Like every year, the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland hosts the Holiday Festival of Trains where the museum is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland!
It has everything from Santa’s Winter Village, Holiday Model Layouts, Model Train Gallery, Reindeer Train Rides, Photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus & Frosty, live performances and more.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know before you go.
About the Holiday Festival of Trains
Most kids love trains and whether you are a train lover or not, the Holiday Festival of Trains has something for everyone.
While we can’t all have holiday train displays at home, so going to see the train displays is a great way to make up for it.
There are many to see including:
- Union Station,
- Brookside Gardens,
- College Park Aviation Museum,
- U.S. Botanic Garden,
- Sandy Spring Museum),
But Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museum is the place where trains are center stage, not just an add-on to other holiday offerings.
The roundhouse is very festive, with Santa hats, giant wrapped gifts, and elves among the displays.
Make sure to have your camera ready as photo ops are everywhere (including just past the lobby where we snapped a photo with a Rudolph statue).
What to See & Do at The B&O Railroad Museum
The museum has all of it’s normal, wonderful train displays and galleries to see. The holiday decorations enhance the experience even further and then of course, there are the added holiday events and activities.
Jutting out from the center point are more than a dozen historic train cars, some of which are open for visitors to explore.
There are a few holiday train layouts that stay on display throughout the festival, however, some of the most fantastic exhibits are set up by local train clubs who take turns showing their setups.
Bank of America Model Train Gallery
The Model Train Gallery sponsored by Bank of America features an exquisitely detailed HO Scale model train layout of Baltimore City as well as an exhibit visually exploring the various North American model train scales (or gauges).
Holiday Festival of Trains Schedule
#1 The Festival of Trains
Mon-Fri, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, Dec. 5-9, & 12-16
Mon, Dec. 19 – Sat. Dec. 31
and there is lots to do!
The B&O Museum is transformed into a festive wonderland with fun for everyone young to old. Throughout the festival, specific dates also offer different events that you don’t want to miss!
Note: Before attending any of the events, make sure to check the B&O website for tickets and availability.
#2 The Polar Express Train Ride
November 25-27 & December 2-4, 9-11 & 16-19, 2022
Come watch a live performance of The Polar Express onboard as you travel to the North Pole on this 90-minute ride. Dance to the music and join in on the holiday kid’s activities before the show begins.
This is a super fun way to take a train ride (all decorated of course!) along the first commercial railroad in the country.
Riders receive a silver sleigh bell, take-home hot chocolate kit and cookies in a Polar Express tote bag. Upgraded tickets also receive other goods.
After arriving at the North Pole, you can explore Santa’s Winter village with crafts, model railroad layouts and pictures with Santa!
#3 Night in the North Pole
Keep the Christmas spirit rolling with the Night In The North Pole! See the Roundhouse in all its winter wonder and let your kids get a chance to take a picture with Santa.
#4 Reindeer Railway
December 27 and 29, 6-8 PM
This holiday season, you can take a daytime holiday train ride along the nation’s first mile of commercial railroad. The train will be all decked out for the season, and kids will receive their own set of festive reindeer antlers!
#5 Reindeer Railway: Evening Trains and Holiday Lights
Dec 27th and Dec 29th
After enjoying music and holiday activities in Santa’s Winter Village, take a festive train ride on the nation’s first mile including spiced cider for kids, spiked cider for adults, and cookies for all! The Reindeer Railway evening train ride includes reindeer antlers for children to help light the way for Santa.
#6 Holiday Models Layout
This year, Holiday Festival of Trains will feature custom model train layouts! Enjoy the classic holiday tradition of model trains by coming to see the festive O Scale layout.
#7 Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus
Dec. 8 at 12 PM-3 PM
As part of Holiday Festival of Trains, visitors will have the opportunity to take a photo with not only Santa Claus himself, but also Mrs. Claus.
#8 Noon Year’s Eve
Saturday, Dec 31st 10 AM to 1 PM
Midnight is quite late for kids so why not celebrate earlier in the day at B&O Railroad? They’ll countdown to 12 noon and them welcome the New Year will confetti, streamers and yes…a ball drop!
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Holiday Festival of Trains Prices & Tickets
Ticket prices vary by activity so we’ll break down the cost of tickets here.
Note: All tickets can be purchased directly from the B&O Railroad Museum website here.
The Holiday Festival of Trains
This is simply the price of admission to the B&O Railroad Museum which is $16 for children ages 2-12, $25 for adults and $20 for seniors.
The Polar Express
Tickets start at $47 and there are many variations available such as Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Tickets start at $10 for members and for the general public tickets are $20 for children and $30 for adults.
Night in the North Pole
General admission for adults is $25 and for B&O member is FREE
Good to Know Before You Go
- The museum is open from 10am – 4pm Monday throughSunday.
- The museum will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
- Make sure to check the museum’s website for tickets and availability before going
- The roundhouse can be chilly so you might want to keep your coat on during your visit.
- The festival includes music, dance performances and other activities during the festival. View the entire schedule above or on the museum’s website
- The large size of the roundhouse, and the obstructed sightlines from the old train cars stationed in it, make it easy to lose track (pun intended) of kids in here. Keep a close eye on them, and/or designate the roundhouse’s center as a meeting spot — it’s easy to see from most of the roundhouse.
Getting to the Holiday Festival of Trains
The B&O Railroad Museum is easy to get to. It’s about a 10-minute drive off I-95.
It’s not in the heart of the Inner Harbor, which means that parking is free in the museum’s large lot.
The museum’s address is: 901 W Pratt St. Baltimore, MD 21223
What’s Else to Do Nearby
There’s so much to do in Baltimore so especially if you’re coming from farther out, you can add in some other fun activities such as: