Saturday, November 23, 2019

MEADOW BROOK HALL HOLIDAY TOUR

Christmas
I've always wanted to visit historic Meadow Brook Hall so when my daughter's Girl Scout troop was looking for some chaperones to go with them on a trip there this dad blogger raised his hand to volunteer. To be honest I probably was more geeked about this expedition to explore this magnificent estate than the girls were. Built in the roaring '20s of the 20th Century, Meadow Brook Hall exemplifies the lavish lifestyles of the industrial barons of that time. Visiting the place is like walking through a castle! Except instead of being in Europe, it is located in Rochester, Michigan right here in the good ole USA.

Situated on the grounds of Oakland University, it is the former residence of the school's founders Matilda Dodge Wilson and Alfred G. Wilson. The college know maintains this magnificent manor on its campus as a historical site used for educational and entertainment purposes. This 100 room, 88,000 square foot mansion, which is often referred to as an American castle, was inspired by the English country homes of the Tudor and Elizabethan periods. Approaching Meadow Brook Hall has the air of walking into a fairy tale.

girl scout tour


As you walk through the house, the craftsmanship of its interior is a marvel to behold. Elaborate details are throughout including intricately carved wood and stone, handmade tile, molded plaster ceilings, ornate crown molding, crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows and gold plated bathroom fixtures. Plus the Girl Scouts picked a perfect time to go as during this time of year the whole place is decked out in festive holiday decorations. If the place didn't look majestic enough during the rest of the year being decorated for Christmas makes Meadow Brook Hall even more fantastic!

Christmas decorations


The girls really enjoyed seeing how each room's decorations had their own themes and schemes to them. They really liked how each of the children's rooms were decorated. You could tell they were imagining these were there own rooms.

christmas decorations
holiday tour


My daughter was especially thrilled by one of the bedrooms that had an eclectic pink flair to it. On the way home she was rather chatty about wanting to redecorate her own bedroom with obvious references to that spot.

christmas tour

There was a lot to see as you look around. When exploring someplace though in addition to checking out your surroundings make sure to always look above you as well. Wow! Meadow Brook Hall is filled with wonderful crown moldings, plaster ceiling designs, and chandeliers.

holiday walk
holiday walk

So what stood out about our tour from a guy's perspective. There are a number of things that I wish were a part of my own home. Here are a few of the favorite things at Meadow Brook Hall:

LIBRARY

As a kid, I dreamed of one day owning a home that had its own library. Stepping into this room full of wood paneling and book shelves, I imagined myself sitting by its fireplace in a comfy chair reading Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Meadow Brook Hall has an exceptional library!

holiday tour


HOME OFFICE

christmas

I spend a lot of time in my own home office, so have to admit taking a liking to this room where Alfred G. Wilson handled his business affairs. It has a scenic view of the meadows to the side of the home through windows behind his desk which provide plenty of natural light and an attached butlers pantry makes for getting an easy snack. A fireplace keeps the room warm in the winter and provides some nice charm. Plus there is a secret passage that leads to a basement … 

GAME ROOM

Wow! I've always wanted a special place to hang out with my buddies to play poker and pool. This is a perfect space for lighting up some cigars and drinking a few beers while hanging out with friends. What a great man cave Alfred G. Wilson had for himself at Meadow Brook Hall!

man cave
game room


BALL ROOM

Readers of ageekdaddy.com know I love family movie nights.  Not only did this ball room host dances and private performances by the likes of Frank Sinatra, but it also could be transformed into a movie theater. A film projector was hidden in a wall and a giant movie screen could be pulled down from the ceiling. What an incredible home theater experience!

ball room
movie theater


GIFT SHOP

Meadow Brook Hall has its own branded beers available in the gift shop based upon recipes once brewed on site when the Dodge brothers had a farm there. Pick yourself up a six pack on the way out. I'm never one to turn down tasting a new style of pale ale.

craft beer


We really had a good time touring Meadow Brook Hall. It was a nice father daughter outing and we both enjoyed seeing the grand old house in all its holiday splendor. If you would like to see the place for yourself during the holiday season there are a number of events going on between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Candlelight Tours, Holiday Walks and Santa Visits provide some merriment during the holidays at Meadow Brook Hall. Head over to meadowbrookhall.org for more details.

Meadowbrook Hall tour

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