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Family Vacation Ideas


Detroit Historical Museum
Detroit, Michigan

If you're coming to Southeastern Michigan, be sure to stop by the Detroit Historical Museum. See the Glancy Train exhibit, and the historic underground city! The museum is a very interesting tour of Detroit's storied history.

The Detroit Historical Museum is located downtown in the cultural district near the Detroit Institute of Arts. It features lots of interesting memorabilia dating back to the settlement of Detroit in 1701. It's been a mainstay 'field trip' destination for Detroit area school children for years.

The underground city at the Detroit Historical Museum in Detroit, Michigan [Click to enlarge]One of the main draws of the museum is the underground city called The Streets of Old Detroit. This ¾ scale street features period area buildings and streets from the 1840s, the 1870s and the early 1900s. There's even a 19th century schoolhouse!

The museum also features great displays providing details of the first settlement. There are many interesting photographs showing the area throughout the years, and also a special exhibit regarding Detroit's history in the music industry. And of course, being in the Motor City, the museum features some classic cars and an exhibit on the history of the auto industry.

The most exciting part for our family was the Glancy train display. This is a separate room with a detailed layout featuring several working trains and interactive features. Many, which can be controlled by the kids! Pressing different buttons will set the various components. Press a red button and you start a carousel in the mini-amusement park. Press another to launch a hot air balloon. Still another button will operate a railroad crossing.

Barnum & Bailey circus in the Glancy train layout at the Detroit Historical Museum [Click to enlarge]

The display changes from day to night every few minutes, and it's pretty exciting to see the whole thing lit up! One of the trains even has a small camera mounted on the engine. The view from inside the train is shown on several monitors in the display. It's interesting to watch from a 'trains eye' view. If you stand in the right spot, you can even be on TV as the train goes by!

   Multi-level Glancy train layout [Click to enlarge]A mock assembly line at the Detroit Historical Museum [Click to enlarge]

Touring the museum takes a few hours, and it's definitely worth the trip!

 

 

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