If watching a miniature train make its way around a tiny Christmas village isn’t on your family’s list of holiday traditions, why not make it one in 2018?
We guarantee children and adults alike will gaze with wide-eyed wonder at the sights and sounds of one of several model train exhibits on Long Island this holiday season. Not to mention the holiday-themed decorations of the towns through which they travel. To get you going, we’ve put together a list of some of the best displays, sure to delight the entire family.
And if all this train watching makes your family eager to climb aboard a real caboose, check out our roundup of Polar Express and other Santa trains near Long Island and NYC.
Long Island Garden Railway Society Holiday Shows — Sayville, Albertson
November 24, 2018 in Sayville; December 16-19, 2018 in Albertson
This Massapequa-based organization promotes the hobby of garden and large-scale model railroading. The holiday-themed exhibit promises to be even more beautiful than last year. There is also another December show planned for the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City; check back for details.
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You'll find engines to delight young and old at the TMB Model Train Club's holiday shows. Photo courtesy of the club
TMB Model Train Holiday Shows and Open Houses — Farmingdale
November 24-25, December 8-9, 2018; select weekends through February 3, 2019
This show features 10 larger-size trains running on 19 miles of track. There’s Thomas the Tank Engine and the Polar Express for little ones, while adults can enjoy a model train layout that was featured in an episode of The Sopranos.
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A circus and a haunted Old West town are just some of the sites sure to thrill at the St. James Model Railroad Club holiday display. Photo courtesy of the club
St. James Model Railroad Club Holiday Train Display — St. James
November 30-December 1-2, 2018
Now in its 34th year, this annual exhibit has it all, including an operating subway, city scenes, a circus, haunted Old West town, animated accessories, and more. Steam engines puff smoke, diesel engines sound like the real thing, and passenger trains make station announcements. Eleven trains run simultaneously with up to 15 trains running per session.
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Discover a bit of Babylon history as a mini LIRR train winds through the replica community. Photo courtesy of the Town of Babylon History Museum
Holiday Model Train Exhibit — Babylon
November 30, 2018-January 6, 2019 (Fridays-Sundays)
Learn about the trolley system that once transported passengers from Amityville to Babylon. The 240-square-foot display features important community landmarks and other details about the Town of Babylon's history.
Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers Open House — Levittown
November 30, December 1-2, 7-9, 2018
Bring the whole family to see Long Island’s largest operating O-gauge exhibit during the organization’s holiday open houses run on two consecutive weekends in December. Multiple trains take you on a journey through a miniature village decked out for the holidays.
Candlelight Evenings Holiday Show — Old Bethpage
December 21-29, 2019
A vintage model train show is just one of the highlights of this annual event at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Enjoy period songs, storytelling, music, performances, and more.
This post is updated annually.