It’s Member Appreciation Days at The Henry Ford, Nov. 9-11, with all kinds of members-only specials, giveaways, discounts and other good stuff.
Not long ago, I heard someone refer to an annual membership at The Henry Ford as a “super pass.”
It’s a great description, since a membership means a year’s worth of access to Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village without paying general admission. That benefit is the one I love the most. It gives my family the flexibility to head to the campus for a few hours to attend a special event, activity or exhibit, or just to stroll around one or more of the venues for the sake of strolling.
Checking out the Lego Architecture Exhibition on opening day.
This past Sunday was a perfect example, I took my son and his friend to see the LEGO Architecture: Towering Ambition exhibit in the afternoon, and we ended our visit by catching the “Rocky Mountain Express” IMAX film. (Which we all thoroughly enjoyed.)
It was great to have free admission to Henry Ford Museum when it was open late for the Titanic Tuesday Lecture series.
I can’t begin to tabulate the number of great memories we’ve had at The Henry Ford. There’s a certain element of wonder to each visit. We always enjoy it and learn something new, while the stream of special events and activities keep us engaged and coming back for more.
Checking out the chair in which President Abraham Lincoln sat when assassinated.
The mere fact that we can so readily stand thisclose to some of the most significant and iconic artifacts in our country’s history just never seems to get old.
I did a completely unscientific poll of my own friends I found (as I suspected) that many are or have been members of The Henry Ford and have enjoyed the benefits I mentioned above. I got a lot of comments along the same lines of the “super pass” bonus.
“We love to go walk around the museum or village for a couple hours on Sunday afternoons.”
“We go to the special events like the Civil War encampment and try to catch as many historic baseball games as we can.”
“It takes the pressure off of an all-day visit with the little ones.”
“We’ve been members for 15-years and have enjoyed watching our children’s knowledge grow.”
“I like going to eat at Eagle Tavern, especially during the fall. Being a member makes it an option.”
“We love the ride pass. I’m not sure why, but riding in a Model T never gets old.”
But this comment struck me …
“We got married at Martha-Mary Chapel and have been members ever since –even if we can’t always make a trip during the year.”
About 90 percent of memberships are purchased by local folks like us, who take advantage of more than one annual visit. There are also members who reside in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Canada, and states as far away as Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. These are folks who obviously aren’t dropping by for an afternoon visit but are choosing to support this gem of an institution by purchasing a membership.
Visiting a few times during the summer months gives us a chance to catch most of the dramatic performances. “How I Got Over” was definitely my kids’ favorite this year
There is a menu of memberships to fit all kinds of different scenarios. Since we typically buy the family pass, I didn’t really know all the flexible options that are now available. Companion, Family, Flex Family … the list goes on. In addition to including admission for more guests, some of the higher-level memberships include invitations to behind-the-scenes tours with curators and experts at The Henry Ford.
With each membership, there is the option to add a Ride Pass to fit the scope of the membership. The Ride Pass was introduced in 2006, and this year, more than 12,000 members purchased it. The pass allows for unlimited rides on all the historic transportation in the village and on the Herschell-Spillman carousel.
The kids had some good laughs and good times at the 2011 Members Holiday Lighting Ceremony, not to mention, Santa was there! We’re looking forward to this year’s event.
Members also often have the opportunity to purchase tickets for special events before they go on sale to the general public, receive discounts at The Henry Ford gift shops as well as are offered reduced prices for the IMAX Theatre and Ford Rouge Factory Tour. There’s also a special member price for the summer Discovery Camp. I didn’t know this until just recently, but there are even special member offers for discounts for local hotels and dining in the community.
Betty Speyer – who is the marketing manager of consumer engagement at The Henry Ford – said that the people who receive the most up-to-date information and perks are members signed up for the monthly “eUpdates” +and those enrolled in the Member Text Club. You can join by texting the word “member” to 36698. The Member Text Club was completely new to me. When I signed up, I received a text for one free guest admission, good until December 30th. That will certainly come in handy when one of our children wants to bring a friend along during the holidays.
Betty also told me that in the future, these electronic methods will be the only methods members will be up-to-date on special freebies offered, so it’s well worth the time to sign up for these communication channels.
We consider our membership an annual gift to our family and a great gift to give – since it’s one that keeps on giving.