Month: December 2018

Ruston, LA Two-Fer: Coffee and Parks Galore

Ruston, LA Two-Fer: Coffee and Parks Galore

Our holiday travel saw us up in the small town of Ruston, LA to spend some time with family. But surprise, surprise, one morning we headed to explore some parks and burn off some “bug juice”! On the way back we hit up a new […]

Greenfield Village, Michigan

Greenfield Village, Michigan

Along with last month’s visit to the Henry Ford, we checked out Greenfield Village. This attraction was created around the same time as Colonial Williamsburg, but instead of constructing a new town, Ford wanted to bring actual buildings from different locations in America together to […]

The Henry Ford: American History Galore

The Henry Ford: American History Galore

Original McD's at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Ford history runs deep in Detroit! We heard about the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (know simply as The Henry Ford) and adjoining Greenfield Village before we arrived in Michigan this summer, so we were excited to check them out last month with the kids. The Henry Ford is located in Dearborn, Michigan, just a short twenty minute drive from Detroit. Dearborn is not only the hometown of Henry Ford, it’s where his estate and business operations are located.

From the time you walk through the entrance, which is a replica of Independence Hall, until you exit near the section on American agriculture, you can see that this is a unique museum. The most famous exhibits are the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, a Presidential motorcade section (including the one JFK was killed in), and Rosa Parks’ bus. Our kids appreciated that though some items are displayed in typical museum fashion, there are many interactive artifacts – you can actually sit on Rosa Parks’ bus!

Play car repair at The Henry FordAnother favorite was this service station exhibit.

David and the kids building and test-flying paper airplanes.

Know before you go:

You’re going to want to spend some time at this museum! We packed a picnic lunch, but dining options are available inside. The prices at Lamy’s Diner looked reasonable and had we not been on our way out, I think it would have been something the kids and adults would have enjoyed.

If you’ve got littles, you’re going to want to bring a stroller. We walked several miles throughout the complex and were pleased with how stroller-friendly The Henry Ford was.

Admission can be pricey, especially with a lot of kids in tow. The Henry Ford offers combination tickets with Greenfield Village, which can save some money if you’re planning to visit both. It’s worth checking their site as well as the free D Discount pass for current promotions like buy one, get one 1/2 off. In November, the Henry Ford and two other attractions offer $5 day ($5 admission per person, per attraction) to commemorate Henry Ford paying his workers $5 a day back in 1914. Admission is free year-round to active duty military, and on Veteran’s Day is free to veterans and their families.

It was great to check out this museum we’d heard so much about. More on Greenfield Village in our next post!

Christmas Evening in Slidell, LA

Christmas Evening in Slidell, LA

One of the Louisiana Krewe’s Christmas traditions for a few years has been visiting our local Christmas Under the Stars. (A new tradition will be those delightful trains!) It’s a low-key but fun evening where we see Santa, write and mail a letter to the […]

Gulfport, MS Christmas Trains

Gulfport, MS Christmas Trains

Sunday night the Louisiana Krewe kicked off our Christmas season fun with a visit to Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum in Gulfport, MS. We had heard that they went all out decorating for Christmas and we were not disappointed! It is not a fancy building, […]

Birmingham, Michigan Winter Markt

Birmingham, Michigan Winter Markt

On Sunday, we checked out the Winter Markt, another Christmas market in the Detroit area, this time in Birmingham, Michigan. Honestly, we weren’t expecting too much, but we were pleasantly surprised! The first booth we encountered was selling roasted almonds covered in cinnamon and sugar – a favorite of ours from European Christmas markets 🙂 It kept getting better from there, and we actually preferred this market to the Ann Arbor one from earlier in the week (Ideally, you won’t have to choose!)

Setting: The ambience at the Birmingham Winter Markt was more in line with what we were used to from Europe. It’s held along the paths of Shain Park, with booths along each side of the cobblestoned paths, and the setting and open spaces really hit the right chord.

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Three-day event: As this market runs from Friday through Sunday on the first weekend in December, it was easier to fit into our schedule. Plus, if you’re close enough, you could go twice! I’d go once during the day when it’s a little warmer and again at night for the added ambiance that night brings to Christmas markets.

Payment methods: Some vendors only accepted cash, but 3 out of 4 that we visited took credit cards, which was nice. I know it’s not the biggest deal, but if you’re anything like me you never carry cash, so having more vendors accepting cards was a nice plus.

Parking: I can’t speak to availability on Friday/Saturday, but it was easy to find (free) parking in the garage at 333 Pierce St., Birmingham, MI 48009. This was less than a five minute walk from the market and couldn’t have been easier.

Additionally: This was more than a European-style Christmas market – American Christmas traditions were included as well! There was a Santa house for the kids, Santa’s reindeer (live ones!), and horse-drawn carriage rides as well. It’s neat to see the blending of cultures and it was done seamlessly.

The Glühwein was pricier here, but other than that most of the vendors had similar prices, so no biggie there.

One thing is sure – we’ll be back to the Birmingham Winter Markt next year!

Ann Arbor Christmas Market

Ann Arbor Christmas Market

Last night, the Detroit crew checked out the Ann Arbor KindleFest, as promised in our last post on Christmas markets. Here are a few things we would have liked to know before we headed out. Arrive early: Even though we arrived near opening time, we […]