All aboard Olbrich’s Holiday Express

The Flower and Model Train Show opens this weekend.
Hundreds of festive poinsettias and fresh evergreens are the backdrop to this year’s featured carnival theme.
Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 3:34 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The trains are back on track at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens for the Holiday Express Flower and Model Train Show.

Members from the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society will travel from all over the state to show off their garden scale model trains. Hundreds of festive poinsettias and fresh evergreens are the backdrop to this year’s featured carnival theme.

The circus theme includes clever displays, including a county fair food booth, topiary elephants, and a poinsettia ferris wheel.

It takes about a month to set up, but the planning and selecting the theme for each year starts about a year in advance.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Marketing Manager Katy Nodolf says you may see a different train each time you visit this holiday season.

“There’s a bullet train, a Santa train, a circus train, so you could see up to four different trains depending on which members are here,” said Nodolf.

For many families, making a stop to see the Holiday Express is part of an annual tradition.

“I came here with my grandparents and now I get to bring my daughter and son,” said Nodolf. “It’s amazing it has continued for so long that you can come back with your kids and see something you remember when you were younger.”

The Holiday Express Train Show is included in your price of admission to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, as well as the tropical Bolz Conservatory or the outdoor gardens. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children six and under.

TRAIN TIMES

December 3 - 31, 2022

  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily
  • Closes at 2 p.m. December 24
  • Closed all day December 25

For more information, head to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens website.

The trains are back on track at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens for the Holiday Express Flower and Model Train Show.

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