Tis the season for model railroads, a trend that will have your little locomotive lovers totally on-board. So round up the family and head out to see these tiny trains around Chicagoland.
The Model Railroad Showcase goes for sheer scope, with multiple train layouts you can see up close (there’s even a hands-on one for the kiddos!). Train enthusiasts will appreciate the railroad memorabilia, while parents can be grateful for the Metra representatives who bring train safety and railroad crossing safety tips to the littlest conductors. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 5; 1-4 p.m. Nov. 6. Free. Roselle Public Library, 40 S. Park St., Roselle. (630) 529-1641, ext. 351.
If your November is already bursting with more family time than you can handle, the DuPage County Historical Museum offers a great solution. The museum’s HO Gauge Model Railroad is open to the public on the third and fifth Saturday of each month, so you can see trains traveling over more than 2,000 feet of track that highlight the best of the ‘burbs. Free. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Nov. 19. 102 E. Wesley St., Wheaton. (630) 510-4941.
Wonderland Express is a holiday tradition for many local families—and for good reason. Multiple trains (including kid fave Thomas!) traverse the landscape, which features beloved Chicago landmarks recreated with natural materials. Keep an eye out for The Bean, the Millennium Wheel and the Maggie Daley skating ribbon, not to mention the “snow” falling on your heads. Opens Nov. 25. $13, $10 kids 3-12. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440.
Like your choo-choos with a little more color? The Winter Flower& Train Show features vibrant poinsettias, festive greenery, twinkling lights—and trains making their way through a charming, miniaturized version of Chicago. Best of all, you can shed your winter coats and soak up some of the sun coming through the conservatory’s glass rooftop. Opens Nov. 26. Free. Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-7736.