Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
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Holiday Garden Railway  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

Included with garden admission. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: 10:00am - 4:00pm through October 11.

Open Weekends through October 9.
Saturdays and Sundays 10:00am - 4:00pm

Temporarily closed.

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 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 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.


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


Member Dividend Plant Distribution!

Thursday, September 17 - Wednesday, September 30
Fernery Plaza
Advance Tickets Required for Member Dividend Plant Pick Up

Members, we are excited to share Arboretum plants with you! That's right - a free plant for being a member. New (like so many things) this year, there are two locations and two timeframes for picking-up your member dividend plant:

The plant selection will be varied throughout the distribution dates. Dividends are from the Arboretum's collection of propagated plants from our greenhouse. This is your opportunity to bring a piece of the Arboretum to your home garden or neighborhood!

Individual, Dual, Family, Beech, and Chestnut members may select one plant per membership. Holly, Oak, Laurel, and Collectors Circle member may select two plants per membership.  Reserve tickets now.

Map of the Arboretum

Due to the weather and flooding, the Arboretum is closed today Tuesday, August 4th.

Advance Tickets Required for All Visitors (Including Members)

The Morris Arboretum is excited to be open! We have instituted new policies as required by the government of Pennsylvania in order to keep the public safe while visiting. Please review the policies below before your visit.

  • The City of Philadelphia mandates that all visitors age 2 and older wear face coverings.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • The Visitor Center, the Shop, and Compton Café are temporarily closed, but picnicking will be permitted in certain areas.
  • The Fernery and the Log Cabin are temporarily closed.
  • Restrooms are open and sanitized regularly.
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the Arboretum.
  • Bring your own water and snacks.
  • Library passes and RAP reciprocal admissions are not accepted at this time.
Reserve Tickets Now

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


Member Dividend Plant Distribution!

Thursday, September 17 - Wednesday, September 30
Fernery Plaza
Advance Tickets Required for Member Dividend Plant Pick Up

Members, we are excited to share Arboretum plants with you! That's right - a free plant for being a member. New (like so many things) this year, there are two locations and two timeframes for picking-up your member dividend plant:

The plant selection will be varied throughout the distribution dates. Dividends are from the Arboretum's collection of propagated plants from our greenhouse. This is your opportunity to bring a piece of the Arboretum to your home garden or neighborhood!

Individual, Dual, Family, Beech, and Chestnut members may select one plant per membership. Holly, Oak, Laurel, and Collectors Circle member may select two plants per membership.  Reserve tickets now.

Map of the Arboretum

Due to the weather and flooding, the Arboretum is closed today Tuesday, August 4th.

Advance Tickets Required for All Visitors (Including Members)

The Morris Arboretum is excited to be open! We have instituted new policies as required by the government of Pennsylvania in order to keep the public safe while visiting. Please review the policies below before your visit.

  • The City of Philadelphia mandates that all visitors age 2 and older wear face coverings.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • The Visitor Center, the Shop, and Compton Café are temporarily closed, but picnicking will be permitted in certain areas.
  • The Fernery and the Log Cabin are temporarily closed.
  • Restrooms are open and sanitized regularly.
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the Arboretum.
  • Bring your own water and snacks.
  • Library passes and RAP reciprocal admissions are not accepted at this time.
Reserve Tickets Now

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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