It’s a family tradition in our house to visit Santa at The Henry Ford Museum. It is always included with your admission ticket and the Santa takes his time with each family. The best part is you can take as many pictures as you want! In years past, Santa has been tucked away in a hallway with the glass displays. The setup is usually pretty ornate and tucked away. This year it was a little different. Santa is right in the middle of the farm equipment under a canopy. This year’s setup is very basic and retro looking. The museum describes it as “mid-century modern photo-op inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames.” The colors are pink, blue, and gold (for those of you who like to coordinate outfits).
We arrived just after the museum opened at 9:30am on Sunday, November 26th. There were 2 families ahead of us in line. We waited a total of 10 minutes because one of the families took A LOT of pictures in different combinations-otherwise there would have been virtually no wait at all. The docent said they had seen 21 kids so far and the line was never more than 4 families deep the entire time we were at the museum. Today was a bit of an exception, according to the museum worker. He said that Friday and Saturday, the line was very long. In years passed, we have spent up to 2 hours in line. The trick is to try to come during non-peak hours and if that is not possible, bring someone who can stay in line while someone else takes the littles around the museum.
Once you get close to Santa, there is a sweet little living room vignette showing a Christmas movie, but honestly, by the time you are close enough to see the movie, you can see Santa, and the kids are excited to be so close.
While you are there, be sure to check out the other displays around the museum. Not only are there plenty of amazing educational options, but the holiday decorations are stunning and perfect for photos.
For an additional $5 per person, you can also visit The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. I didn’t spring for the extra money to get us in this time, but if we go back, we may. Museum staff said there are over 40 hands on displays for even the youngest of visitors.
Since we visit the museum a few times a year, my kids have their favorite spots-mostly the hands on exhibits and play areas. We could spend an entire day exploring the various exhibits, but we often will stick to a few different ones each time to keep their attention. I always pack our own snacks or lunch, depending on how long we are staying, but here are dining options available.
From the Henry Ford Museum’s website:
Helpful Tips When Visiting Santa
Santa is here 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Weekday afternoons generally are the best times to visit Santa, when he may have more time to spend with each child.
Santa takes a break to feed his reindeer each afternoon. The time varies because Santa sees everyone in line before he leaves, so the line closes for a time. After his departure, the line reopens for guests wishing to wait for his return. Please check with Santa’s Greeter to confirm his return time.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons are our busiest times, so plan ahead. On these busy weekends, we often need to close the line as early as 3 pm to accommodate the long line of guests by 5 pm when the museum closes.
The Henry Ford Museum is located at 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124.