Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
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Holiday Garden Railway Holiday Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum

Holiday Garden Railway

Runs Daily 10:00am - 4:00pm
Included with admission
Open now through December 31

Alerts & Updates

Check for closings or delays


Holiday Garden Railway

Nights

Holiday Garden Railway Nights has ended, we hope to see you next year!
Purchase Tickets Now Become a Member

Become a member to purchase tickets today!


Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know



Frequently Asked Questions

Holiday Garden Railway

Visitors of all ages will be wowed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely winter garden of the Morris Arboretum.

Holiday Garden Railway Nights – Ticketed Event

Holiday Garden Railway Nights is a special ticketed event. The dates are Fridays, December 20 & 27 and Saturdays, December 7, 14, 21 & 28 and Sundays, December 15, 22 & 29. The event runs from 4:30 to 7:30pm. Due to limited parking, you must purchase tickets with specific arrival times. Please stay on the path. Walking into the lights off the path is dangerous, please help us keep everyone safe and stay on the path.

About the Holiday Garden Railway

The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with small streams. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

The buildings are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle along the tracks and around the surrounding landscape. The Garden Railway Display has become one of the Arboretum’s most beloved attractions since it opened in 1998, and the Holiday Garden Railway is quickly becoming a favorite holiday tradition for many families.

The Garden Railway is supported, in part, through the generosity of Gwen and Ed Asplundh and by a gift given in memory of Joe Shuttleworth. “Gwen and I are very pleased to support the wonderful Garden Railway. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved trains large and small. For years, I had a large train layout in my basement. There is something very special about an outdoor railway, especially the very unusual and beautifully done railway at the Arboretum. I enjoy watching the trains myself, but most of all, I enjoy watching the looks of delight on the faces of the other ‘kids’ young and old.” –Ed Asplundh

The Garden Railway

The Garden Railway is closed for the season. Mark your calendars, the trains will be back up and running on Saturday, May 23, 2020!

The Garden Railway opens for the summer season Saturday, May 23, Memorial Day weekend. The Garden Railway display is a miniature world with a quarter mile track running through it. It features loops and tunnels, bridges and trestles and all of the small-scale buildings are created entirely of natural materials. The trains will be open daily through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, and then on weekends only through Monday, October 14.

The Garden Railway is now open! This year’s theme is "Great American Lighthouse" features replicas of iconic landmarks from east to west, and as far north as the Great Lakes. Visitors will enjoy the beauty of these unique structures, such as Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina, both the New Cape Henry Light and Old Cape Henry Light in Virginia and Philadelphia’s own Turtle Rock Light located on Boathouse Row.

The Garden Railway is open daily through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, and then on weekends only through Monday, October 14.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

Check for weather closings.


Garden Railway Events

Circus Week

SATURDAY, JUNE 27 THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 5
Included with garden admission.

Listen for the call of the ringmaster as you watch the colorful railroad cars bring the “Big Top” to the garden.


Circus Week

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

SATURDAY, JULY 11 & SUNDAY, JULY 12
Included with garden admission.

Look for your favorite train characters among the whole steam engine gang from Sodor as they take over the Railway for the weekend.


Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends


About the Garden Railway

Visitors of all ages will be wowed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under!), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely garden of the Morris Arboretum. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pine cone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

The Garden Railway is supported, in part, through the generosity of Gwen and Ed Asplundh and by a gift given in memory of Joe Shuttleworth. “Gwen and I are very pleased to support the wonderful Garden Railway. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved trains large and small. For years, I had a large train layout in my basement. There is something very special about an outdoor railway, especially the very unusual and beautifully done railway at the Arboretum. I enjoy watching the trains myself, but most of all, I enjoy watching the looks of delight on the faces of the other ‘kids’ young and old.” –Ed Asplundh

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Alerts & Updates


Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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Alerts & Updates


Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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