It's a self guided tour of the whole lab complex. When we went, building 5 was the main building to tour. Rest are eithe locked or you can just peek in the door. Building 5 is main machinary lab - 3 floors high, and all tourable. We didn't get the audio tour thing ($5 per person which I thought was fairly reasonable) becasue I'm too lazy to push buttons, and like to read the placards that look interesting. Not a lot to read on this tour. It's not like there's nothing, but it could go with a lot more. A volunteer apeared out of nowhere, gave a really interesting history on the thing we were looking at at the time, and then vanished. Too bad - would have trucked him around the whole place. Only about 3 or 4 things to actually touch - didn't faze me, but the kids commented.
Lab has weird hours of operation, so check the website. We got there at 10:30 (they open at 10:00) and were able to get tickets to tour Edison's Home (a mile or so away). These home tour tickets are limited, so get there early if you want them.
House tour is a guided tour by a Ranger. We got Ranger Tim. He was knowledgeable and pleasant and gave a good tour. At the end of the tour he made a point to try and tie the whole Edison/Lab/Family/Wife/Home thing together - basically pointing out that Edison spent a lot of time at the lab, and that he was able to do that because he had a wife he could rely on to take care of the family (6 kids total) and home. Can't argue with that.
All in all, kids liked house tour better than lab tour. I thought the house would be a bit lame (one of those "this is the entryway and living room. Thanks for visiting.") but it turned out to be interesting.
Time-wise, we got to lab at 10:30 and stayed there till 2pm. Had lunch in the car (park free across from the lab), then drove 7 minutes to the house. Walked the grounds a bit, and then went on our 3:30pm tour (last tour of the day). Note that when we got to the lab at 10:30am, the only tours of the house that were left were the 3pm and 3:30pm.
It's a fun and interesting day. I always thought of Edison as a cranky old inventor. To see that he was a businessman (invented these wild time clocks for workers) and a family man were both interesting.
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