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Celebrate 76 years of winterland whimsy at Cincinnati Museum Center. / Image: Cincinnati Museum Center
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Celebrate 76 years of winterland whimsy at Cincinnati Museum Center

From the child with their eyes peeled for visitors from the North Pole to the teen counting every LEGO brick to the grandparent watching model trains zip through a mini metropolis, our signature holiday experience brings families together in ageless joy. And this year our beloved Duke Energy Holiday Trains are celebrating their 76th season.

The Duke Energy Holiday Trains have been a Cincinnati holiday staple since 1946, delighting generations since they first debuted downtown in 1946. Track-level views reveal intricate details of the display, where over 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives steam past anxious passengers waiting to board while cars sit with snow to their hubcaps and the perfect trees strapped to their roofs.

Holiday Junction features bursts of winter whimsy that greet you as soon as you enter the door. The Northern Lights display serves as the perfect backdrop for family photos as wispy green lights dance behind you and snow-rimmed trees surround you. The history of the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is also told through an interactive storybook filled with photos of the iconic trains over the decades.

To ensure guest safety, Holiday Junction’s riding train will not be pulling into station this season, but we've given you even more to discover in its place. The Holiday Scavenger Hunt features hidden objects in the garden railway layout begging you to walk around, peel your eyes and scour every detail tucked away in the snowy hills.

Returning once again is Brickopolis, a blizzard of LEGO bricks crafted into fantastical scenes from the magical worlds of Star Wars, a winter holiday wonderland, amusement park, medieval village and local landmarks. The whimsical display is another seek and find treat surrounding a stunning LEGO metropolis complete with running trains, active seashores and hijinks by the local residents.

Of course, no holiday is complete without a visit to Santa. Santa makes his grand arrival on Friday, November 25. You can visit the jolly elf by his fireplace on the Mezzanine in the Ruthven Gallery. Santa will be busy preparing for the big day but will happily pause to speak with you from a safe distance.

Also returning this year is the OMNIMAX film Rocky Mountain Express, where you can immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies aboard a historic steam locomotive.

Holiday Junction is free for Members and $10 for non-Members or just $5 with any other Museum admission.

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