The 8 Best Things to Do at the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Santa Claus at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Fun, frolic, and nostalgia fill the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. The Christmas Season is one of my favorite times of the year. And exploring Greenfield Village while it is all decked out in its festive finest is a sight to behold. For select nights in December, you can step back in time and experience what it was like for families to celebrate Christmas. If you are interested in coming to celebrate the holiday season in the village, make sure you purchase your tickets early since this event tends to sell out.

Santa Claus at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

How to Get Tickets for Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Purchasing tickets early for this holiday festival is crucial if you want to visit on the weekend. Most of the weekend dates sell out quickly. You can buy tickets through the website. If you have a membership with the Henry Ford Museum, you can get a discount on the tickets, free parking, and even early access. For everyone else, general admission is $38; children (ages 5-11) are $28.50; parking is $9. The event runs from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm. The admission might seem high, but there is more than enough to experience at the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village to make it worth the price.

Liberty CraftworksPottery demonstration at Greenfield Village

When entering the village, I always go to the left, as most people tend to go right. This philosophy works well on the Holiday Nights. If you get there when it opens at 6:30 p.m., you can go through the old buildings in the Liberty Craftworks area and look at the machinery without the crowds. Plus, you can get a front-row spot for the shop demonstrations in weaving, printing, pottery, and glassblowing.

Main Street

Policeman on Main Street at Greenfield Village

After watching all the craft demonstrations, head over to Main Street with all the crowds of people. Here you will see the Mummers strolling the streets dressed in period gear, walking arm in arm, and you can browse the shops selling their holiday wares and enjoy some food and warm beverages. You can even get those hot drinks spiced up for the adults in your group. For the realistic town experience, the policeman will blow their whistles to ensure you are out of the street when the Model T rides by. The Model T rides are free during the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Waiting until the end of the evening for a trip is best since there is no line compared to the lines at the beginning of the evening. As in any small town, Main Street is the place to see and be seen, and at the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, that is true.

Musical Performances

You will love being here in the village if you like holiday music. There are several different musical groups spaced throughout. There are Christmas Carolers, Troubadours, Organ performances, 1st Michigan Colonial Fife & Drum Corps, choirs, jazz bands, and even sing-alongs on horse-drawn wagon rides. Whatever you fancy, you can enjoy the holiday music and get in the festive spirit.

Porches and Parlors

In every living history museum, you can walk through houses from all periods and see what it looks like to live during that time. During the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, the houses are festively decorated with the past 200 years of American holiday traditions. Houses are decorated for Christmas weddings, Puritan harvests for winter, Christmas holidays during the Centennial, and visit New Year’s Open House. While walking through the parlors, living rooms, and especially the kitchens, the smell of holiday baking wafts through the rooms. Workers are busy cooking real food in the actual kitchens you are visiting. Plus, the details you find in each home are unique to that period, and with young kids, you can play “I, Spy.” As for me, I love anything with books, and walking into Noah Webster’s home was amazing. I so want to have a full wall of bookcases like his filled with old, leather-bound books someday. As for everyone else, the favorite has to be the Chocolatier House, where you can see how chocolate is made by grinding the cacao beans into melted chocolate poured into bars.

Edison at WorkEdison lab at Greenfield Village

One of my favorite buildings at Greenfield Village is Edison’s labs. And my friend Nathalie would agree. When we were walking through the lab, we both remarked that this place was probably the spark (no pun intended) that got us interested in engineering. Thomas Edison said, “I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident. They came by work.” I loved watching the pulley system work to illuminate the lights. And I was fascinated by the beakers and chemicals in Edison’s lab. What isn’t unsurprising is that I am still fascinated by what is in these buildings. During this last visit, we saw the Gramophone demonstration. It was exciting watching her roll the tin on the reel and see it make indents based on the sound waves of her voice and then have it replay back.

ActivitiesHerschell-Spillman Carousel

All the activities you can enjoy are part of the fun during the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. There are activities for the kids, such as writing letters to Santa and posting them to the North Pole, decorating an ornament, making a tiny candlestick, and watching a Magic Lantern Show. Plus, you can interact with Chimney Sweeps, Civil War soldiers, World War II Red Cross soldiers, and of course, the big guy, Santa Claus himself. Families can also ride in the Model T’s mentioned earlier, horse-drawn wagon rides, and the Herschell-Spillman Carousel. On one of the occasions I was here with my Aunt, she said that she had never ridden on a merry-go-round. Well, we had to fix that! You are never too young to ride on a Merry-Go-Round!

Photo OpportunitiesHeather Model T Photo Op

And what would a holiday event be without photo ops? Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village delivers multiple photo opportunities throughout the village. Besides the beautiful scenery, there are artfully placed exhibits for capturing great pictures. It would be helpful to practice low-light photography before you go. You don’t want to miss some great photos if you don’t know how your camera works at night.

Grand Finale

You don’t want to leave early on the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village because you’ll miss the Grand Finale. The finale begins around 9:40 with a lantern procession, sing-along, and fireworks display. The best view is from Main Street, with a view of the Martha-Mary Chapel. Besides capturing some fantastic fireworks, I captured the sweetest photo of a child catching snowflakes while on his dad’s shoulders. This, to me, is the essence of the holidays – happiness, Christmas spirit, and beautiful times spent with family!

Get your tickets quickly if you want to go to Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Otherwise, go ahead and pin it for you to remember to visit next year!

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Michigan for a visit over the holidays, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

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