From mini models to the real deal, here are seven terrific train experiences not to be missed.
Holiday Show at Krohn Conservatory
A shimmering frozen landscape awaits inside the glass walls of the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. Model trains chug through a scenic wonderland of holiday florals and miniature recreations of the Cincinnati region’s most iconic landmarks, including the Roebling Bridge and Union Terminal. November 10, 2018–January 7, 2019.
Youngsters are captivated by BCM's Holiday Toy Trains.
With vintage Lionel and Plasticville trains, Thomas the Tank Engine and more than 30 moving, interactive displays carefully built at kids’ eye level, this magical tableau is tailor-made for children. The 250 feet of track rolls through busy cities and snowy countrysides. November 10, 2018-January 13, 2019.
Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction
This train attraction, with two miles of track, trains depicting every era of American railroading and the A-Maze-N Funhouse (which features a mirror maze and a hilarious tilt room), provides tons of fun all year long for little engineers. During the holidays, there’s a special Christmas cityscape display, and you can take a journey to the North Pole to meet Mrs. Claus and Santa himself. November 17-December 31, 2018.
Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad
During this festive hour-long roundtrip ride on a vintage train, kids can visit with Santa and his elves and sip hot chocolate from a free souvenir mug. Balloon artists will also be onboard for even more fun. Train times vary November 16-December 29, 2018.
Kings Island & Miami Valley Railroad at Winterfest
Kings Island, Miami Valley Railroad
The authentic steam-spitting engines of the trains in this fleet are actually 1/3 scale replicas of famous locomotives from the 1800s. Ring in the holidays by taking a ride on this train through Kings Island
as it's decked out for Winterfest with millions of lights. You can catch the train select nights November 23-December 31, 2018.
PNC Festival of Lights
Head to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
and witness a "Wild Wonderland" of dazzling holiday lights. Hop on the train and take a ride around the zoo, then watch a performance from the Madcap Puppets or search for fairies in Fairyland. There is an additonal cost to ride the train, but you have the option to purchase a Ride Package ticket. The PNC Festival of Lights takes place November 17, 2018-January 1, 2019.
Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains (photo: Abby Erwin)
At the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal you can explore 9,000 square feet of train exhibits, including familiar friend Thomas the Tank Engine. LEGO adds to the holiday fun with floor-to-ceiling landscapes featuring motorized trains and whimsical scenes. Kids can really get in on the action by hopping aboard a riding train. Holiday Junction chugs through the museum center November 17, 2018-January 27, 2019.
Written by: Jessica Gordon with updates by Emily Lloyd and Amber Potter