After the turkey, it'll be time to start thinking about those other holidays (as if you had any choice). Proof that the holidays are on their way is in the holiday train gardens set up throughout the area. While they aren't as prevalent as they used to be, you can still find terrifically detailed layouts at some area firehouses and museums. Below are a few of the holiday train gardens you'll want to explore:
The B&O Railroad Museum is making up for lost time. Closed for nearly two years because of the devastating snowstorm and resulting roof collapse of February 2003, the museum reopened its doors to visitors earlier this month. And tomorrow, the museum invites visitors to come inside for its grand Holiday Festival of Trains exhibit. Santa arrives by train at 11 a.m. tomorrow and visits with folks (and sees what needs to be added to his list). Visitors can tour the roundhouse, see the new HO-model train layouts with Baltimore landmarks, the outdoor G-scale layout and the O-gauge layout set up in the Education Station. Train rides are included with admission.
The Holiday Festival of Trains will be displayed 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, tomorrow through Jan. 2 at the B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St. $14; $10 seniors; $8 ages 2-12; free for ages under 2. Call 410-752-2490 or visit www.bo rail.org.
In the late 1800s, it was a tradition for firehouses to display elaborate holiday train gardens. The tradition, however, faded with time. A handful of Baltimore firehouses still set up train gardens, but you may have quite the challenge finding them. While the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville is not an active firehouse, it does have an expansive Holiday Train Garden. The layout, designed by museum volunteers, offers a 26-foot-by-16-foot display featuring a 1940s theme, with O27 trains and O-gauge track. The museum has presented its holiday display each year since 1986.
The Holiday Train Garden will be on view from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 27-31 at the Fire Museum of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Lutherville. $6; $5 seniors and firefighters; $4 ages 2-12; free for ages under 2. Call 410-321-7500 or visit www.firemuseummd.org.
An array of train layouts in historic settings will be featured at the Holiday Model Train Exhibit at the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum. A 40-foot HO-scale model of the first 13 miles of the B&O Railroad will be displayed, as will a G-scale Thomas the Tank Engine and a 300-square-foot multilevel O-scale model with new seasonal additions.
The Holiday Model Train Exhibit will be set up 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays, tomorrow through Jan. 30 at the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum, 2711 Maryland Ave. $5; $4 seniors and students; $3 ages 3-12; free for ages under 3. Call 410-461-1944 or visit www.ec bo.org.
See illuminated village scenes, wintry mountain displays and more at the Holiday Train Garden at Dundalk Village. The Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society presents this vast layout for the fifth year.
The Holiday Train Garden at Dundalk Village will run 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, Wednesday through Jan. 2 at Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society Museum, 4 Center Place. Free. Call 410-284-2331.