Toy and model 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 pull cars through miniature villages with seasonal decor. Each destination is unique and offers a special way to celebrate the magic of the season.
You'll find impressive Christmas trees and train displays located at the 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.
The display, a gift from the country of Norway, returns each year and features hand-made replicas of real Norwegian trains set in 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.
Address: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, D.C.
From November 22, 2018 to January 1, 2019, you can explore America by train as the annual holiday show, "Season's Greenings," showcases historic railroad stations across the country. In this model train show, trains will travel below, through, and above plant-based recreations of depots from across the United States. Enjoy the blooms, plants, and live music in the garden.
Address: U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. (on the National Mall at the foot of the U.S. Capitol).
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.
You can even ride a full-size excursion train through the event. ZooLights runs Friday, November 23, 2018, to Tuesday, January 1, 2019, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Address: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
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 one-of-a-kind models of the Brookside Gardens Conservatories, the Dentzel Carousel, and the Chautauqua Tower of Glen Echo Park.
Kids will love the Disney characters, superheroes, and other well-known characters that the club has worked into the display. Visitors can try locating them all with a scavenger hunt activity sheet available at the Conservatory. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily during the Christmas season.
Address: 1500 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland. (301) 962-1400.
The National Capital Trolley Museum offers its favorite seasonal event to entertain the whole family. Santa will be there too.
Enjoy the model garden railway and holiday village inside the museum from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Address: 1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville, Maryland. (301) 384-6088
The Railroad Museum's Holiday Train 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.
Address: 11200 Fairfax Station Road, Fairfax Station, Virginia (703) 425-9225.