Hey there, Fellow Adventurers! I’m sorry if I’ve disappeared for a little while, but the Christmas Craziness has been in full swing in the Adventure household. So far, we have ticked off 8 of the 10 things on our Holiday Bucket List, and there are still 10 days left until Christmas! Whew!
The two items that remain are a service project, which we will be working on later in the month, and something new that we didn’t do last year. We will have family visiting this month, so we will have plenty of opportunities to try new things, which is what this blog is all about!
The number one item on my list was to check out a train garden. If you’re looking for one, I highly recommend that you check out this page, but here are a few of our favorites. (So far, we’ve only visited one out of three. We need to catch up this weekend!)
1. Clayville Railroad
This outdoor train garden is just amazing. Set up by a local Pasadena family in their front yard, Clayville is only open for a few weekends during the Christmas season to allow them time to take down the display and enjoy Christmas themselves. (This is one we didn’t get to last year, so I guess this counts as my something new!) The layout includes an amusement park, a working fire station, a waterfall, hidden characters to find, and more!
There is no fee, although the family accepts donations for a local family in need each year. They even offer free hot chocolate and a smores kit so that you can enjoy the bonfire while you are there. Sadly, Clayville is closed for this season, but put it on your must do list for next year!
2. The Train Garden at Marley Station Mall
This was an almost accidental find for the Adventure family last year. I kept hearing about it through word of mouth, and one day when we were out, I insisted that we stop by the mall. Boy was I glad we did!
Emmanuel Lutheran Church has been setting up this train garden for 21 years. It includes an amuesement park, working race track, an airport, and fireworks over Fort McHenry. (No kidding.) The train garden is located near the Macy’s upper level entrance and admission is free, although, like most train gardens, they collect a donation at the door. This one supports North County Community Outreach.
3. Homestead Gardens
The great part about Homestead Garden’s train garden is that you can also visit with Santa! We went to the Davidsonville location recently, and while the wait was long (you can now put your name in and come back at an assigned time) we easily passed the time looking at the train garden and the beautiful decorations around the store. The Davidsonville store also has food and drink vendors if you need refreshment while you wait.
At the Severna Park location, they have a smaller version of the train garden, along with beautiful decorations and an opportunity to see Santa. The best part is, at either location you can take your own pictures! Check out their events page for Santa’s hours and other events.
4. The Fire Museum of Maryland
OK, I know that this one is in Baltimore County, but it is so worth the drive I had to include it. The Fire Museum is a wonderful place to take kids of all ages. They have antique fire trucks, and a life-size model of the equipment firefighters have used to receive alarms. Best of all, they have a wonderful train garden during the holidays, and year round they have…a real fire truck that children can climb on!
This was super exciting for all three of the Little Adventurers. Even Brutus, who is a “big” kid now. 😉 They also have dress up firefighter gear, and several other toys in their play area. Although the museum itself has a small fee, I think it is worth it as my children loved it!
Where is your favorite train garden?
I love this Maryland tradition and would love to hear about your favorites!