Memorial Day at Greenfield Village
Greenfield Village is one of our favorite destinations in the Metro Detroit area! Chris has loved The Henry Ford since he was a child so we always try to go there several times a year. Since we both had Memorial Day off this year we decided to check out what was going on in the Village for the holiday. This year they were hosting a Civil War Remembrance event which included both military and civilian camps from the 1860s as well as various presentations throughout the day.
Since it was a holiday, we fully expected Greenfield Village to be pretty busy because events such as this tend to be a big draw. The great thing about Greenfield Village is that it is so expansive so you never feel crowded even when visitation is at it’s peak. They don’t charge extra for these types of special events so admission was still $27 for a single admission or free for members (membership prices start at $65+). There were plenty of gates open to get in so we basically walked right in.
Right off the bat we noticed that there were tents everywhere! There were literally hundreds covering every square inch of open space throughout the village. It was pretty amazing to see all of the volunteers sporting authentic fashions of the times passing the time as one would expect people from that era to behave. Sewing, cooking in fire pits, woodcarving… things of that sort. It really enhanced the typical Greenfield Village experience.
We took our normal route around the village, starting at the Firestone Farm and making out way towards the center for lunch. This year we were pretty excited about lunch because they had announced a NEW MENU featuring authentic period style dishes that you would often find being prepared at various houses around the village. Our resident foodie and oldest of the children was especially excited for some real ‘down home cookin’. We always eat at the Taste of History restaurant because its clean, roomy, and has something for everyone. The new menu is good, however, they did away with some of our old favorites so that was a downer. None the less, everyone enjoyed their meal so that is always a win in our book.
After lunch we walked right into a demonstration right outside the restaurant on the village green. It was some type of memorial service for fallen Civil War soldiers, however, we had arrived late so we didn’t have a good view and couldn’t hear what was being said. A little while later we caught a mounted cavalry demonstration where soldiers riding horses completed various training exercises… it was fascinating!
Recently, they built a new kids play area near the carousel in the village that looks like an old 1940s (?) era construction site. We’ve seen it on previous visit but never stopped in with the kids until now. We have to say that they did an incredible job with this playground and it is a must stop for anyone with kids while visiting. There was so much to do from a rock climbing wall, to a water-squirting gadget. We were very impressed and all 3 kids had a great time!
In the end we spent about 5 hours total in our visit… we could have spent the entire day but since we’ve visited many time before we often breeze through areas we’ve done so many times before. Of course Chris always insists we stop at the gift shop on the way out as he is always looking for a new souvenir lol.
Betsy: It is a rarity to find something that all five of us can agree upon but it is true that Chris and I enjoy Greenfield Village as much as the kids do. The yearly membership was a great investment as the Village always have special events like these that we can check out. Of course, Greenfield Village is great even on a non-event day too.
Chris: I love that we have the membership card so we can go as often as we like. If it were up to me, we’d be here every weekend lol. Betsy has heard my stories from my childhood visits …literally every single time we go… and she still humors me and listens as if I’m telling her for the first time. That’s love for ya 🙂