Tag Archive | model train

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Holiday Express 2015


 Olbrich Gardens Sign 12-2015

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The last time I attended this event was in 2013, so it was time to see it again. This time Al joined me. Admission is $5 for adults, $3.00 for kids 3-12.  Since we joined during Olbrich Botanical Garden’s GLEAM event in the fall, we had free entry! The inside of the building was so festive, with many poinsettia plants, some of which are for sale. Memberships are also 50% off during this special event.

Poinsettias IMG_8551

Poinsettias at Olbrich IMG_8544

Memberships and concession IMG_8552

We headed down the walkway to the Christmas display, showing our membership card for admittance and hand-stamped.

IMG_8802 crop Holiday Express entry

Greeting us with a train whistle and an “All Aboard!”,  Olbrich volunteer Judy warmly greeted us and had information about upcoming events.

Volunteer IMG_8554

Models trains are by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society.  The LEGO® displays by the Wisconsin LEGO® Users Group.  The room is beautiful,  this is the right side of the room with one train display, a modern diesel train.

Right side IMG_8641

Diesel Train at Olbrich

A different train is on the left side, and “Iron Horse” steam engine.

Steam Train IMG_8616 Best

Let’s see them in action!

Two members of the Railway Society were there, Dick Jellings and his wife Elaine.  For over 20 years he wore the Colonel Corn costume at the Sun Prairie Corn Fest. Now retired, he enjoys model trains and showing them to the public.  They will be part of the upcoming Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale on Feb 20-21, 2016.  We plan on going to this fun event!

The LEGO™ displays were quite impressive.  Star Wars fever was rampant even here, with a rebel base display called “Home One”.

Home One Star Wars Display

Katina Cottage Lego

Winter Street Scene

Winter Street Scene IMG_8613

Winter Street Scene IMG_8614

Winter Castle Display

Miller Park Display

Elvenhorse display

In the Bolz Conservatory, the CHOCOLATE: THE BITTER AND THE SWEET exhibit had Cacao trees on display and signs describing the history of chocolate and uses over the millennia.

Chocolate Display sign IMG_8797

A small Cacao tree and pod.

Cacao Tree and pod

Purity of chocolate, white “chocolate” is not chocolate at all!

Chocolate types IMG_8743

Some of the displays.

American Chocolate Pots IMG_8706

Cacao used in Food and Health IMG_8701

Cacao and Chocolate display IMG_8677

We had a great visit to Olbrich and we look forward to returning to their other events in the next year.  We highly recommend  becoming a member. They get many special benefits, including a discount in their gift shop.

Olbrich gift shop IMG_8800

Toy Train Barn Museum in Argyle


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Toy Train Barn sign

We were so excited to go here after hearing about it on the new TV program on Wisconsin Public Television, “Our Wisconsin Life”. Here is their segment.

Just outside of downtown Argyle a few miles the Toy Train Barn rose above the countryside, standing out against the melting snow with its orange color and barn quilt.

Toy Train Barn Museum

We could not imagine so many little trains in one place!  I was impressed by the two trains at the Olbrich Holiday Express in December, but this blew it out of the water. Jan Guthrie was so kind to show us around, her dog Casey Jones was so sweet and friendly. She opened the door and a plaster railroad guy was one of the first things we saw.

Railroad GuyCasey Jones heart

We could not believe the vista spread out when we walked in the door. The view was a city at dusk, subdued lighting with MANY moving objects, not just the trains.  This is on the left side of the display, an aisle goes down the middle of the museum. In this picture a moving space needle goes up and down the pole.  Also video of scene below.

City and Space Needle

The right side is just as interesting.  The band playing (VCR recording), balloon and kids jumping on pogo sticks is wonderful.  The trains are even to programmed to stop at the depot.

The message plane flying around..

Message Plane

This was really cute, a band playing bluegrass under a gazebo, a pig roasting on a spit. It was also turning.

Bluegrass Band

Also a Depot and barn with lots of animals. There is an air strip too.

Depot and barn

We finished up our visit with some music from the player piano and a picture with Jan and Casey.

Jan Guthrie and us

Jan and Buck Guthrie welcome you to their fine train museum. In the summer months,  miniature trains rides outside complete your experience.  ALL ABOARD!!

Toy Train Museum Flyer 2014