The Morris Arboretum’s popular Garden Railway returns November 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving, as the Holiday Garden Railway display. Visitors of all ages will be wow-ed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely winter garden of the Morris Arboretum. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with small streams. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.
The buildings are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle along the tracks and around the surrounding landscape. The Garden Railway Display has become one of the Arboretum’s most beloved attractions since it opened in 1998, and the Holiday Garden Railway has become a favorite holiday tradition for many families. This year, the Holiday Garden Railway opens November 27 and runs daily from 10am-4pm through January 3 (closed Christmas Eve and day, and New Years day). Back by popular demand is Friday Night Lights where visitors can enjoy the Holiday Garden Railway at night from 4:30-7:30pm on Dec 4, 11, and 18. This ticketed event sold out two nights last year, so buy your tickets early for one of three evenings this year! To purchase tickets via Ticket Leap beginning November 1, please visit http://bitly.com/MAFNL15.
A special Holiday Garden Railway Grand Opening Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 28 from 1-3pm that will include the sounds of carolers who will serenade visitors throughout the garden. Kids and adults will also have the opportunity to craft their own ornament or decoration to take home. The Holiday Garden Railway is a great way to kick off the season and also serves as a fabulous a backdrop for your holiday greeting card, so bring your camera! The Railway is free with regular garden admission (aside from Friday Night Lights): $16 adults, $14 for seniors, students and youth (13-18) $7, children under age three and members are free.
On Saturday, December 5 at 2pm, catch more of the holiday spirit at Morris Arboretum with the Penn Glee Club who will treats guests to a fun and diverse seasonal performance, out in the winter garden.
Don’t forget The Shop at Morris Arboretum for wonderful holiday gifts this season. The Shop specializes in, environmentally-friendly reuse of materials, and items inspired by nature. Gifts for children to engage and inspire young minds await you. And for the person on your list who has everything, give the gift of a Morris Arboretum membership, the gift that lasts all year long.
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a 92-acre horticulture display garden featuring a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. Highlights include a formal rose garden, historic water features, a glass fernery, and Out on a Limb, a permanent nationally award-winning exhibit 50 feet above the ground. Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center has received Platinum Level LEED® Certification, the highest sustainability rating of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit: www.morrisarboretum.org.