Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center
The Holiday season in Cincinnati is officially beginning with the opening of Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center on November 8. This is one of my favorite kid friendly activities in Cincinnati, and my family has been going since the trains were housed in the Duke Energy building downtown. Now that the holiday trains are at the Cincinnati Museum Center, they are paired with the Holiday Junction exhibit for one huge holiday train display.
This year’s holiday train display takes you through a Toys Through the Ages exhibit before getting to the platform where the Duke set is displayed. There are a few hidden pieces of the display, so see if your kids can find Thomas and Percy, the Grinch, and Santa flying through the air. Make sure to talk to the conductors, they’re extremely knowledgeable about the train sets, and some of them have been with the holiday trains display for over 40 years.
After you’ve had enough of watching the trains, you can go to a more interactive room. There are train sets for kids to play with, buttons to push to change tracks and lights on one of the displays, and a kid size train for them to ride. Tokens for the train are $1 per child. This is also the room where you’ll find Santa. Santa arrives on Friday, November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving), and will be in Holiday Junction until Christmas Eve. If you want to stay updated on what Santa’s doing, follow him on Twitter @CMC_Santa, or friend him on Facebook.
New for this year is an expanded story area, complete with a fireplace, where children can hear their favorite holiday stories. Story Hours are Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays November 10th through December 24 (except Thanksgiving) from 11-12 and 2-3. Other new arrivals are Pogie and Patter, the reindeer from the former Pogue’s department store.
If the holiday trains display isn’t enough, Rocky Mountain Express is showing in the OMNIMAX theater. Follow Locomotive 2816 through North America and discover the beauty and the challenges faced by the railroad. Separate admission is required for OMNIMAX ($7.50/$5.50 non-members, $5.50/$4.50 members). The rest of the museum is also open, so make a stop into the Children’s museum, Cincinnati History Museum, or Museum of Natural History & Science.
To help make sure you visit all of Cincinnati’s holiday favorites, the Museum Center is partnering with the Cincinnati Ballet, Playhouse in the Park and more to create a list of the traditions. It’s not online yet, but there will be signs at each exhibit reminding visitors of everything else in the city.
Admission for 2 adults and 2 children to the holiday trains is free for Museum Center Members and Duke Energy customers. Duke customers can print vouchers giving them access to the train display as well as the Cincinnati History Museum by visiting this website: www.holidaytraindisplay.com/. If you aren’t a Duke Energy customer, admission to the display is free with the purchase of an All Museums pass ($12.50 adult /$8.50 child), or the Cincinnati History Museum pass ($8.50 adult / $6.50 child). Toddler passes are $4.50 for children ages 1-2, and children under age 1 are free.
Holiday Trains Exhibit Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 5pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6pm
December 24th: 10am – 3pm
CMC is closed Nov. 28 and Dec. 25 for the holidays