Christmas Model Train Displays Near Washington, D.C.

Best Places to See Model Train Exhibits for the Holidays

••• Holiday Train Display at Union Station. Photo © Kristoffer Ronneberg/Royal Norwegian Embassy

Toy train displays are a family favorite for the holiday season. Visit these Christmas model train exhibits in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia and enjoy watching a variety of locomotives travel through miniature villages with seasonal decor. Each destination is unique and offers a special way to celebrate the magic of the season. 

  • Norwegian Christmas Train Display at Union Station - Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave, NE Washington, D.C. The display returns this year and features hand-made replicas of real Norwegian trains set in a the mountains and fjords of Norway. Each train is hand-crafted by an expert model builder and is a replica of a real Norwegian train. The display is open regular shopping hours throughout the holiday season.
  • Seasons Greenings at the Botanic Garden - U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. (on the National Mall at the foot of the U.S. Capitol). See the outdoor train garden, enter the Conservatory and enjoy a colorful display of poinsettias and other winter-blooming tropical plants, and the National Mall in miniature, a replica created with natural plant materials. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. with live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout December. 
  • National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace - Ellipse Near the White House. While visiting Washington, D.C.'s most treasured Christmas tree, be sure to check out the model trains. This is an outdoor display and is open each evening during the holiday season through January 1. See photos of the train display.
  • Zoolights at the National Zoo - National Zoo3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. While visiting ZooLights,  check out the indoor animal exhibits along with a festive winter scene in the Visitor Center, featuring a model train display and entries in the themed gingerbread contest.
  • Garden Railway Exhibit at Brookside Gardens - 1500 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD. (301) 962-1400. The Washington Virginia Maryland Garden Railroad Society sets up a seasonal display featuring miniature trains and trollies amidst a landscape of town and country scenes with past one-of-a-kind models of the Brookside Gardens Conservatories, the Dentzel Carousel and the Chautauqua Tower of Glen Echo Park. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
  • National Capital Trolley Museum - Holly Trolleyfest, 1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville, MD. (301) 384-6088. The museum offers its favorite seasonal event to entertain the whole family. Enjoy the model garden railway and holiday village inside the museum from 12 – 5 p.m.
  • Fairfax Station Railroad Museum - Holiday Train Show -  11200 Fairfax Station Road, PO Box 7, Fairfax Station, VA (703) 425-9225. The show is held rain or shine on the Saturday and Sunday of the first full weekend in December. Displays filling the station and grounds include The Washington Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society and their G scale trains, Potomac Module Crew, an HO scale club, Northern Virginia NTRAK, Z scale modelers, Lego trains by Monty Smith, Members of The George Washington Chapter of the Model “A” Ford Club of America and many more.
  • Winter Wonderland Train Show - Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., 3rd Floor, Manassas, VA. The National Capital Trackers present their festive train display. Bring donations of canned goods and unwrapped toys to benefit SERVE during the holiday season.