“Awaken the Senses” at Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway Opens Memorial Day Weekend!
Stop, look and listen as Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway opens for the summer season Saturday, May 28, Memorial Day weekend. Celebrating its 19th year, the Garden Railway 2016 theme is “Awaken the Senses” that will feature buildings that incorporate one or two of the five senses in the structure. Come and see Sleeping Beauty’s intricately detailed Castle. Hear the familiar chugging as the trains rush past on the quarter mile track. Imagine the sweet smells wafting from Ye Olde Cakery Bakery and Randy’s Donut Shop. And be sure tofeel the various natural materials on the Touch Board of samples used in the miniature world of the Garden Railway.
In preparation for the grand opening, several renovations have been completed in the Garden Railway display. The John Morris fountain, an original feature from the 1900’s, and the bench that sits on the knoll above it were both refurbished. The walking bridge that has a vaguely Asian feel was replaced. Six of the miniature townhouse buildings, The Betsy Ross House, Bouvier House, First Post Office, Latta House, Powell House and the Trump House have been refreshed as well the Fisher Fine Arts Library. Two new structures, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Waterworks have been added to the permanent collection. And new plantings and signage were added to give the garden a fresh and fragrant look.
A new train will be chugging around the tracks this summer, a scale model of the New York Central “Hudson” steam locomotive 5343, assembled in 1934. Train enthusiasts will appreciate the attention to detail on this engine’s 4-6-4 frame (4 leading wheels, 6 drive wheels, 4 trailing wheels).
Grand Opening activities will take place on Saturday, May 28 from 1-3pm. Take part in a kids craft and enjoy free ice cream and hard pretzels (while supplies last) for a taste of sweet and salty!
With a changing theme each year, the Garden Railway display is a miniature world with a quarter mile track running through it, all set in the splendor of Morris Arboretum’s summer garden. It features loops and tunnels, bridges and trestles and all of the miniature buildings are created entirely of natural materials, each meticulously detailed with leaves, bark, vines and twigs. Logs and branches are also used to create unique tunnels and overhead trestles. Nestled among woody plants, colorful annuals and perennials, the finished product is an enchanting landscape that never ceases to delight visitors both young and old.
The Garden Railway is supported, in part, through the generosity of Gwen and Ed Asplundh and by a gift given in memory of Joe Shuttleworth.
Garden Railway is open every day through Labor Day, September, from 10am to 4pm during the week and 10am to 5pm on weekends. After September, the Railway will remain open on the weekends from 10am-5pm through Columbus Day, October. On Wednesday evenings in June, July and August, the Arboretum is open until 8:00pm and the trains will run until 7:30pm. Special weekends are planned throughout the summer, including Thomas the Tank Engine Week, Circus Week and other surprise events.
Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Weekend. Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17; Saturday, August 13 and Sunday August 14; and an additional weekend Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11. Come visit the Garden Railway and see Thomas & Friends take over the tracks.
Circus Week at the Garden Railway. Daily Saturday, July 2 through Sunday, July 10 and an encore week Saturday August 27 throughMonday, September 5. The first circus was held in Philadelphia in 1793. Come see the Big Top and the circus trains, learn the history of the circus and watch for a few surprises.
Early Bird Openings every Saturday in May through September at 8am. If you’re up with the sun, start your day with an early morning visit to Morris Arboretum. Members, non-members, walkers, amateur photographers and everyone in between are invited to find the shining dew on more than 12,000 labeled plants in the Arboretum’s living collection.
During your visit, be sure to stop at The Shop at Morris Arboretum for unique Arboretum-branded merchandise. The Shop specializes in, environmentally-friendly reuse of materials, and items inspired by nature. And for the person, who has everything, think about the gift of a Morris Arboretum membership, the gift that lasts all year long.
The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. The arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also the official arboretum of Pennsylvania. A permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing. Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm (Apr-Oct). Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8:00pm. For more information, visitwww.morrisarboretum.org.
Photo Credit: Judy Miller
Photo Caption: Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway opens for the summer season Saturday, May 28, Memorial Day weekend. Celebrating its 19th year, the Garden Railway 2016 theme is “Awaken the Senses” that will feature buildings that incorporate one or two of the five senses in the structure. The Garden Railway display is a miniature world with a quarter mile track running through it, all set in the splendor of Morris Arboretum’s summer garden. For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.