One of my favorite things about The Henry Ford is that no matter how many times I visit, I always find something new to enjoy. The museum, Greenfield Village, and the Rouge Factory tour are consistently packed with exhibits, activities, and demonstrations, and it seems like new events pop up every other day. So get your calendars ready and read on, because I’ve gathered my picks for this season’s newest attractions, annual events, and some year-round favorites you may have missed!
The Henry Ford Museum
- Visit Michigan’s Largest IMAX Theatre. Beat the heat and rest your feet at The Henry Ford Museum’s IMAX theatre, featuring the largest 2D/3D movie screen in the state of Michigan! With larger-than-life images and crazy-good sound (there are speakers behind the screen), you can choose from a wide variety of documentaries, educational films, and even the occasional blockbuster (this is where I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the first time). Ready to be entertained? View showtimes and purchase tickets here.
- Tinker. Hack. Invent. Saturdays. Put your DIY skills to the test with these weekly workshops! Learn a new trade and discover how things work—the theme changes every month and is open to all ages (click here to view the full Tinker. Hack. Invent. schedule).
- Macy’s 2nd Mondays. Entertain your preschooler with story time, carousel rides, and hands-on activities during Macy’s 2nd Mondays. Admission is free with THF membership (click here for a discount on non-member tickets).
- Roadside America. June 20, 2015 – January 2016; (Special Preview June 19). See the U.S. through the eyes of a cross-country traveler in Roadside America: Through The Lens of John Margolies. These colorful images will take you on a journey to some of America’s most unique roadside signs and other attention-grabbing architecture. Admission is free with THF membership or museum ticket (click here for preview event tickets).
- Summer Discovery Camps. June 22-August 7, 2015. Kick the kids out of the house (I mean that in the nicest way possible) for a week-long day camp that will educate, inspire, and encourage children and teens to engage with the world around them. History, science, and hands-on activities entertain young minds, driving away “school’s out” doldrums (click here to register).
- Maker Faire Detroit. July 25-26, 2015. A favorite event for science lovers, inventors, innovators, and creators, the annual Maker Faire Detroit aims to bring out the creative genius in us all. Enjoy exhibits and live demonstrations from over 400 vendors, all providing unique insight on everything from robotics and electronics to unconventional vehicles and toy car races (click here to reserve tickets).
- Experience The All-New Rouge Factory Tour. Even if you think you’ve seen all there is to see at The Henry Ford’s Rouge Factory Tour, you won’t want to miss this revamped experience! Newly-designed for 2015, the Rouge Factory Tour features an updated look at Ford Motor Company history, a special effects-packed show called “Manufacturing Innovation,” and an all-new factory experience that takes you behind the scenes of producing Ford’s award-winning, aluminum-based F-150 (for tickets and factory tour hours, click here).
- Motor Muster. June 20-21, 2015. Love classic cars? Don’t miss Greenfield Village’s annual Motor Muster event (June 20th-21st) for a look at vintage muscle cars, trucks, motorcycles, military vehicles, and more! Take a walk down memory lane as you stroll vehicle-lined streets, chat with auto experts, and enjoy a good, old-fashioned parade. Admission is free with Greenfield Village ticket or THF membership.
Salute to America (Featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra). July 1-4, 2015. Nothing says “America” like cannons, drum and fife bands, and the DSO! Picnic on the lawn for an evening of patriotic music from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and United States Army Field Band, Concert Band, and Soldiers’ Chorus. The night concludes on a high note with the famous 1812 Overture and a dazzling fireworks show (reserve tickets here).
- Local Roots Blues, Brews & Evening Dining BBQ. August 14, 2015. Locally-sourced food and entertainment make this backyard-style BBQ the ultimate summer shindig! Unwind with tunes from Detroit’s Front Street Blues Band as you savor a meal made possible by local farmers, food producers, and The Henry Ford’s culinary experts. Click here to reserve your Blues, Brews & Evening Dining BBQ tickets or find additional Local Roots Dining events here.
- Historic Base Ball. Will you back the Nationals, or are you more of a Lah-De-Dahs fan? Cheer on your favorite 19th century-inspired team this summer in Greenfield Village! Following game rules and styles from 1867, Historic Base Ball is a history lesson and entertaining sporting event rolled into one. Historic Baseball is free with Greenfield Village admission. Click here for the full 2015 schedule.
- Sample The BEST Frozen Custard Around. It is a scientific fact (okay, it’s actually just my opinion) that Greenfield Village serves up the most delicious frozen custard I’ve ever had the privilege to eat way too much of. Unfortunately, it’s only available during warm-weather months, so you’ve got to catch it while it lasts.
Experience The Henry Ford From Home
- The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation on CBS. Craving a trip to The Henry Ford but can’t make it out to Dearborn? Get a weekly dose of history, science, and “did-you-know” facts every Saturday morning with The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation! Hosted by Mo Rocca from CBS News, Innovation Nation presents stories of inventors and creators (past and present) who have made an impact on the world, as well as segments specifically about The Henry Ford. There’s no doubting the show’s success: following its 2014 debut, Innovation Nation received an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Series within its first year on the air. Catch Innovation Nation Saturday mornings on CBS (check your local listings for show times).
Which of these activities will you and your family try this summer? Sound off in the comments below!