Christmas is almost here; gifts to buy, places to go

Christmas is almost here, and if you still have gifts to buy, or if you are looking for places to go, read on:

Truly unique gift items are available at The Henry Ford shops and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Selections at The Henry Ford include glassware, pottery, food specialties, bath items, games, toys, crafts, jewelry, home décor, clothing, posters, gift cards and stationery. The price range is under $25 to more than $100.

Among the very special items offered at the DIA are many highlighting the current exhibition “Watch Me Move: The Animation Show,” which chronicles the history of animation over the last 150 years. The exhibit closes Jan. 5.

Irresistibles include an adorable Olive Oyl Olive Oil container ($28) based on the original Popeye cartoons. More are a Superman Mighty Wallet with “incredible strength” ($15) and The Animation Studio (19.99), which offers tips to help a child transform a series of still images into an original animated movie.

The institute shop offers much more, from biographies about artists to figurines, puppets, clothing and a vast array of collectibles.

Santa Claus is returning
Jolly Old St. Nick will return to the Grand Lobby of the Fox Theatre Dec. 23 for Breakfast with Santa, courtesy of Olympia Entertainment and the Century 21 Metro Detroit Brokers Council.

For the second year, children and adults will have a choice of an 8 a.m. breakfast or 11:30 a.m. brunch served from chef-attended stations. Youngsters can participate in arts and crafts and have their photos taken with Santa.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children between 3 and 12, and free for those younger. To order tickets, go to
or, or call 313-471-3099 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. For additional infor-mation, call 313-471-6611.

Guests are being asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

Ford mansion will be open

The beautiful Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, at 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, will be open for holiday events through Jan 5.

New this year are Winter Wonderland Weekend strolls through dazzling light displays on the grounds with stops at open fire pits to sit, warm up and sip hot chocolate.

During remaining strolls on Dec. 28 and 29, visitors will be invited to sing along with carolers and listen to Christmas storytellers. The cost is $10 per peson.

Tours though the halls of the candlelit 1929 mansion, featuring live music and Eleanor’s favorite decorations, are available through New Year’s Eve.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 26, 27 and 28; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 29; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 31.

The cost of the tours is $15. Lunch is available daily, except Dec. 30, and dinner Dec. 27 and 28. Santa’s workshop is open during the tours. For more information, call 313-884-4222 or go to

Santa dinners are ending
Dec. 23 is the final night for Supper with Santa as part of a special Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village package for families.

After a horse-drawn wagon ride to A Taste of History Restaurant, participants can enjoy a buffet-style holiday turkey dinner, make table decorations, listen to a story and meet with Santa before visiting village attractions. Tickets are $45, adults; $32, youths; and $12.50, children. For reservations, call 313-982-6001.

City history book offered
A perfect gift for a current or former Lincoln Park resident is the history book “Lincoln Park,” written by members of the city’s Preservation Alliance.

The book is available for $20 at the Lincoln Park Treasurer’s Office, 1355 Southfield Road; the Lincoln Park Public Library, 1381 Southfield Road; and the Historical Museum, 1335 Southfield Road. It also is offered via e-mail ( and on Facebook, with an additional $5 for postage and handling.

Proceeds will benefit the Preservation Alliance and the Historical Society.