Trick-or-Treating at Greenfield Village

Broomstick shopping!

Broomstick shopping!

Greenfield Village is one of our favorite places to visit when the weather is nice. I've written about several of our visits this summer and in years' past. One of our favorite special events at the Village is their Hallowe'en nights! We've done the Hallowe'en Trick-or-treating every year since Viola was little (except for last year when we were at Walt Disney World for Oct.31!)  

It was unseasonably cold on the night we went and it threatened to rain all evening (even though we'd booked an early weekend in hopes that it would be warm). The girls dressed up as dark witches because we could put on layers on underneath but still have them in their costumes (I hate when the kids have to put coats over their costumes! (An issue which I plan to write about more shortly in my list of Princess Costume Hacks, I promise!)

We love the Greenfield Village event because it is geared toward little kids. They have candy stations - about 10 or so in total, I think - so it's not about bringing home a pillowcase full of goodies than they're not allowed to eat anyway. Instead of mountains of candy, the Village lights the streets with hundreds of carved pumpkins, and performers improv scenes from Frankenstein through the buildings of Menlo Park. The Carousel is lit with strobes and ghosts are tied to the carousel horses, with spooky off-key musical accompaniment. 

One of the Treat locations before it started getting dark!

One of the Treat locations before it started getting dark!

A costume from Hallowe'ens past!

A costume from Hallowe'ens past!

Watching an out-door screening of an old black-and-white Halloween cartoon while snacking on cider and donuts at the picnic tables!

Watching an out-door screening of an old black-and-white Halloween cartoon while snacking on cider and donuts at the picnic tables!

Preparing to cross the covered bridge... beware, there's a monster on the loose! 

Preparing to cross the covered bridge... beware, there's a monster on the loose! 

In years' past we have done the dinner option as well: honestly, I don't think the dinner offers that much for the little ones, but it's great for adults and older children who want a bit of history with their trick-or-treating. The food is always delicious, of course. If you are in the area and looking for a Halloween alternative, I highly recommend Greenfield Village. Tickets are affordable and it's a really great family-friendly holiday experience to enjoy!


Some photos from our very first ever trick-or-treating in Greenfield Village when Viola was just 2 years old! 

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I suppose, technically speaking, that Evangeline was there as well in my tummy!

I suppose, technically speaking, that Evangeline was there as well in my tummy!

Teddy Bear Tuesday: The Bear of Happiness and Luck meets the Carousel Frog of Good Fortune!

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After lunch at the Eagle Tavern, we made our way across the lawn to the circuit court where Abraham Lincoln argued cases when he was a lawyer in Illinois.

The courthouse was slated to be torn down when Henry Ford acquired it. When it became known that he meant to transport it from Illinois to Michigan, there was quite a backlash, but in the end he prevailed and the building was added to the village. Separate from this incident, Henry Ford was quoted as saying (about his museum efforts in general): 

I am collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used.... When we are through, we shall have reproduced American life as lived, and that, I think, is the best way of preserving at least a part of our history and tradition.

In addition to Lincoln's courthouse, the indoor museum has the chair from the theater where Lincoln was shot as well as his top hat. We're saving such morbid curiosities for the winter, and enjoying the outdoors for as long as the sunshine lasts!


We moseyed over to the local haberdashery to try on period-style hats. (Any time you have an excuse to use words like moseyed and haberdashery, I encourage you to do so!) ShellieMay was looking for something to cover her bear-head. (hehe). 

In addition to hats the kids can try on, she shop is full of vintage accessories and hat making material, like this case of beautiful old ribbons. And an on-site haberdasher!


Do you know the difference between a Carousel and a Merry-Go-Round? A Merry-Go-Round only has horses, while a Carousel has all sorts of animals. 

Greenfield Village boasts a beautiful carousel that just celebrated it's 100th birthday. The Herschell-Spillman Carousel was built in 1913 and is a "Menagerie" model carousel. My girls have been riding this Carousel since they were wee infants, and we have great through the years pictures of them both growing up with the Carousel. 

On our recent excursion to Greenfield Village, however, we learned something new: did you know that the Green Frog is the rarest Carousel creature, and it's considered good luck to ride on it? At least, that's what the Carousel master informed us while we waited in line. This might have been a ruse to break up the quarrel over who was going to ride the kitty cat (there is only one), and who would have to ride the puppy dog (there are only two). Fortunately, Evangeline is partial to the Pig (of which there are two) so she was OK letting her sister snag the kitty. (And, since we had unlimited ride pass, she had her chance to ride the kitty later in the day). 

For a bear that travels as often and is loved on as much as our Duffy is, a little extra luck with not getting lost, sticky, dirty, or otherwise damaged is worth a shot! 

I tried to get a picture of Duffy ON the green frog, but in the end this was the best I could do. Enjoy! :-)

The bear of happiness and luck, meets the carousel frog of good fortune! :-)

The bear of happiness and luck, meets the carousel frog of good fortune! :-)


Teddy Bear Tuesday: Old Timey Fun (or why Greenfield Village is my Zombie Apocalypse bug out plan)

We covered all the critters and farmhouse fun we had in Part 1 of our Teddy Bear trip to Greenfield VillageToday I wanted to share some of the photos from the other things we saw last weekend. (Alas, it rained this weekend so we weren't able to go back). 

After leaving Firestone Farm, we mosey'd on over to the Eagle Tavern for some vittles. The Eagle Tavern is an old stage coach stop. Historically, it offered guests food and lodging. Relocated to Greenfield Village, it serves an authentic turn-of-the-century menu. The fall menu is to die for, and every weekend in September we've been stopping by with fingers crossed... alas, still the summer menu!  

"Visitors will oblige by carrying away this menu and recommending the establishment to their friends." I hope digitally carrying away the menu counts! Though the menu's are fine examples of traditional printing methods, if we kept the menus every time we ate at Eagle Tavern our house would be overrun by now! 

Tables are sat "family style" which means if you have a small group you will be sat with another small group, as the long tables seat 10. In interests of keeping our bears sticky-free, they got their own seat to share at the head of the table. 

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The meals come with some samples of old timey appetizers... today that was pickled beans and pickled carrots. The girls generously decided to give these treats to their bears to eat.

After lunch, we took a carriage ride through the village, then headed over to the new "Kids At Work" playground, featuring Disney-level theming.

Check-out this hollowed out truck .... my girls couldn't understand why I FORBADE them from climbing onto the roof even though they could and other kids were doing it...  

One of our favorite features was this over-boiling water heater turned sprinkler... even my husband couldn't resist turning some of the handles and cranks!

Hey, why not put your kids in a cargo net apparatus and spin them at high velocity?

The theming, like I said, it Disney-esq quality. In some places though it seems like aesthetics are maybe trumping safety? These are real tools that have been welded into a fence. They're blunted, but still if the kids are running and not watching where they are looking it's going to really hurt if they run into it!

The playground is a new feature of the village and "modeled after a 1920's construction site"...  which I'm pretty sure also wouldn't be deemed 'kid-safe'. I'm sure it was reviewed by a safety inspector and stuff, right? 

I've always said that Greenfield Village is my zombie apocalypse plan--- there's a wall all the way around it, several small working farms inside, a crafts village for your printing, pottery, wool, saw mill, and glassblowing needs, a cider mill, steam powered trains.... and now this perfect obstacle trap to deal with any stray zombies that make it inside. Perfect!

Of course, the zombie comparison now gives this otherwise innocuous photo of Viola and her teddy bear looking at the flowers a really sinister vibe.... btw, Walking Dead returns soon! Who's excited?  :-)  

Have a great Teddy Bear Tuesday everyone.... still more Greenfield Village pictures to come. Next week I'll finally get around to Abraham Lincoln's courthouse, I promise!! 

Teddy Bear Tuesday: Critter Roundup

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We're trying to make it out to Greenfield Village as much as possible while the weather is good... and by "good" I mean we still had to wear layers and fall jackets. Apparently, summer entirely missed Michigan this year; but, we're making the best of it. 

We've taken our teddy bears along two previous times: once dressed as an aviator to visit the Wright Brother's Bicycle shop, and once dressed as train conductors to ride Henry Ford's personal steam locomotive and see the roundhouse. Inexplicably before we left Viola decided that Duffy needed to wear his Sheriff Woody costume to visit Firestone Farm.

Firestone Farm is one of the girls' favorite parts of the village, but somewhat stressful for me because it is a genuine working farm. There is a hot stove, and sharp kitchen things, and sharp farm utensils, and genuine unsafeness all around for little kids. On the upside, there are baby cows to see and chickens to chase, and horses to hitch, so.... it's a tradeoff.

We took lots of adorable photos which I'll have to parcel out over a few Teddy Bear Tuesdays, since Squarespace is being twitchy about long photo blog posts. Here are the ones from the farm, enjoy! 


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The corn looks great this year, perfect for the upcoming spooky Halloween nights! The girls set a bad example by climbing the fences. Teddy bears are terribly susceptible to bad examples. By the way, Duffy is wearing his Sheriff Woody costume from BABW, and Shelly is wearing a Jessie costume, also from BABW.

There were lots of critters in need of rescuin'....

Afterward, we mosey'd on in to the Firestone Farm house, where Harvey Firestone was born. Village staff play the parts of a farm family and go about a regular day's schedule. when we were there, the men were busy hitchin' up the horses for a Sunday ride, and the ladies were finishing up preparing a big Sunday dinner. We relaxed in the parlor (away from the hot stove!) 

Checking out the old timey desk...

Checking out the old timey desk...

And the old timey view master... 

And the old timey view master... 

Keepin' a close watch on the critters.... 

Keepin' a close watch on the critters.... 

There were more critters in the barn, of course.

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Viola got some quiet time with the horses, and learned about harnessing them up to pull wagons.

Meanwhile, out in the yard, the big birds were getting a wee bit too close..

We even found a bear-sized buggy!  Giddyup!


Be sure to check back for next week's Teddy Bear Tuesday post when we'll cover the food at Eagle Tavern, the Circuit Court where Abraham Lincoln first practiced law, the local haberdashery and reveal which is the luckiest animal on the Carousel!  

Here is a sneak peak...  :-)