Memories are born in wide-eyed wonder and winterland whimsy

Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains brings out the wide-eyed wonder in kids of all ages. From the child with their eyes peeled for visitors from the North Pole to the teen counting every LEGO brick to the grandparent watching model trains zip through a mini metropolis, our signature holiday experience brings families together in ageless joy.

The Duke Energy Holiday Trains have been a Cincinnati holiday staple for over 70 years, delighting generations since they first debuted downtown in 1946. Track-level views reveal intricate details of the display, where over 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives steam past anxious passengers waiting to board, cars sit with snow to their hubcaps and the perfect trees strapped to their roofs and a visitor from the North Pole circles the chimney tops.

This year, Holiday Junction features new additions that will greet guests as soon as they enter the door. The Northern Lights display, presented by ESI Electrical Contractors, serves as the perfect backdrop for family photos as wispy green lights dance behind you and snow-rimmed trees surround you. The history of the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is also told through an interactive storybook guests can flip through with just the gesture of their hand. The no-touch experience features historic photos and stories of the trains projected onto a giant storybook.

To ensure guest safety, Holiday Junction’s riding train will not be pulling into station this season, but CMC has given guests even more to discover in its place. The Holiday Scavenger Hunt, presented by Taft Law, will feature a rotating set of objects hidden in the garden railway layout begging guests to walk around, peel their eyes and scour every detail for objects tucked away in the snowy hills.

Returning once again is Brickopolis, a blizzard of LEGO bricks crafted into fantastical scenes from the magical worlds of Disney, Marvel, DC Comics and Harry Potter. The whimsical display is a seek and find treat surrounding a stunning LEGO metropolis complete with running trains, active seashores and hijinks by the local residents.

Tower A, Union Terminal’s historic control tower, will also be open during the holiday season, delighting guests with a unique view of the active railyard. Tower A will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday during the holiday season.

Of course, no holiday is complete without a visit to Santa. Santa makes his grand arrival on Friday, November 27. Although guests will not be able to sit with Santa to make sure he hears their wish list this year, they will be able to speak with the jolly elf in the Public Landing adjacent to Holiday Junction. Santa will be busy preparing for the big day but will happily pause to speak with guests through a plexiglass barrier.

Also returning this year is the OMNIMAX film Rocky Mountain Express, where guests can immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies aboard a historic steam locomotive

Follow CMC Santa on social media!

CMC Santa is a bringer of joy, commander of reindeer, consumer cookies and listener of holiday wishes at @cincymuseum’s Holiday Junction. Follow him on social media and tag #CMCsanta in your photos at:

Twitter: @cmc_santa
Facebook: @cmcsanta