Pick and choo-choo
We pit two model-train displays against each other in our first holiday express smackdown. Chug-a-lug!
Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
A 10,000-square-foot exhibition houses 12 trains that rumble across bridges, under trestles, past waterfalls and through 80 mini replicas of Chicago’s favorite landmarks, including the museum campus, Old St. Pat’s Church and the long-gone Chicago Stadium.
The flyspeck lions outside the tiny Art Institute wear miniscule wreaths.
Artificial snow falls indoors, dusting the train cars and the heads of those who watch them.
Wrecks are caused by over-excited kids whom Dave Rodelius, an exhibit designer, dubs “grabbers.”
Bring on the tiny train wrecks. Indoor snow and Chicago nostalgia tip the scales in favor of the Wonderland Express.