Gilmore Car Museum Turns Into “Winter Wonderland” for Every Member of the Family
Earlier this year, I was talking with the Gilmore Car Museum's Executive Director Josh Russell, who said he had big plans for updating their "Winter Wonderland" light display this Winter.
I had no idea what that actually meant until I saw it with my own eyes. Guarantee, this is going to be one of the best Light Displays in all of western Michigan - GEARED toward all members of the family.
From November 25th through December 30th, The Gilmore Car Museum will present its "Winter Wonderland" Holiday Light Spectacular." Under the background of some of the most beautiful cars you've ever seen, a small-town main street, and a sweeping barnyard, the guys at the Gilmore have outdone themselves this year.
From 5-9 p.m. every night, The Gilmore turns into Clark W. Griswold's dream, illuminating acres, upon acres of property, and plan on spending a fair amount of time at the museum if you come out.
My recommendations: Start inside, and work your way out.
I've been in the museum a handful of times before this display went up, but the Holiday Spirit is VERY much alive and well throughout the different rooms. The Steam Carriage House not only holds some of the first steam-powered vehicles ever but period-accurate Christmas displays and music. Moving through all of the different rooms, you'll see everything from the "It's a Wonderful Life" era vehicles - with the movie playing on retro televisions - Straight into the 1980s.
And of course - a visit from Santa Claus awaits the kids toward the back of the museum.
You could spend hours inside the museum, but there's SO much more to see outside. Lights cover the facades of all of the major buildings and displays with interactive light displays to all kinds of holiday music.
Even on a crisp night, it's worth the trip to see the displays, AND to pick up some of the specialty holiday drinks and food they're offering.
Something I did get into (that's probably more for the kids) was the holiday inflatable maze... not ashamed to say I got lost a time or two in there.
And really, just a walk in the quiet air, holiday music playing, and taking in the displays is pretty relaxing during one of the most stressful times of the year.
The Ride Through
Finally, once you've explored the museum, AND you've taken a walk out back, it's time for the main attraction - "Dashing Through the Snow" family rides through the Museum's grounds, in classic vehicles.
You can literally ride in a Kalamazoo-made Checker Cab, under the lights through the park.
They do allow you to drive through in your own vehicles, so if you've got an army of kids with you, that's probably the best idea. But there's something about seeing the lights as you go under them in a Ford Model T or '63 Cadillac Convertible from the Gilmore's Collection of Classic Cars.
There's so much more I didn't even get to, but the bottom line is, of all the displays in the area, this one has got a charm that none will be able to match... and keep any gearhead's interest.