An easy drive from Cincinnati, Dearborn yields an amazing amount of historical destinations for your family. First stop: the Henry Ford Museum Stepping into the Henry Ford Museum , you realize in an instant this place is special. It contains a vast collection of Americana with something to please everyone-from an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to a massive locomotive to explore. Also rich in history, the collections includes many iconic cars, including the limousine President John F. Kennedy was riding in when fatally wounded, the public bus where Rosa Parks’ stance for civil rights took hold and historic items, such as the chair that President Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was mortally wounded at Ford’s Theatre.
Greenfield Village is where Ford amassed an amazing collection of historical buildings from all over the country and beyond. A highlight for many is the Menlo Park complex where Thomas Edison and his team worked in New Jersey. Henry Ford brought it all here, including the dirt! Interpreters demonstrate Edison’s phonograph and you can also browse upstairs and see where the light bulb was born. It’s illuminating.
Throughout Greenfield Village you can see various craftsman at work, ride in an actual Model T, on a historic train, on a vintage carousel or in a horse drawn carriage. Take time to tour these historic buildings, which also include Henry Ford’s childhood home and the Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop (the birthplace of aviation) relocated from Dayton, Ohio.
The Henry Ford complex also includes an IMAX Theatre, Research Center and is the ticket purchase and transportation point for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour-where you are treated to some delightful films about the history of Ford and how the F150 truck is made, then you get to tour this production facility. Dining and /or snacks at all locations. For information about tickets, hours, and special events, visit www.thehenryford.org.
The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn offers up an opportunity to learn about the history, culture and accomplishments of Arab Americans. A Smithsonian Affiliate, the Museum brings to light the experience of all ethnic groups and helps dispel misconceptions about Arab Americans and other groups. Housed in an amazing building with many galleries and exhibits to peruse, you’ll get the opportunity to examine the triumphs and challenges of coming to a new country, while holding on and celebrating your own heritage. Permanent galleries, events, classes and special exhibits take you on an amazing journey. www.arabamericanmuseum.org
Military history buffs will enjoy the Dearborn Historical Museum. Housed in old arsenal buildings: the McFadden-Ross House and the Commandant’s Quarters, they are some of Michigan’s most historically significant structures, today they are part of the Dearborn Historical Museum complex and provides visitors the rare opportunity to go back in time to see what life was like back in the 1860s. Activities held throughout the year, visit the website in advance for hours and programs. www.thedhm.com
Family vacations to this area are affordable as well with many special offers, some including tickets to the Ford Museum or other attractions in Dearborn and Detroit, are found at www.michigan.org.