FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2022

Holiday classic returns to Cincinnati Museum Center

Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens Nov. 11

NORTH POLE – Watchful eyes peer through magnifying glasses, inspecting every inch of 60 locomotives. Over a thousand feet of track is being polished. LEGO bricks are clacking into place. Trees are being trimmed. Stockings are being hung by the fireplace with care. Preparations are under way to deck the halls of Cincinnati Museum Center with holiday cheer. Cincinnati’s beloved holiday tradition returns when Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens at Cincinnati Museum Center November 11.

Families have gathered around the historic Duke Energy Holiday Trains since 1946, watching with wide-eyed whimsy as miniature locomotives and railcars zip around snowbanks and past crowded streets. Each year, adults bend down to share the same eye-level views they remember from their childhood and hoist a new generation onto their shoulders for a fresh look at a holiday tradition. Children who grew up visiting the trains downtown now bring their grandchildren to see the same trains at Cincinnati Museum Center.

“Year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation, the Duke Energy Holiday Trains have delighted families and have been a centerpiece of the season,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Whether you’re falling in love with the wooden, brightly-colored circus train for the first time or you’re noticing a new detail along the tracks and snow-covered hills after 60 years, there’s something in the display that brings out the wide-eyed child in all of us each year.”

The Duke Energy Holiday Trains are the star on top of the Holiday Junction tree, but its surrounding cast of train layouts and activities make for a whimsical winter wonderland.

A 1904 electric toy train from the Cincinnati-based Carlisle & Finch Company – who produced the first such electric toy train in 1896 – click-clacks through Holiday Junction, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship in its metal trains, buildings and bridge. Nearby, a pre-World War II Lionel layout and a Lionel Super O layout from the 1960s show the evolution of toy trains and prefabricated landscapes that have been the stars of nose-smudged toy store windows for generations.

Back again is Brickopolis, a blizzard of LEGO bricks crafted into fantastical scenes from the magical worlds of Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Harry Potter and more. The display is filled with playful masterpieces surrounding a stunning LEGO metropolis complete with running trains, active seashores and hijinks by the local residents.

Speaking of seek and find, the holiday scavenger hunt once again dots the garden railway layout with themed objects that beg you to walk around, peel your eyes and scour every inch of the snowy hills.

Of course, no holiday is complete without a visit to Santa. Santa arrives Friday, November 25, and regardless of which list you’re on, he’ll be sitting by his fireplace eager to put his elves to work on your holiday wish list. His belly will be shaking like a bowl full of jelly in the Public Landing adjacent to Holiday Junction.

CMC trainmasters and staff are making the final preparations for the holiday season as Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains prepares to open November 11 for another season of memories.

Tickets for Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains are $10 each for adults and children or $5 with the purchase of any other museum experience. Admission is free for CMC Members. Visit for more details and special holiday hours.


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, Cincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit

About Champion More Curiosity
The $112 million Champion More Curiosity campaign is shaping Cincinnati Museum Center’s future while creating generations of critical thinkers to power the innovation of our region. By Championing More Curiosity and helping build the future of Cincinnati Museum Center, you can fuel the economic prosperity of our region. Champion More Curiosity will build or reimagine over a dozen permanent exhibits and galleries and equip state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research for students from elementary grades to post-docs. Today’s wide-eyed explorers will be tomorrow’s innovators. We work shoulder-to-shoulder to engage our community in monumental moments of epiphany, wonder and connection. As we inspire all generations to learn, grow and thrive at Cincinnati Museum Center, we Champion More Curiosity. Consider making a lifelong impact by donating in support of Championing More Curiosity at