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Greenfield Village holiday fun

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer

We hadn’t been to Greenfield Village in Dearborn for several years, but with out-of-town visitors, we decided that the holiday season was a great time for a return visit.

With a warmish December, the night could not have been more perfect for a stroll through the seven neighborhoods of the village and Greenfield’s 200 years of American Christmases. The Main Street Carolers were filling the night air with song, bringing the Christmas spirit to even the most “bah humbug-iest” of our group.  We began with a stop at the Model T loading dock, so we could take in the entire village in an iconic antique car.  Through the magic of candle- and bonfire-lit streets, it was possible to imagine ourselves in the past, as we saw Thomas Edison’s lab and the Wrights Brothers’ workshop.

Learning from our last experience, we booked dinner reservations ahead of time.  This time, we treated ourselves to a holiday feast at the Eagle Tavern. This 1850s stagecoach stop with its costumed servers was like stepping back in time — with much better food. We renewed our strength with a meal of squash soup and roasted prime rib. I really didn’t have room for the special carrot cake, but as it is my favorite dessert, I forced myself to enjoy every bite.

We walked by the skating rink, but decided we weren’t in the mood to slip and wobble around. The skates are free, and it is a great stop, if you like ice skating. We decided riding the giant green frogs of the antique Herschell-Spillman carousel was more our speed.  A stop at the Washington Boulevard hot chocolate stand was a satisfying post-carousel stop.

Once I heard that every historic kitchen was handing out a recipe card, I tried to encourage stops so I could complete my collection, but I didn’t get much enthusiasm from the group.  The smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire made me want to try them again, but when I did, I remembered I really didn’t care for the taste.

It seemed at every corner there was a different musical group, almost a dozen in all. The Main Town Hall Front Porch with its garland-festooned columns featured a wonderful, costumed quartet belting out some seasonal favorites. I had to drag my husband away for the Civil War Holiday Encampment at McGuffrey School. Once we had heard a few stories from this winter encampment, I was ready to move on, but he could have spent all night with the re-enactors. He returned the favor by pulling me away from the glass blowers at Liberty Craftworks. I really did need a new glass ornament for our Christmas tree, but my husband, in an imitation of Ebenezer Scrooge, said no!

By the end of the evening, finding a good seat around one of the bonfires was at the top of our list. Sitting in the firelight and watching the explosion of colors in the sky was not to be missed, even though we were tired.  Every year, Santa brings his reindeer to the village, and they were grazing outside of one of the houses as we walked through the chilly streets with other holiday revelers.  We waited for St. Nick to appear on the balcony of the Robert Frost house, and when he did, he wished us all a merry Christmas. It was a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit.

If you go

Greenfield Village

December 17-23 and 26-28, 2015

6:30- 10p.m.

Ticket are $20.50 for adult members and $15.25 for youth members, $24 for adult non-members and $18 for youth non-members. Children 4 and under are free.

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