How cool are the model train sets at Chicago Botanic Gardens?
I mean seriously, the Wonderland Express is a must-see holiday adventure. If you don’t take my word for it, TripAdvisor.com gave it five stars and called a ‘Don’t Miss!’ Chicago Magazine called it “The warmest kind of holiday fun,” Examiner.com called it ‘A magical adventure’ and WMAQ-TV (otherwise known as NBC Chicago said it was “Fun for the whole family.”
So here’s the skinny: This is not only a model train set, it’s a family experience and tradition. Outside of the pristine gardens, as much as 750,000 bright lights sparkle and illuminate this Glencoe area.
When you walk inside the Regenstein Center, you see the main event: the miniature choo choo.
Busse creates a wonderful 10,000-square-foot exhibition that winds over bridges, under trestles, past waterfalls and through more than 80 mini-replicas of Chicago’s renowned landmarks. Every year this received additional legendary Chicago venues and location solely for the Botanic Garden’s Holiday festivities.
For all of you Thomas & Friends fans (or for people like me who watched Shining Time Station when they were younger), that little engine we all love will be there to flash a smile to you and the family.
Other new additions include the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon, Glencoe’s Writers Theatre, Chicago El trains, and both Spike and Alice the Amorphophallus join the Express:
Here are some of the other highlights at the annual celebration:
- Landmark lecturer Bonnie MacDonald compares the replicas to the originals with her architecture background.
- Caroling – December 5 @ 10 a.m. – noon.
- Ice Sculpting – December 19 and 26 @ 11 a.m. – noon, 2 – 3 p.m.
- Holiday Market
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Adults – $10 members/$12 for nonmembers Seniors – $8 for members/$10 nonmembers, Children 3-12 – $8 members/$10 nonmembers Children 2 and under free