Hi, Friends! It’s me again! I’m still procrastinating from finals, so it suddenly seems like the perfect time to buy stamps for Christmas cards, clean my kitchen, watch Hallmark movies, and write about an Indianapolis holiday tradition.
Jingle Rails has been a thing for a while (I’m too lazy right now to look up the exact origin date, but I’m pretty sure it pre-dated my arrival to Indianapolis). “What is Jingle Rails?” you might ask? Well, it’s a G-scale model train wonderland containing nine working model trains that wind through a stunning miniature landscape. The exhibit features miniature versions of local treasures of downtown Indianapolis, including the Eiteljorg Museum, Monument Circle, Union Station and Lucas Oil Stadium. The trains then head through the national parks of the American West, passing legendary sites, including grand railway lodges, Northwest Coast Native villages, and wonders both natural and human-made—Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Yosemite Falls, Old Faithful, the Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam and much more. And on top of all of this, all of the train displays are made out of natural materials! So it’s almost like a gingerbread train set…if the gingerbread was made out of trees, leaves, bark, shells, and herbs.
Husband and I got to visit during a media preview before the annual display opened to the public. I was completely mesmerized by all of the trains and discovered that this is the kind of activity that can appeal to a wide age range. Who doesn’t like to watch trains go by?? I also enjoyed the scenery behind the train set since it included so many beautiful American landscapes. I felt the strong urge to go on a road trip and visit some of these famous places right away. We have so many holiday light displays during the holidays in Indianapolis, so this is a nice activity that celebrates the season, but involves something other than watching blinking lights.
I think we spent about 30-40 minutes watching the trains and then our ticket also included entrance to the rest of the museum. The Eiteljorg is one of our favorite museums because it is so pretty, well-organized, enlightening, and RIGHT on the downtown canal. We stopped by two of their new exhibits that included updated Western art galleries and “The Reel West” display. I think spending time at the museum is the best way to make sure you get your $$ worth since ticket prices for adults are $15 at the door ($13 online) and $8 for kids. Thankfully, parking in the underground garage is free. The museum also has a cool gift shop with unique treasures for people who are hard to buy for and a lovely cafe with delicious healthy and organic food options.
Jingle Rails runs from now to January 21, 2019. You can learn more and buy tickets here.
Do you have a holiday train exhibit in your hometown??