Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

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Holiday Garden Railway

The Holiday Garden Railway

The Garden Railway is closed for the season. It will reopen on Friday, November 24 for the Holiday season.

The Morris Arboretum’s popular Holiday Garden Railway returns Friday, November 24th! This year the trains will run through December 31st.



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

The Morris Arboretum’s popular Holiday Garden Railway returns Friday, November 25th!

The Garden Railway is now open for the season and is dressed in its wintery finest! Open through January 2, free with admission during regular hours. The Arboretum is closed on December 24, 25 & January 1.

Check for weather closings.


Railway Special Events

Holiday Garden Railway Opens

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Free with garden admission.

Come see the Holiday Garden Railway dressed in its wintry finest! The railway will be open daily through December 31 (Arboretum is closed December 24 and 25).


Holiday Garden Railway

Premier Member Holiday Garden Railway Evening

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 | 4:30pm - 7:30pm

Premier members are invited for a special complimentary evening experience at the Holiday Garden Railway. Invitations will be mailed and emailed to eligible members (Beech, Chestnut, Holly, Oak, Laurel, and Collectors Circle levels).

New this year, two dates are being offered. Please make your reservations for one evening only. Registration is required and space is limited.

To upgrade your membership or to reserve your place, contact the membership office at members@morrisarboretum.org or by phone at 215-247-5777 ext. 205.


Premier Member Holiday Garden Railway Evening

Friday Night Lights

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29 | 4:30 - 7:30pm
Ticket prices: Member adult $10, Member child $5, Non-member adult $18, Non-member child $9

Discounts not applicable for ticketed events

Enjoy the Holiday Garden Rail all lit up and decorated for the season. White lights sparkle along the rails and miniature greens adorn the buildings. To warm up your walk, hot cocoa or coffee will be available at the Compton Café, along with various tasty snacks to purchase.

If the trains cannot run due to inclement weather you will automatically receive an email notification and a full refund of your ticket purchase. Tickets must be re-purchased to attend on an alternate date.

  • December 1, 5:30-6:30pm: Pennsylvania Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ Sugar Plum Fairy and Mouse King will greet guests and pose for photos. This costumed duo will captivate and charm your whole family. Also this evening, the Pennsylvania Ballet will give away two tickets to an upcoming performance of their holiday classic.
  • December 8, 5:30-6:30pm: Flourtown’s St. Genevieve School Bell Choir, will ring lovely melodies and seasonal favorites.
  • December 15, 6pm and 7pm, two 30 minute performances: Haverford’s Philadelphia Studio Ballet presents excerpts from its students’ performance of The Nutcracker. Step into Clara’s magical Christmas and journey into the Land of Sweets and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
  • December 22: A tasty treat from Bredenbeck’s bakery in Chestnut Hill will be given to guests (while supplies last).


Friday Night Lights


The Daily Vacationer Visits the Holiday Garden Railway

Read about The Daily Vacationer's experience of the Holiday Garden Railway!


About the Holiday Garden Railway

Visitors of all ages will be wow-ed 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. 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


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Know Before You Go

For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!


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Alerts & Updates

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

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

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

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

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

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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