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Track down a holiday train garden for the family

Train gardens are a thrill for children and adults, and even during a pandemic there are plenty to visit throughout Maryland.

Train garden at Marley Station Mall

Train gardens are elaborately constructed miniature worlds created by model train enthusiasts around the
holidays. Electric trains snake their way through little cities, zoos, amusement parks and sparkling hills of ice and snow. According to the Fire Museum of Maryland, Captain Eugene Daly of Baltimore City’s Engine Co. 28 on Gilford Avenue, is believed to be the first in the area to set up a Christmas Train Garden in 1917, during World War I. Today many train gardens are on display in shopping centers, museums and fire departments for the public to admire.

Please note due to COVID-19 many require reservations and all are asking for visitors to wear masks and refrain from visiting if showing any signs of illness. It is advisable to check their website, Facebook, or give a call before heading over to ensure the display is still open.

Train gardens to visit in Maryland

Updating for 2021

Queen Anne’s Railroad Society Festival of Trains
A modified version of the annual free event, which has been nicknamed the Festival of Trains: Department Store Edition. Department stores were once the center of the retail industry in the United States. During the holidays, they would typically have a train layout in a display window for people on the streets to enjoy. This is the inspiration for this year’s Festival of Trains. Only train layouts and operators will be on the inside, while the public will be able to view the 100 feet of window train displays from the outside; warm, fluffy jackets recommended! The public will not be allowed inside.
Dates, location and hours: December 5 & 6 and 12 & 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kent Narrows Outlet Stores
61 Piney Narrows Road, Chester, MD 21619

Marley Station Mall, Glen Burnie
Choo Choo! All Aboard the Marley Station Train Garden!!! This year things are a little different, but the Marley Station Train Garden will be open. Opening day is November 21st, and every weekend following (no weekdays besides Friday Nov 27th). The Train Garden will be following the required CDC guidelines. This train garden is full of fun displays with at least 10 tracks, including one circling the ceiling. The train garden is on the upper level of the mall near Macy’s. Saturdays and Sundays, Noon–6 p.m.

The Shops at Kenilworth, Towson
Stop by the former Stebbins Anderson space  to see the annual Train Garden display! The event is free. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and you are asked to review the following new rules due to COVID-19: Please register one ticket per person–up to ten guests per time slot. Masks must be worn at all times while inside The Shops at Kenilworth. Upon arrival, present your ticket and name to the host stand. Your family will have 10 minutes to walk from circle to circle and enjoy the train. Please stand at a circle at all times to keep socially distant from other guests. Once the 10 minutes are up, staff will clean the Train Garden and get ready for the next group to visit.

Dates and hours: Nov. 21, 2020–Jan. 10, 2021, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
800 Kenilworth Dr., Towson, MD 21204

Doll and Train 617 411 s c1

St. Clement’s Island Museum, Colton’s Point
Enjoy a holiday exhibit of antique and collectible dolls (like Barbie, American Girl and more), classic trains and other retro toys in this festive holiday display inside the museum.  $3 for adults, $1.50 for children. Free for ages 5 and younger. Complete your holiday shopping inside the Museum Store with affordable art, jewelry, books and other local items.
Dates, location and hours: Dec. 1-Jan. 2, 2022, noon-4 p.m. closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
38370 Point Breeze Rd, Colton’s Point, MD 20626

B&O Railroad Museum
Tour through Santa’s Winter Village shops, model train layouts, take photos with Santa and ride the Reindeer Railway.
Dates, location and hours: December 13 to January 2; closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum admission is required.
901 W Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21223

White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company
Join us from Thanksgiving to shortly after New Year Day for our annual train garden and Christmas tree sales.
10331 Philadelphia Rd, White Marsh, MD 21162

Rescue Fire Company Train Garden
86 years of holiday fun! This year’s theme, Harvesters at the Holidays, pays tribute to the farmers and watermen that call Dorchester County home. The display features miniature towns, cities, farms, forests, factories and highways, all decked out in holiday revelry, and crisscrossed by model trains.
Dates, location and hours: December 1 through December 31, closed Christmas Day. Friday-Saturday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 6pm-8pm.
307 Gay Street, Cambridge, Maryland 21613

Holiday Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland
Watch as O-scale model trains wind through a 20th-century town, complete with local businesses, a subway and even a “working fire” being battled by a miniature fire crew. Train garden included with museum admission. Adults $15, seniors and firefighters $13, children ages 2-18 $7, under age 2 are free.
Dates, location and hours: Dec. 5, 12, 19, 26 & 28-31. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Opening Day Nov. 28, snap a selfie with Santa, from 11 am until 2 p.m.
1301 York Road, Lutherville, MD 21093

Greenstreet Gardens
Train display open during business hours.
391 West Bay Front Road, Lothian

Homestead Gardens
Train display open during business hours.
743 W Central Ave., Davidsonville

The following train displays are canceled for 2020:

B&O Railroad Ellicott City Station Holiday Festival of Trains
Canceled for 2020. Museum is still open to the public.

Ellicott City Fire Station
Canceled for 2020.

The National Capitol Trolley Museum
Closed until further notice.

Clayville Railroad Outdoor Train Garden
Canceled for 2020.

Easton Volunteer Fire Department, Easton 
Canceled for 2020.

The United States Botanic Gardens, Washington, D.C.
Canceled for 2020.

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