Model trains provide multigenerational fun—everyone from grandparents to toddlers can enjoy an outing to a model train show. We've found eight model train shows in New Jersey perfect for family fun this holiday season.
Read on for our top picks for seasonal train shows and find more curated family fun in our Guide to Holiday Fun in New Jersey.
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Saturday, November 27-Thursday, December 30
Back for the 31st year, the Barron Arts Center Holiday Model Train show is designed by Mike Gelesky. Reservations are required and can be booked by calling 732-634-0413.
Friday, November 26-Sunday, January 30, 2022
Returning for the 19th year, the Museum of American History displays O and O 27-gauge model trains from the 1930s through 1950s. Lionel, Marx, and American Flyer engines and cars are surrounded by vintage Plasticville buildings from the '50s.
December 19, 2021
Featuring numerous gauges and manufacturers of model trains from dealers across the country, this one-day show happens multiple times per year. Trains and train parts are available for sale, too. A live track showcases displays and allows patrons to test out new purchases. If you have a toy train in need of repair, bring it along to have it checked out. Bonus: Children under age 10 enter for FREE.
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Enjoy model trains at the Ocean City Train Show. Photo courtesy of the show
December 4-5, 2021
Come see the wonder of the holiday season on display at the annual Ocean City train show. Taking place on the Music Pier, admission is FREE for all visitors.
Select dates from Friday, November 26-Sunday, December 12
The holiday train show will look and sound a little different this year—think more of an open house than a full-on production. Guests are treated to a variety of model trains, up-close viewing, spread over a 1,200-square-foot layout. Kids will delight in spotting Thomas and Friends and running along the children's layout.
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Kids will delight in the model train displays at Northlandz. Photo courtesy of Northlandz
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
Northlandz hosts the "world's largest miniature wonderland" and it's open year-round. Holidays are extra special with special Santa trains on select dates through a wooded wonderland by the Raritan River, hot chocolate, cookies, and numerous festive holiday decorations, plus a holiday gift shop. The interior display has been recently renovated and boasts more than 80 running trains, 100 bridges, 400 tunnels, and is about a mile long, spanning three floors.
Saturday, November 27-Sunday, November 28
The self-proclaimed "largest and longest-running train and toy show in the Northeast," this train show is only in New Jersey for one weekend. The weekend includes operating model train displays, workshops, demonstrations, test tracks, on-site repairs, and door prizes!
Saturday, December 11-Sunday, December 26
Step inside the Officer's Wardroom to see some holiday magic in a model train display. This will be the Battleship's first time hosting model trains, so don't miss out! Santa makes an appearance on Saturday, December 11 to help kick things off.