Taking the Family to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates


When daddy has to get away on business in our home state of Florida, I’m the first to arrange an adventurous family field trip to travel along. This week, we drove across Alligator Alley from the East Coast to the West Coast for a couple of business meetings and a tour that had been on my “life is learning” family bucket list for a while: The Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

“If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value.” ~ Thomas Alva Edison

edison ford family visit edison Collage

The self-guided audio tour was a real hit with our Luke, almost six, who loved reading the sign posts around for Edison’s library, living room, office, and more.

Daddy, an avid gardener, was in awe of the extensive and beautiful grounds. Many of the trees were planted to experiment in making rubber here in the United States. The sheer enormity of the ancient trees makes this visit worth while. We mammoth banyan treenearly left the plant sale with a cinnamon tree.  Makani’s favorite was Ford’s garage with the old trucks on display, and the fabulous gift shop where science seemed to get hands on. We left with a fiber optic and LED pen, one for each of the boys, and a book of famous quotes from these two geniuses for mom & dad.

“If everyone is moving forward together, than success takes care of itself.” ~Henry Ford

I loved peeking into the past in their living room, and learning that their dining room was converted to their library. Ours has been too. I’ll take it as a sign that I’m raising geniuses, even though they still act like young boys. I could just about see Mina Edison caring for her family and her husband while his mind relaxed and researched. I knew about the lightbulb, but seeing hundreds of his “misses” is a great learning lesson. And, inspiring… wow! Edison held 1,093 patents in his lifetime.

We happened to be there at Christmastime, and the unbelievable holiday decorations and cheer around the grounds and in every room seemed to set a spirit-filled mood in my heart: a great replacement for the lack of cool weather we’ve had this year in paradise.

If you have the opportunity to visit the West Coast of Florida, especially the winter wonderland at Christmas, I highly recommend a stop. After peering into the workshop,  past, and lives of these  friends, I’m more inspired to let my boys learn by experiment.

“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” ~Edison

Happy Travels!

Buen Viaje! ~Jen


  1. We LOVE the Edison Ford Winter Estates! We haven’t been there around the holidays – I think we need to plan a trip to see the decorations.

    • Susan- I was MOVED. It was so beautiful for Christmas! You will love it! It was my first trip there, but we will surely be back! And they were SO helpful! Customer service:)

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