Family Museum Guide: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Read our tips for families when visiting this museum, which features nine acres of innovations and must-see treasures.

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is packed with lots of history, artifacts, inventions and hands-on experiences. It was named after Henry Ford, the man that created the Ford Motor Company.

Quick details about The Henry Ford:

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
  • Cost: $30/ages 12-61, $27/ages 62-plus, $22.50/ages 5-11, free/4 and under and members; $9/parking

Things to do with kids at The Henry Ford:

Photo credit: KMS Photography

  • Some must-sees at the museum are the Rosa Parks Bus, Kennedy Limousine The Lincoln Chair, model trains and Allegheny Steam Locomotive.
  • Tinkering for Tots is a preschool program that runs 10 a.m.-noon on select days. This monthly preschool-aged event features a story, artifact of the day, open exploration and take-home activity.
  • Lillian Schwartz: Whirlwind of Creativity features works of multimedia artist Lillian Schwartz and more than 100 artifacts. It will be at the museum until March 2024.
  • Julia Child: A Recipe for Life is a new exhibit coming to the museum May 20, 2023. In this exhibit, you’ll experience sounds and smells from Julia’s kitchen, videos, audio, photography, interactive The French Chef TV set and more.
  • Stop by the Lionel Model Train exhibit to get a free copy of Story Stroll’s book (limit one per group, while supplies last). Every month features a new book.
  • Walk through “Your Place in Time” to explore five generations of the 20th century. Kids will get a kick out of the MTV green screen, what a 1980s bedroom used to look like, what a Macintosh computer looked like before Macs and more. At the end, draw your own visions of the future.
  • Car lovers will love “Driving in America” showcasing more than 100 vehicles from over the years. Also, stop by “Driven to Win” to immerse yourself in a 180-degree multisensory theater experience, “Fueled by Passion.”

Tips for families when visiting The Henry Ford:

Photo credit: Wes Duenkel Motorsport Photography

  • Purchase tickets online in advance to skip the lines when you arrive.
  • If you need a break to eat lunch, but don’t want to leave the museum, there are two options. Plum Market features Zingerman’s coffee and pastries for breakfast and soups, sandwiches, salads and entrees for lunch. Another option for lunch is Lamy’s Diner, which takes you back to the ‘40s with the décor and food options.
  • Stop by the Giant Screen Experience to see what’s playing. Even if you don’t see a movie, you can still buy freshly popped popcorn for the car ride home.
  • There are two shops to browse before leaving the museum. Henry Ford Museum Store has an array of gifts and one-of-a-kind selections. Genius at Play is more for the kids and features puzzles, games and other stimulating activities. You can also shop these stores online.

Things to do near The Henry Ford:

Photo credit: Kidcadia

  • Grab a plant-based burger from Unburger. It also has chicken sandwiches, nachos, chili cheese fries, red potato hash and more.
  • Take your kids to Kidcadia Play Cafe for a brain break after the museum. It has a café area for drinks and food.
  • Treat yourself and your kiddos to the amazing creations by The Custard Co. Choose from a variety of desserts, including frozen custard, shakes, The Sweet Bun, The “Wowffle,” slushies, flurries and much more.
  • Create some art at Speckles and Spatter. Call ahead of time to make sure they have walk-in availability for pottery

  • Follow Metro Parent on Instagram.

Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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