Indianapolis has a new treasure: The Great Jingle Rail Western Adventure. The Eiteljorg Museum staff gave Paul Busse and his Applied Imagination organization ideas for a railroad holiday display connecting Indianapolis to legendary sites in the American West. The exhibit is a magnificent holiday gift to all families and can be viewed through January 9, 2011.
Who wouldn't be thrilled to see five G-scale/gauge model trains running at one time through tunnels, over trestles, and passing by legendary sites such as Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful and Yosemite Park's magnificent waterfalls?
I took my seven-year-old granddaughter, Lucy Wynne, to see her reaction to the new holiday exhibit. She appreciated the knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers who enjoyed telling her about the trains and the sites she has never seen. Train enthusiast brothers' Mike and Kim Kensill and Tom Bromstrup were all part of the volunteers who the presenting sponsor, Indiana Rail Roads Company, had encouraged to join the Eiteljorg volunteers. They explained that there are four islands with two exhibits on each side.
The Great Rail Adventure starts right at Indy's own Monument Circle. Paul Busse states that he spent more time creating the replica of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument with Christmas lights than any other reproduction he has made. Also on the Monument Circle scene are replicas of Union Station, Chase Tower and the Indianapolis Power and Light building. The train also goes by the Eiteljorg Museum on the way to the American West.
The rail adventure goes to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone Park with Old Faithful as a water-feature. Other sites visited are Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Northwest Coast Native Villages and Glacier Park.
What is most unique about this installation is that all of the displays are made from natural materials. Many different woods, twigs, nuts and moss were used and the carving of the faces on Mt. Rushmore are all done in wood. Other islands portray the different National Park lodges and the scenes of Teepees on plains and the Pueblo Indians' mountain-side dwellings.
Indianapolis is so fortunate to have so many wonderful places to take the family in December. Christmas at the Zoo is always a special treat, as is The Children's Museum Jolly Days, which has added a new Winter Wonderland with indoor snowball fights and sock skating on an indoor pond. The Indiana State Museum's Holiday Train ride for kids and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus both give you an opportunity to visit the Titanic exhibit before it leaves on January 17th. And, of course, all museums have wonderful gift shops and food service.
Other must-see events include performances of The Nutcracker, Indianapolis Symphony Yuletide Celebration Concerts, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Beef and Boards' The Christmas Musical: A Wonderful Life all of which make live theatre a great option for December. As always, you can find details of all events this issue of Indy's Child's calendar.
We wish a Happy Holidays to all of our Indy's Child readers.