“In Motion” at Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway Opens Memorial Day Weekend !

 

Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway opens for the summer season Saturday, May 27, Memorial Day weekend.  Celebrating its 20th year, the Garden Railway 2017 theme is “In Motion” that will feature structures that incorporate movement in their construct.  Come and see a replica of the Morris water mill that has a wheel that rotates; discover a windmill with blades that turn; and catch (if you can) a Train Touch n GO! with a sensor activated botanical ‘pad’ that allows the train to operate.

In preparation for the grand opening, several renovations have been completed in the Garden Railway display. The 14 foot bridge span on the 15 foot base that visitors walk under has been rebuilt and replaced.  The John Morris fountain, an original feature from the 1900’s, has been refurbished and is in working condition.  Along the Thomas the Train track, the whimsical log tunnel has been replaced and five small trestles have been rebuilt.

Three new large structures have been installed to the permanent collection, including Compton Mansion, John & Lydia Morris’ original home; Philadelphia City Hall with William Penn atop; and the Undine Barge Club, c 1856.  Additionally, three new townhouses-Elfreth’s Alley, Man of Poor Judgement Tavern, and Dolley Todd Mansion are now displayed within the exhibit.  Fresh plantings have also been added to give the garden a fragrant look.

To celebrate the opening of the Railway, kids may take part in a craft activity on Saturday, May 27 from 10:30am-12:30pm. 

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 8pm 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 15 and Sunday, July 16 ; Saturday, August 12 and Sunday August 13; and an additional weekend Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10. Come visit the Garden Railway and see Thomas & Friends take over the tracks.

 

Circus Week at the Garden Railway.  Daily Saturday, July 1 through Sunday, July 9 with an encore week Saturday August 26 through Monday, September 4. 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 and Sunday in May through October 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 8pm.  For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.

Photo Credit:  Arnold Winkler

Photo Caption:  Morris Arboretum’s Garden Railway opens for the summer season Saturday, May 27, Memorial Day weekend.  Celebrating its 20th year, the Garden Railway 2017 theme is “In Motion” that will feature structures that incorporate movement in their construct. 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.