15 Best Things to Do in Dearborn, MI

Dearborn, MI
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Dearborn is a city in Wayne County, Michigan, and the hometown of American industrialist Henry Ford.

Founded in 1786 and incorporated as a city in 1929, Dearborn is just nine miles from Detroit.

Dearborn is home to Ford Motor Company's world headquarters and many excellent attractions.

For example, you can visit the Henry Ford, an indoor-outdoor American history museum entertainment complex brimming with stories of innovation and ideas.

Aside from that, you can also immerse yourself in Middle Eastern culture; many of its residents are Arabic.

Don’t miss a world-class city and try the best things to do in Dearborn, Michigan!

Explore the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Antique steam engine at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is among the must-see attractions of Henry Ford along Oakwood Boulevard.

The museum highlights the stories of America’s greatest minds, ideas, and innovations through wide-ranging exhibits and interactive displays.

Remember the highlights of American history through the extensive collections of garments, tools and machinery, vehicles, furniture, and more.

Display at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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Reflect on the key moments in America’s fight for freedom with the iconic artifacts on display, such as the bus where Rosa Parks took a stand for civil rights.

See the rocking chair where Abraham Lincoln sat on the night of his assassination.

Then, check out the camp bed George Washington carried during his visit to Revolutionary War sites.

Carriage at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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Another highlight of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is its exhibit on presidential vehicles.

This exhibit includes the 1961 Lincoln Continental Presidential Limousine, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Sports car at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
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Are you tired and hungry from all the walking and learning?

Unwind and grab a bite in one of the diners and cafes inside the museum.

The Henry Ford Museum Store and Genius at Play stores sell pieces of the Henry Ford as souvenirs.

Journey into America’s Traditions at Greenfield Village

Pond at Greenfield Village
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Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village encompasses over 80 acres of authentic and historic structures, living history farms, historical rides, and nationally-renowned artists.

Altogether, Greenfield Village provides opportunities to dig deep into America’s traditions of resourcefulness and ingenuity through the decades.

Greenfield Village has seven historic districts to inspire your “can-do spirit.”

Unique architecture of buildings at Greenfield Village
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These districts are Henry Ford’s Model T, Working Farms, Railroad Junction, Liberty Craftworks, Edison at Work, Main Street, and Porches & Parlors.

Step inside the Menlo Park laboratory and other structures where Thomas Edison conducted his experiments and conceptualized his innovative ideas.

More historical sites await you in Main Street districts, such as Logan County Courthouse, Wright Cycle Shop, and other notable stores and taverns.

Loranger Mill at Greenfield Village
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Don’t miss the rides at Greenfield Village.

Not only will they bring you around, but they will also allow you to experience early transportation in America.

Visit Greenfield Village and experience its sights, sounds, and sensations.

Horse carriage at Greenfield Village
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Get Creative at Glass Academy

If you want another recreational activity other than the classic attractions, check out Glass Academy on Trowbridge Street!

Glass Academy is a family-owned and -operated studio in 2004 focused on the glass arts.

Create an unforgettable experience at Glass Academy by joining one of its wide range of classes, which guarantees a safe and creative environment as you explore the world of glass making.

Unleash the inner artist in you as you design your glassware and utilize different techniques for your masterpiece.

Watch out for special events at Glass Academy, including informative demonstrations, a gallery of glass products, and more!

See the Future of Manufacturing at Ford Rouge Factory Tour

Entrance to Ford Rouge Factory Tour
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As a joint partnership between Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company, Ford Rouge Factory Tour will take you to a unique manufacturing experience.

Its main attraction is the tour of Dearborn Truck Plant, which gives you an inside look at the plant’s final assembly line.

During the 1/3 mile tour, you’ll see various equipment, robotics, parts delivery, and workers on duty.

View of Ford Rouge Factory Tour
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Ford Rouge Factory Tour also showcases a gallery that contains selected famous Ford vehicles made at the Rouge.

There are kiosks to provide more details and interactive education materials to level up your experience at the gallery.

History buffs can go to the Legacy Theater, which screens a short film about Henry Ford’s vision combined with rarely-seen historical footage from the archives.

You'll find more exciting facilities at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

View of Ford Rouge Factory Tour
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See a Movie from the Comfort of Your Car at Ford-Wyoming Drive-In

Located along Ford Road, Ford-Wyoming Drive-In shares the charm of the drive-in theater with its patrons year-round.

This distinguishable landmark in Dearborn opened in 1950 and currently has five screens and can accommodate 1,700 cars.

Previously, it had nine screens and parking for approximately 3,000 cars, leading to its recognition as the world's largest drive-in movie theater.

While it has reduced its number of screens, it’s still a city favorite, offering double features where you can catch two movies for one!

The concession stand is also available, where you can buy snacks and refreshments to complete the drive-in theater experience.

Head to Ford-Wyoming Drive-In with your family and friends and see the latest flicks!

Discover Innovation Stories at the Automotive Hall of Fame

Entrance to Automotive Hall of Fame
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Across The Henry Ford complex, you can also visit the Automotive Hall of Fame on Oakwood Boulevard.

Established in 1939, the Automotive Hall of Fame celebrates the remarkable automotive contributions of early pioneers that changed everyone’s way of life.

Browse the permanent and changing exhibits to learn more about the early days of the auto industry and reflect on how it evolved through time and steered world development.

Display at Automotive Hall of Fame
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Take time to observe the Hall of Honor, one of the museum’s highlights, a stunning expansive mural featuring 90 images significant to the automotive world.

Drop by the Automotive Hall of Fame and draw inspiration from the stories of these luminaries.

Carriage kept for display at Automotive Hall of Fame
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Unwind at Ford Field Park

Like any other city, Dearborn also manages several community parks perfect for various recreational activities.

One of the most visited parks is Ford Field Park along Monroe Street.

You can take in picturesque views of Rouge River and access the start of Rouge River Gateway Trail for walkers and bicyclists.

Established in 2005, the two-mile-long trail winds through natural areas and the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Henry Ford College campuses.

Ford Field Park has picnic tables on-site to enjoy a basket of food with family and friends while the kids can run and jump around the wheelchair-accessible playground.

It also consists of ball fields, a tennis court, a sledding hill, and more if you want to get your body moving.

See the City’s Humble Beginnings at Dearborn Historical Museum

Entrance to Dearborn Historical Museum
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Founded in 1950, Dearborn Historical Museum serves as the “gateway to Dearborn’s Past,” managing three historical buildings and an office on Brady Street.

The museum began with Dearborn’s oldest building, Detroit Arsenal Commandant’s Quarters, which served as a military headquarters from 1833 to 1875.

Today, the museum’s local history archives and exhibits are inside the McFadden-Ross House, established as Detroit Arsenal Powder Magazine in 1839.

Statue placed outside the Dearborn Historical Museum
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The Ross family bought the said building and turned it into a home until they donated it to the city, becoming a museum.

Since1956, McFadden-Ross House has collected items providing a glimpse into the early Dearborn daily life and serves as an event space of the Dearborn Historical Museum.

The Dearborn Historical Museum also oversees and provides guided tours of Detroit Arsenal Commandant’s Quarters and the Richard Gardner House, constructed in the 1830s, just near its main museum office.

Broaden Your Horizons at Arab American National Museum

Exterior view of Arab American National Museum
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Founded in 2005, the Arab American National Museum is the first and only museum dedicated to the Arab American experience in the United States.

It aims to document and preserve the history, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans so the next generations can appreciate and learn more.

Inside, you’ll go on a journey through the Arab world and the Arab Americans’ rich past, beginning from the first immigrants who came to America in the late 19th century.

Marvel at the unique artworks of different mediums made by established and emerging artists working with Arab American National Museum.

Join a guided tour for a deeper connection and understanding of the materials on display, or sign up for more immersive cultural activities and presentations at the museum.

The Arab American National Museum is off Michigan Avenue.

Try Rock Climbing at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Interior view of Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
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Take a short drive from Arab American National Museum to the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, which houses various recreation and leisure facilities.

One activity you can do here is the challenging yet fun sport of indoor rock climbing!

Test your endurance, strength, and flexibility on the climbing wall that measures 50 feet long and 35 feet high, designed to imitate an actual cliff face.

Instructors certified by the American Mountain Guide Association will assist and determine your readiness for auto belays and manual rope belays.

Non-residents can access the climbing wall at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center as long as they secure guest passes and are with a Dearborn resident or a climbing wall Instructor.

Lessons are also available for beginning climbers.

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center is also along Michigan Avenue.

Enjoy Performances at Michael A. Guido Theater

Exterior view of Michael A. Guido Theater
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Michael A. Guido Theater is a professional regional theater for Dearborn that shows you the city's local arts and culture scene.

This theater produces a seasonal lineup of notable performances, from family theater to musicals and symphony orchestras.

Many cultural arts organizations call the charming Michael A. Guido Theater home inside Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

The theater uses the latest lighting and sound systems and can accommodate 1,200 patrons.

Feed your spirit and take in beautiful sights and sounds from the great shows performed inside Michael A. Guido Theater.

See Broadway-Quality Shows of the Players Guild of Dearborn

Exterior view of Players Guild of Dearborn
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The Players Guild of Dearborn is among the state’s oldest community theaters, organized in 1927.

Before it acquired its site on Madison Street, it staged its first play at the old Dearborn High School, and its succeeding shows at Dearborn Masonic Temple.

The Players Guild of Dearborn hosts a variety of productions of excellent quality delivered by its gifted members.

Its members come from different walks of life and share the love of promoting theater arts.

In line with its mission to cultivate the public’s interest in all forms of drama, the Players Guild of Dearborn also manages a theater for children.

Buy a ticket and prepare to experience “the magic of live theatre” it promises for its patrons.

Jump on Ice at Dearborn Ice Skating Center

Outside view of Dearborn Ice Skating Center
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You won’t have to wait for the winter season to hit the ice in Dearborn.

Dearborn Ice Skating Center is perfect for bonding with your family and friends, as it’s open to the public for ice skating and room rentals throughout the year.

Dearborn Ice Skating Center encompasses two ice surfaces: the Adray Arena and Kilpatrick Arena.

It also has a skate shop for equipment and accessory needs, meeting rooms, and concession stands.

Likewise, the center offers programs and lessons to learn the basics of ice skating and the game of hockey with the guidance of professional instructors.

Practice or show off your skills at Dearborn Ice Skating Center along Ford Road.

Shop Local at Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market

An adventure to a new place is never complete without exploring its market and famous shops and finding something to bring home.

One shopping hub you can check out is the Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market, which runs from June to September on West Village Drive between Monroe and Mason Streets.

Several vendors sell seasonal and local farm products and goods and more unique items like artisan baked goods, soaps, pottery, and more!

Likewise, unique features and events make Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market come alive.

You might catch cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, and some fun workshops and informative activities for the kids.

Discover more of these activities by visiting Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market.

Stroll the Grounds of Fair Lane: Home of Clara & Henry Ford

Facade of Fair Lane: Home of Clara & Henry Ford
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Fair Lane: The home of Clara & Henry Ford off of Fair Lane Drive is excellent for taking refreshing walks while soaking up scenic views of the natural and architectural wonders in this stunning, serene place.

Constructed on 1,300 acres of farmland, Fair Lane served as home to Henry and Clara Ford for more than 30 years since 1915.

The house saw the Fords' growing fame and success.

Fair Lane: Home of Clara & Henry Ford encompasses a 56-room mansion, a five-story powerhouse, a greenhouse for the gardens, a boathouse, and the stables.

It once served as Henry’s private laboratory space as he worked on his engine designs and a canvas for Clara, where she cultivated her love for gardens.

Most of the original structures still stand on this National Historic Landmark, which architectural style combines European grandeur and Midwestern charm.

The activities you can do here are wandering through the gardens and grounds and enjoying a picnic at the designated sites.

Fair Lanes: Home of Clara & Henry Ford allows personal photography, so don’t forget your cameras to snap some Instagram-worthy photos!

Final Thoughts

Plan a trip to Dearborn if you want inspiration and a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The city boasts several tourist attractions that showcase the innovative spirit of America and where you can retrace the footsteps of some of the greatest luminaries in human history.

If you've finished your learning journey in its remarkable museums and landmarks, try other activities that will refuel your soul and make you feel alive.

Bookmark this post listing the best things to do in Dearborn, Michigan, for your next adventure!

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