Tag Archives: carnegie science center

10 Western Pennsylvania miniature train displays to visit this holiday season

Everything is magical in miniature displays.

Here are 10 (and a bonus one) model train and miniature displays to visit this holiday season around Pittsburgh.

Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum

This display is among the nation’s oldest, dating to 1938.

With about 4,000 square feet and 6,500 feet of track, this display features Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, in 1952.

Among the 100 steam locomotives and 250 diesel engines, look for some regional landmarks: Fallingwater, J&L Steel and Cox’s Department Store.

There are buttons with interactive displays for children of all ages.

The display is located at 5507 Lakeside Drive in Richland Township, Allegheny County (Gibsonia). It is open on select days through Jan. 15. Cost is $5 for children under 12 and $10 for adults. For more information, visit the website.

Ohio Valley Lines

This display in Ambridge in celebrating 40 years. The display features “two fantastic, highly-detailed model railroad displays.”

The show is open select days through Jan. 8. Cost is $6 for adults and $2 for children 3 to 12. For more information, visit the website.

Beaver County Model Railroad and Historical Society

Visitors can see several locomotive power and rolling stock, plus a variety of displays, and can check out the rest of the building and library.

Admission is free, and donations are accepted. The show runs select days through Jan. 1. Find more details here.

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Check out the Trolleys and Toy Trains exhibit at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Be sure to see the Victorian-style village and the Lego layout. For costs and dates, visit the website.

Kennywood’s Model Train Display

Carefully crafted by the Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers, the model train display at Kennywood Park’s Holiday Lights features 14 scale miles, a quarter mile of real track and hundreds of scenes and locations. Read more here.

Admission is included with a Holiday Lights general admission ticket. For tickets and dates, visit Kennywood’s website.

McKeesport Model Railroad Club

The 2,200-square-foot layout features life depicted in the fictitious Mon Valley town of Steelton.

Admission is $3 for ages 5-17 and $5 for adults; free for children younger than 5 and also for military, first responders and uniformed scouts. Find more information here.

Rochester Area Heritage Society and Model Railroad Museum

This display features five different model railroad displays in five different scales.

Display is open select days through Jan. 8. Admission is $5 and free for children 12 and younger. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page or call 724-777-7697.

Miniature Railroad & Village at the Carnegie Science Center

This display dates to 1919 and features some of Western Pennsylvania’s landmarks — Mister Rogers’ house, Kaufmann’s Department Store, Fallingwater and new this year is the Evans City chapel from “Night of The Living Dead.”

Cost to view the display comes with general admission for the science center, which is $20 for adults, $15 for people 65 and up, $12 for children and free ages 2 and younger. For more information, visit the science center website.

Phipps Conservatory Garden Railroad: Our National Parks

Visit Phipps and celebrate national parks with the Garden Railroad display. Guests can activate elements of the display through touchless interactive stations with the famous Old Faithful Geyser, look for Bigfoot and look for more than 3,500 plants.

Admission is part of the general admission for Phipps. Cost starts at $19.95 for adults, $11.95 for children 2 to 18, and $17.95 for people over 65 and students over 18. For more information, visit the Phipps website.

Ridings Family Train Display

Visit the Ridings family train display at the McCarl Industrial & Agricultural Museum in Darlington. Weekends through Dec. 31 (closed Christmas Eve). More details here.

Train Gang of Washington County

The Train Gang of Washington County is located in the Washington Crown Center Mall (1500 W Chestnut St, Washington, PA 15301), close to I-70. Open Wednesdays through Sundays. Check the group’s Facebook page for specific hours. Admission is free; donations are welcome and are shared with local charities. More details here.

Downtown Pittsburgh holiday season must-dos

Missed Light Up Night? Still want that selfie with all the trees? Check out these spots to hit on a fun “holiday day” in Downtown Pittsburgh! See the map below. These are listed in no particular order so that you can customize your own holiday fun!

Downtown Pittsburgh

  • See the Horne’s tree. Yes, it’s now called the Highmark Tree, formerly the Unity Tree (that name needs to come back. Maybe Highmark Unity Tree). This is the crème de la crème of Pittsburgh holiday season decorations. The tree beautifully sparkles at the corner of Stanwix and Penn along the corner of the former flagship Horne’s department store building. While decorated windows and shopping no longer exist here, the tree can serve as a great backdrop for that holiday season selfie!
    • Tip: Stand near the Pittsburgh Regional Transit’s Gateway Station for a fuller shot of the tree.
  • Shop the Holiday Market at Market Square. Find more than 30 artisans and vendors at Pittsburgh’s mini version of a German Christmas market, complete with adorable chalets. Local artists, such as Linda Barnicott, display everything from ornaments to paintings, and other artisans have wearables (gloves, sweaters, hats), edibles (baked goods and more), smellables (is this even a word?) (candles) and more. While at Market Square, check out the dazzling lights, sphere tree and entertainment.
  • Get a group photo with the large ornament at K&L Gates Center. The huge red ornament is up! Check it out in front of the main entrance to K&L Gates Center at 210 Sixth Ave.
  • See the 107th Pittsburgh Christmas tree. Check out the ornaments depicting each of the city’s neighborhoods.
  • Skate at PPG Place. This rink is larger than New York City’s Rockefeller Center! Enjoy the PPG Place tree and ice rink before or after dinner. Check out details and prices here. Not an ice skater? Stop by for a selfie of the dazzling tree with all of its colorful designs!
  • Visit the Pittsburgh creche. It’s the only authorized replica of the creche at the Vatican. That’s a big deal for Catholics.
  • Visit Point State Park to see the snowflakes. After more than 30 years, Duquesne Light turned off the lights of the recognizable tree at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers. A new display is expected in 2024, but in the interim, Duquesne Light gave the Point some holiday flare.
  • Spot the Pittsburgh area landmarks at the Carnegie Science Center train display. Popular Pittsburgh area landmarks — Kaufmann’s building, Mister Rogers’ house, etc. — dot the landscape of this adorable train display. Don’t rush through it — watch day turn to nighttime! Also, while at the science center, check out the holiday laser lights show. Admission is required for the science center.
  • See Santa Downtown. Check out Santa’s schedule and give him a visit.