband which he'd prefer, that or Greenfield Village...he loves history, and as he says (truthfully) we've been to soooo many mansions across the country, that he would rather GV. And it should be much less crowded on a Friday than a weekend.

I then found a crazy little, never heard of anything like it, place to stop on the way to Cleveland that prior Sunday...we're going to the Blair Museum of Lithophanes (never heard of them before, but they look really cool), which is part of the Toledo Botanical Garden - perfect on a May day. The Blair Museum is only open on weekends from May-October, so it works out perfectly.

So the only thing I'm eliminating from the trip would be the Edsel mansion, but they say there is no guarantee you can even get on a tour the day you arrive, so I'm ok skipping it.

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3. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

We went once and it just so happened to be the Thomas event. All of the historic locations were open. The main difference was the train change. We didn't ride it because of the crowd riding, and our kids are bigger. One or 2 gift shops were exclusively Thomas souvenirs. There are other things to ride....model T's, buses, horse and buggy, carousel. There was a certain central area where the little ones were hanging out and the special activities were. We just didn't head over there. The village is huge, so it wasn't a big deal for us. The only bummer is if you want to ride the train, there's a crowd, its pricier and it has a honkin' Thomas on it. Not the typical historic train ride. If you've got your heart set on the historic ride, choose a different day.

Dearborn, Michigan
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4. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

I agree with Bluebygrace. To your point about the high cost for a short visit, bear in mind that most (though not all) visitors for the Thomas event are local and many of them will have annual memberships, so won't need to buy tickets. I live near the Village and often will just do an impromptu walk through in nice weather or stop by the Museum for an hour on a rainy day.

In any event, you have solved the problem. Hope that you have a great visit.

Edited: 14 April 2017, 02:59
Eugene, Oregon
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5. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

Well, we can still decide to go that day...the question now becomes will we miss out by skipping the E&E house? We are going to Mother's Day brunch at the Whitney so I think my husband will have his fill of old houses. And the little museum in Toledo does sound unique.

So much to see, so little time (and we've got 5 nights total in the Detroit area which I thought would be plenty!)

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: Children's event at Greenfield Village

Oh what a wonderful time we had!

We ended up doing Greenfield Village on a Friday to avoid the little ones...and ran into all the bigger ones on school field trips, LOL! But it was fine, that place is so huge it would have to be a lot more people to make it feel crowded. We did the Henry Ford the Saturday before. Sort of jumbling things around here, but we started and ended in Detroit...also went to the Motown Museum (loved it!)...what we did NOT do in Detroit that was on our list was go to the Rouge Factory tour and the Edsel Estate, but we saw a lot both in downtown and the environs.

Also got to eat all the foods I wanted...Buddy's Pizza (ok, not our favorite, I prefer New York and my husband prefers Chicago deep dish) but I'm glad we tried it...zip sauce, liked it...had Lake Superior whitefish with Michigan cherries (killing 2 birds with one stone!)...not fresh cherries, of course, but rather reconstituted? preserved? (not dried)...they were on top of my whitefish at the Whitney for Mother's day brunch (and it was just lovely)...

Between our two Detroit bookends we went to Ohio and did a bunch of stuff there - the 2 Halls (R&R and Football), all over Cleveland, the First Ladies Library in Canton, the Toledo Botanical garden and Lithophane museum...just really a wonderful, busy, fun trip with GREAT weather!

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