Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2021

Holiday Village, Model Train on Margate Road Returns

By Mario Emanuel Perez

For some of us, particularly those of us with toddlers, one of the highlights of the holiday season is festive holiday activities and train displays.  Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a damper on some of these exhibits, which are often held indoors.  Notably, the Washington, Virginia, and Maryland Garden Railway Society will not be presenting its Garden Railway Exhibit at Brookside Gardens this year, which typically accompanies Brookside Gardens’ Garden of Lights event (Garden of Lights will return but with outdoor events only).

Last year, thinking that I would try to make something festive for my three-year-old son in our own house as a substitute, I asked the neighbors in the Four Corners Buy Nothing Group for any materials that I could use to make a holiday village.  I was not expecting the extensive and high-quality donations that I received, and I decided to build the village outside so that everyone who had donated to the village, and all of our many toddler neighbors, could also enjoy it.  What started as an off-the-cuff idea became what my wife would probably describe as a bit of an obsessive hobby, as I looked for additional buildings, figurines, and materials to build out the village.  I have looked forward to rebuilding the village this year, and I hope you will stop by and check it out.

Author Ema Perez sets up his annual display at Margate Road and Snowy Owl Drive.

The village and model train are located in the cherry tree in front of 10608 Margate Road and will be up until early January.  The village lights are illuminated nightly, and the train leaves the tunnel every evening, weather permitting.  If you stop by and the train is not running, just knock on the door and, if I am home, I will gladly come out and turn it on.

Thank you to the many neighbors who have contributed to the holiday village! For anyone who would like to help out this year, I have a few specific requests:

Professional Model Train Displays Running This Year

Brunswick Heritage Museum
40 West Potomac St., Brunswick, MD 21716
The Museum’s third floor features a 1,700-square-foot HO Scale model railroad that depicts the B&O Metropolitan Subdivision beginning at the west end of Brunswick’s rail yard and running eastward through Montgomery County communities all the way to Union Station in Washington D.C.  Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  FREE Admission but donations are welcome.

B&O Ellicott City Train Station Museum
3711 Maryland Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Enjoy the museum’s holiday train model on display thru January 2, 2022.  Wed-Thurs: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Fri-Sun: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more info contact:  Jake Feirson, 410.313.2922 or jfeirson  FREE Admission.

National Capital Trolley Museum
1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville, MD 20905; 301.384.6088
Enjoy the Winter Garden Railway and holiday village inside the museum.  On display Saturday Dec. 4, 11, 18 and Sunday Dec.19.  The Winter Garden Railway runs from Noon to 5 p.m.  The museum strongly recommends purchasing tickets in advance through their website:  Admission is $10 for Adults, and $8 for Children 2 thru 17 and Seniors.

Roads and Rails Museum
200 N East Street, Frederick, MD 21701; 301.624.5524
The Roads and Rails Museum houses one of the largest miniature world model train displays in the country.  Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.; Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Closed Tues-Fri.  Admission is $10 for Adults, $5 for children, and free for under 3 yrs.

United States Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20001; 202.225.8333
The Botanic Garden outdoor train runs through a display of agricultural scenes from across the United States and around the world, all made from plant parts! The train layout is located in the gated outdoor gardens.  On display from Nov. 24, 2021, thru Jan. 2, 2022; closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.  The outdoor train runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  FREE Admission.   ■

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