Back for another holiday season, the ever-popular Model Train Festival pulls into station at the Washington State History Museum on Sat., Dec. 21. The standout Tacoma attraction offers 10 days of family-friendly fun and floor-after-floor of festive model train displays, including the state’s largest permanent layout. Santa’s reindeer will also deliver the jolly man himself for photos, Dec. 21 through Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., allowing families to skip the long mall lines and pose with Santa Claus on a train-themed backdrop.
Aboard the Washington State History Museum, visitors can watch model trains wind through elaborate displays and scenes, which are designed and assembled by model train enthusiasts across the state, including Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club, 4D PNR NTRAK, Kitsap Live Steamers, Cannonball Express, Pierce County Lionel Club, Mount Rainier N-Scale and Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers, among others. The exhibit will also include “Mary’s Big Circus,” a popular set-up with Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, and Operation Lifesaver, a program dedicated to improving safety at highway-rail grade crossings.
“Every year we have the unique opportunity to offer a beloved holiday exhibit that taps into the history and role of railroads in Washington state, as well as people’s love of model trains,” said Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society. “We found it’s exactly what many families and railroad enthusiasts are looking for over the winter break, and are expecting nearly 7,000 visitors to come learn and play.”
Exhibit hours are Sat., Dec. 21 to Weds., Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $9.50 for adults; $7 for seniors; $7 students and military with valid ID; children, age 5 and below, and members are always free. The 18th annual Model Train Festival is sponsored in part by the Port of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Utilities.
More information is available online here.