We first visited the Ford House in June 2012 and decided on the spot to get a family membership because it was actually $5 cheaper than paying for us all to get in once. Smart move! We took the tour of the house and garage and playhouse and walked the grounds a bit, but it began to rain so we didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked, but with the family membership I didn't feel guilty because I knew since we just moved here we'd be coming back! We also realized that we had *just* missed the Michigan Humane Society's "Mutt March", so we knew that next year we'd be bringing our dogs with us!
We came back in October for their "Grimm's Fairy Tales" exhibit (now my youngest two are 14 and 15, mind you - not little kids!) and we had a good time exploring the grounds finding the trails through the grounds / wooded areas / gardens searching for clues and treasures about which fairy creatures and goodies we were tracking and would find. The trees were simply breathtaking beginning their color change and the day was much cooler than the 100 degrees we had over the summer! We didn't tour the house this time, since we mainly came for the Fairy Tale exhibit, which was put on quite nicely, even for our older girls. There were lots of younger kids lapping it up!
I want to go in the next month while there's still snow on the ground to see how the grounds change in the winter. We didn't go for the exclusive Christmas behind the scenes tour, as it was an extra $125, even for members, but it included dinner and music. However...
The house is simply astounding! I had just come back from a trip to England last summer and was still in the thrall of all things in that stone style, so this was right up my alley, but the attention to detail in each of the rooms just blew me away from the cobblestones lining the children's entrance (so they could scrape off their shoes before entering onto the hardwood floors) to the closets in Eleanor's bedrooms to the scales built into the bathroom floors... The kitchen alone I could have spent hours peeking into all the cupboards if they'd let me! The engineering work of the steam heat and power house from the St. Clair river is just ingenius and yet something that doesn't surprise me from the man who invented the worker-effective assembly line!
I would have given my right arm for Josephine's playhouse when I was a little girl (if nothing else but to have my own quiet space!), but the craftsmanship and artisanal work of the Pewabic Pottery and woodworking on such a small scale boggles the mind! (They had it set up as the house of the 7 dwarfs at Grimm's Fairy Tale days, which was perfect for that scale!)
The gift shop is smaller than at the other locations and there's a stamp for those of us who have a passport for our National Parks, which is funny because it didn't show up in my book for this region. Next time, since it will be chillier, I plan on having tea in the restaurant so we can sample that too. A camera is a must-have here, even though you can't take any pictures in the house. The grounds really ARE than breath-taking!
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