25 May Edison & Ford Offers Summer Deal For Families
The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, consists of the historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, caretakers homes of both inventors, Edison’s study, a 15,000-square-foot museum and the botanic laboratory – a National Historic Chemical Landmark.
When families visit the estates through June, July and August, children 12 years or younger will be admitted free of charge – one child per adult! Explore the more than 20 acres of botanic gardens, including the historic Moonlight Garden, Clara’s rose garden, a succulent garden, the nearly century-old Banyan and Mysore Fig trees and numerous other plants and trees from all around the world.
The air-conditioned museum is full of exhibits and artifacts children and adults alike will enjoy. Antique car enthusiasts can muse over Edison’s personal car, the 1916 Model T; Ford’s ‘Chuck Wagon,’ the 1918 Model T Roadster; and a 1908 Cadillac Motor Car. You can see and hear several examples of Edison’s favorite invention, the phonograph, as well as learn how many patents Edison had and what was his most profitable invention.
There are two new exhibits in the museum: the Smithsonian Spark!Lab and the Timeline of Innovation. The timeline is a chronological display of Edison’s and Ford’s inventions. The Spark!Lab is a fun, hands-on activity center where kids are encouraged to invent. It has five stations that rotate every few months and activities allow for enjoyment by the entire family.
Edison Ford is one of only nine museums across the country to have a Smithsonian Spark!Lab.
Smithsonian Spark!Lab activities include: Invent-A-Vehicle, where children sketch and then build a vehicle to solve a specified problem; Flying Machines allows participants to engineer flying inventions using the construction materials provided; High Wire Driver incorporates a variety of building components and simple motors to invent devices that can roll along a cable suspended above a table or work surface; Snap Circuits offers children a chance to work with real circuits just like the ones found inside radios, televisions, computers and other electronic devices, but without wires or solder; and visitors can examine various plant samples through the lens of a microscope in the Microscope Plant Exploration station.
Edison Ford Winter Estates is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week. There are several tour options, including self-guided audio tours, historian-led guided tours, specialty inside-the-homes and inside-the-lab tours and garden tours. Throughout the year, the site offers public events and new exhibits. For tour times and additional information, visit the website at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.