Disclosure: Greenfield Village provided my family with tickets to Holiday Nights to facilitate a review.
My family loves visiting Greenfield Village and visiting the historic homes and shops. By far our favorite time to attend is for their annual Holiday Nights celebration. At Holiday Nights most of the historical homes are open and decorated as they would have been to celebrate Christmas or New Years at their time of origin and location of origin.
One thing that I love about Greenfield Village is that there is so much to do that even after 7 years at Holiday Nights, we still find new things to do and see. We definitely could have used an extra hour to continue exploring Holiday Nights.
Our New Experiences at Holiday Nights
Despite our many trips to Greenfield Village, this was our first time in Henry Ford’s Birthplace. My daughter was intrigued that they had oranges in the stockings – and that they were real stockings.
We also stopped by the Miller School where kids can write Letters to Santa. They had limited pens available, so it may be best to bring your own.
Carousel rides are free during Holiday Nights. My daughter and I rode the carousel for the first time since our first visit to Greenfield Village. Both times, she has been able to ride on the frog. Only Herschell-Spillman made frogs for carousels and they are the only American carousel animal to wear clothes.
The holiday houses smelled amazing with the greenery in them. Since we have always had artificial trees, we decided to purchase a real balsam wreath for the inside of our front door. We also purchased a Holiday Nights lantern for display on our mantle. We will have to bring it back for Holiday Nights next year.
Visiting the Holiday Houses
We visited several of the houses this year. Holiday Nights is one of the few times of the year that Cotswold Cottage is open to visitors. It is typically setup to reflect World War II with American Soldiers. This year it was setup as a Red Cross Hospitality Station. Plan to visit early in the night when the line is short. Alternatively, you can visit towards the end of the night since there is a great view of the concluding fireworks from the cottage.
Our family each has their favorite houses. I like visiting the Susquehanna Plantation which is celebrating a Christmas time wedding. The porcupine cake below is a new recipe for this year’s table. My husband’s favorite is the Giddings house where they are making hot chocolate.
Be sure to walk by the Robert Frost Home (which is from Ann Arbor). Santa appears on the rooftop and his reindeer are in the yard. Across the street look for Santa’s helpers in red who will relay children’s names for Santa to call out.
Visiting Liberty Craftworks
My daughter’s goal was to visit Liberty Craftworks. We made it at the end of the night as the shops were closing. We started at the Glass Shop, but they were just finishing their last piece of the night. Then, we stopped in the Printing Shop and each received a copy of the 2016 Holiday Nights print. We also visited the tin shop and the ceramic shops. In the ceramic shop, we watched the craftswoman put the finishing touches on lids for Snowmen candles.
Eating at Holiday Nights
There are several street food stands at Holiday Nights. Last year, we enjoyed Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. This year, we tried the Roasted Ham Sandwiches and Burgoo (chicken stew).
My daughter definitely preferred the Ham since she found the roast beef a little tough. Last year, the roast beef stand only sold the sandwiches and you had to go to another stand for beverages. The Roasted Ham/Burgoo stand also sold Hot Cider, Hot Chocolate (with alcoholic add-in options for the adults), and water.
Dinner is also available at Taste of History.
If you are looking for a snack, we recommend the Village Pavilion for snacks such as mini-donuts and hot beverages. They also had food options like hot dogs and pork and apple stew. The mini-donuts are a yearly tradition for us.
Be sure to check out the LEGO and Lionel train displays in the Village Pavilion. If you search the LEGO display you’ll find 3 landmarks from Greenfield Village and one from Ann Arbor.
Snacks are also available throughout the village. We were offered a sample from the Roasted Chestnut stand. It was the first time I’d ever had roasted chestnuts.
What we Missed This Year
Each time we have attended Holiday Nights, we have had new experiences, but we never manage to do everything that we’ve done previously. Model T rides are free during Holiday Nights, but the line can be long. You can also take a wagon ride and join in singing Christmas carols.
The evening ends with a lantern process, sing-along, and fireworks that start at 9:40p. We were visiting the Liberty Craftworks during this time.
There is an ice skating rink at Holiday Nights. Since my daughter does not ice skate, we’ve never made time to skate.
What to Wear at Holiday Nights
December evenings can be quite chilly. Throughout the village you will find fire pits to warm up at and many of the buildings have fires going. However, you should plan to dress warmly for cold winter nights. My daughter usually wears her snow pants, winter coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. I have been known to double up with tights and fleece leggings or tights under wool pants in addition to my warmest coat, hat, and gloves. After a couple of trips, my husband now owns long underwear and wears his warm coat and gloves. Good boots are also important to keep your feet warm.
Holiday Nights Tickets
Buy your Holiday Nights Tickets now since popular nights sell out quickly. Ticket prices are:
|Non-Member Price||Member Price|
|Youth (Ages 3-11)||$19.50||$16.50|
Children 2 and under are free. There is also a $6 parking fee for non-members which is charged with your ticket order.
Greenfield Village offers a $2 coupon for admission on select nights.
Holiday Nights Schedule
Greenfield Village Holiday Nights are held on select nights in December. Holiday Nights begins at 6:30p and ends at 10p each night. There is a fireworks display at 9:40p. Be sure to buy your tickets early because popular nights do sell out. I can’t wait for our visit this year, and hope the weather is great that night.
All of the nights for Holiday Nights are listed below: