Holiday Trains

We had a full day last Friday hitting a train show by day and a light show at night (a post on that coming soon)!  We were in the Philadelphia area for Thanksgiving and took advantage of some of the holiday-themed events going on.  

Our first stop was the Brandywine Museum, a beautiful small museum in a former gristmill featuring many works by the Wyeth family, some of whom still live nearby.  


The museum features a nice train show every year but one of the highlights for me is checking out the trees decorated with "critters" made by museum volunteers out of natural objects such as pine cones, seed pods and sticks.  

Each of the trees has a theme and the kids loved figuring out what the ornaments represented.  On the sports-themed tree, an equestrian:

and a football player:

Pinocchio, on the fairy tale themed tree:

and on the all bears tree:

The critters are offered for sale (check the website for details) and make a sweet addition to any Christmas tree.

The train show is relatively small but there is lots of detail to take in.  There is a winter carnival in full swing, a drive-in showing Polar Express and a train with an actual steam engine.  Be sure to look out for Santa and his sleigh flying over all the action!

Something else to check out is a special exhibit going on through January 4th entitled "Enchanted Castles and Noble Knights," featuring several illustrations by N.C. Wyeth and other artists for books such as The Boy's King Arthur.  The exhibit also includes an amazing medieval castle constructed in 1927 by Nathaniel Wyeth and painted by N.C. Wyeth as a Christmas gift for Nathaniel's younger brother, Andrew.

Don't miss the huge dollhouse (on Ava's Christmas list) and the handmade Noah's Ark once you leave the exhibit.  

Not surprisingly the museum has a very nicely curated gift shop with a great kids section.  Lots of books and art supplies are available as well a few toys and stuffed animals.  There is a cafe which had a good selection of soups and sandwiches and has a lovely view of the Brandywine River.  Also, there is a Christmas market going on outside with local artisans selling their wares.

If you are planning a trip to the museum be sure and check out it's website for events as there are a lot of great things on offer for families throughout the month of December and beyond.