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5 Holiday Trains You Won’t Want to Miss in Columbus, Ohio

Here are 5 holiday train and train related events going on around Columbus during the holiday season! Your train lovers will be in heaven!

One of the fun things about the holidays is the train-related events and displays that pop up around Columbus! These holiday trains in Columbus always make our list of must-do activities in November and December!

1. Holiday Train at Ohio History Connection

  • When: November 15, 2023 -January 1, 2024
  • Where: 800 E. 17th. Ave., Columbus OH 43211
  • Website
holiday train at Ohio History Center

There is a Lionel Model Railroad set up by Central Ohio Model Railroad Club at the Ohio History Center during their holiday season. Kids can interact with the train set, pressing buttons to make the trains go!

If you haven’t been to Ohio History Center (or even if you have!), it would make a great trip over Winter Break! There are lots of interactive exhibits for kids including a cabin and hands on pioneer area! There lots of mounted animals to see and a small play area for kids!

holiday train at Ohio History Center.

2. Huntington Holiday Train at Main Library

  • When: November 22, 2023 – January 7, 2024
  • Where: 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website
holiday train at main library, columbus, Ohio.

Main Library is home to the Huntington Holiday Train and every year this amazing display is set up during the holiday season! The train is usually on display through New Years!

This is a handcrafted, Paul Busse railroad that is just incredible to see! There is usually a list of items to look for in scavenger hunt fashion hanging on the fence surrounding the railroad! Make sure to climb the steps to look down on the railroad and see it from a new angle!

holiday train at Main Library, Columbus, Ohio.

3. The Paul Busse Garden Railway at Franklin Park Conservatory

  • When: November 18, 2023 – January 7, 2024
  • Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203
  • Website
Paul Busse Garden Railway lit up for the holidays at Franklin Park Conservatory.

You can see the Paul Busse Garden Railway in the Grand Mallway at Franklin Park Conservatory! This outdoor train display has been set up throughout the year and will be decorated for the holidays during the annual Conservatory Aglow event!

Conservatory Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. After 5:00 PM there is a special engagement rate for this event. But you can see this train during the regular daytime hours for the regular admission price or with your membership.

Outdoor holiday train set at Franklin Park Conservatory.

4. Holiday Trains and Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum

  • When: Saturdays and Sundays in December
  • Where: 990 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085
  • Website
Train at Ohio Railway Museum.
Photo provided by Ohio Railway Museum

Ohio Railway Museum hosts Letters To Santa in December. Kids can write a letter to santa and mail it in the Railroad Post office Car and there will be craft making for kids! There will be trolley rides at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30.

New in 2023 are Saturday Night Lights! On Sundays December 3 and 17th The Grinch will be visiting. Children 3 and under are free.

5. Holiday Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

  • When: Beginning Black Friday and every Saturday and Sunday through New Years
  • Where: 6471 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085
  • Website
Boys looking at a model train display at the Central Ohio Model Railroad Open House in Worthington, Ohio.

Thanksgiving Weekend and every Saturday and Sunday in December you can visit Central Ohio Model Railroad Club during their Holiday Open House. They have an extensive display including an interactive Thomas the Train layout that kids can run!

Look for new structures, scenery and trains ! Admission and parking are free! Raffle tickets for prizes will be sold for $1 each or 6 for $5.

Check out my list of fun things to do in Worthington to plan your trip!

Central Ohio Model Railroad Holiday Open House in Worthington, Ohio.
  • If you have kids that love trains, you should plan a trip to EnterTRAINment Junction, an amazing train museum open all year round!

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ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions

11 Fun Things to Do in Worthington, Ohio

Thursday 7th of March 2024

[…] taken place during the summer months and over the holiday season. We have visited during their Holiday Open House which takes place on the weekends beginning Thanksgiving weekend and lasting through at least […]

Jack Minute

Friday 1st of December 2017

Julie, Thank you for these ideas. I have a nephew who absolutely loves trains. Was wondering where to take him to that will "blow his mind" during the holidays. We'll be definitely checking out your recommendations.