Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens November 10

November is around the corner and we are full steam ahead (pun intended) for the holidays! Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens November 10 at the Cincinnati Museum Center and we can’t wait to check it out.

Returning for a 77th season, the Duke Energy Holiday Trains have been a Cincinnati holiday staple since 1946, delighting generations of Cincy kids.

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More than 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives chug through a mini metropolis on 1,000 feet of track. Track-level views reveal the intricate details of the display, from anxious passengers waiting to board, to cars with the perfect tree strapped to their roofs, to a visitor from the North Pole circling the chimney tops.

Guests can also get a bird’s-eye view of the trains from an elevated walkway as the city stretches out before them. The elevated vantage point brings guests eye-to-eye with a whimsical take on the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky skylines. The display topper is created with more than 100 pieces of custom-cut art in the shape of Union Terminal, Music Hall, Paul Brown Stadium and more, appropriately connected by the Roebling Bridge.

The Duke Energy Holiday Trains are surrounded by other incredible train layouts, some dating back as far as 1904.

The Carlisle & Finch Company, based in Cincinnati, produced the world’s first toy electric train in 1896. Their 1904 version click clacking through Holiday Junction showcases meticulous craftsmanship and detail in its metal trains, cars, buildings and bridge. Nearby is a pre-World War II Lionel layout and a Lionel Super O layout from the 1960s, complete with ready-made structures specially designed to complement the O-scale trains.

Back again is Brickopolis, a bustling metropolis of LEGO bricks crafted into fantastical scenes filled with characters from Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Harry Potter and more. The display is filled with playful masterpieces surrounding a stunning downtown and, yes, a LEGO train. Scour the nooks, crannies and rooftops for hijinks from the local residents.

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A blizzard of bricks fills the William L. Mallory, Sr. Gallery as part of Holiday Junction. Brickopolis features fantastical scenes of some of your favorite Disney and comic book characters, populating a world carefully curated to enchant and amuse guests. Keep an eye out for local landmarks recreated in impressive detail with LEGO bricks.

There’s even more to find in the holiday scavenger hunt. Icons from holiday classics including Rudolph and the Grinch dot the snow-blanketed hills and trees of the garden railway layout. Parents and kids alike will make multiple laps to find them all.

Santa Storytime

Of course, no holiday is complete without a visit to Santa. And we don’t think you’re ready for this bowl full of jelly because CMC’s Santa is too jolly-licious. With the reindeer resting up for the big day, Santa is getting a little help from UC Health to make his airborne arrival on Friday, November 24. 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.

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Holiday Membership deal – save 20%

If you’re struggling with what to give this holiday season, consider treating a friend – or treating yourself – to a year of exploration, discovery and memories together. CMC Memberships are 20% all holiday season, online or in-person. So give the gift of Membership this season. It’s always the right size and never goes out of style.


Returning this year is the OMNIMAX® film Rocky Mountain Express, where you can immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies aboard a historic steam locomotive. If you still haven’t had your fill of trains after visiting Holiday Junction, pop into the OMNIMAX® Theater to catch Rocky Mountain Express. Climb aboard a steam-powered locomotive for a breathtaking journey along the Canadian Pacific Railway that’s equal parts train-loving nostalgia and stunning expanses of panoramic scenery.

Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens Friday, November 10 and runs through January 8, 2024. 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 here for more details and special holiday hours.

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