Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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Garden Railway

The Garden Railway

Join us for the Summer Season Grand Opening on Saturday, May 28th 2016.

The Garden Railway is now open for the season and is dressed in its wintery finest!

Check for weather closings.

Open Daily, May 28 - September 5. Open Weekends through October 10.
Weekdays 10:00am - 4:00pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10:00am - 5:00pm
Late Night Wednesdays until 8:00pm through August 31st.
Please note that the Garden Railway does not open until 10am on Early Bird Saturdays.

Summer Garden Railway 2016: Awaken the Senses

Morris Arboretum has just the ticket to kick off summer – the Grand Opening of the Garden Railway display on Memorial Day weekend, celebrating its 19th year! This year’s theme is "Awaken the Senses" Grand Opening activities will take place on Saturday, May 28 from 1-3pm. Take part in a kids craft and enjoy free ice cream (while supplies last).

  • Imagine the scent of baking wafting from Randy’s Donut Shop and Ye Olde Cakery Bakery
  • Listen to the swoosh of the trains as they whizz by on the outdoor quarter mile track
  • See the octopus as he crawls out of the treasure chest of the underwater sea world
  • Touch the various natural materials on the Touch Board of samples used in the miniature world of the Garden Railway


Garden Railway Events

Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Weekends

Saturday, July 16 & Sunday July 17
Saturday, August 13 & Sunday, August 14
Saturday, September 10 & Sunday, September 11

Free with garden admission.

Come visit the Garden Railway and see Thomas & Friends take over the tracks.


Garden Railway Thomas the Train Weekend

Circus Week at the Garden Railway

Saturday, July 2 - Sunday, July 10
Saturday, August 27 - Monday, September 5

Free with garden admission.

Come see the Big Top and the circus trains, learn the history of the circus and watch for a few surprises.


Circus Week at the Garden Railway



About the Garden Railway

Visitors of all ages will be wowed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under!), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely garden of the Morris Arboretum. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pine cone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

The Garden Railway is supported, in part, through the generosity of Gwen and Ed Asplundh and by a gift given in memory of Joe Shuttleworth. “Gwen and I are very pleased to support the wonderful Garden Railway. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved trains large and small. For years, I had a large train layout in my basement. There is something very special about an outdoor railway, especially the very unusual and beautifully done railway at the Arboretum. I enjoy watching the trains myself, but most of all, I enjoy watching the looks of delight on the faces of the other ‘kids’ young and old.” –Ed Asplundh

About the Holiday Garden Railway

Visitors of all ages will be wow-ed by a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with fifteen different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under), and bustling model trains, all set in the lovely winter garden of the Morris Arboretum. The display and buildings are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with small streams. Each building, while an exact replica of the original, is unique in its design. Philadelphia-area landmarks such as a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

The buildings are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle along the tracks and around the surrounding landscape. The Garden Railway Display has become one of the Arboretum’s most beloved attractions since it opened in 1998, and the Holiday Garden Railway is quickly becoming a favorite holiday tradition for many families.

The Garden Railway is supported, in part, through the generosity of Gwen and Ed Asplundh and by a gift given in memory of Joe Shuttleworth. “Gwen and I are very pleased to support the wonderful Garden Railway. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved trains large and small. For years, I had a large train layout in my basement. There is something very special about an outdoor railway, especially the very unusual and beautifully done railway at the Arboretum. I enjoy watching the trains myself, but most of all, I enjoy watching the looks of delight on the faces of the other ‘kids’ young and old.” –Ed Asplundh


Railway Special Events

Holiday Garden Railway Grand Opening

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 | 1:00 - 3:00pm
Free with garden admission.

Come see the Holiday Garden Railway dressed in its wintry finest! Take part in a fun craft for the kids and enjoy the winter garden.


Holiday Garden Railway


Friday Night Lights

FRIDAYS, DECEMBER 4, 11, & 18 | 4:30 - 7:30pm
Tickets will be available to purchase through TicketLeap starting in November. Ticket prices: Member adult $9, Member child $3, Non-member adult $16, Non-member child $8

Enjoy the Holiday Garden Rail all lit up and decorated for the season. White lights sparkle along the rails and miniature greens adorn the buildings.


Friday Night Lights



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Know Before You Go

For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!


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Alerts & Updates

The lower portion of the Rose Garden will be closed this weekend due to renovations to the turf after a long hot, dry summer with record attendance. The top gate will be open to allow for visual access, just not foot traffic. Enjoy Fall Festival activities at the top of the hill, and be sure to vote for your favorite scarecrow along Scarecrow Walk (the Oak Allée). Click here for hours.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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Alerts & Updates

The lower portion of the Rose Garden will be closed this weekend due to renovations to the turf after a long hot, dry summer with record attendance. The top gate will be open to allow for visual access, just not foot traffic. Enjoy Fall Festival activities at the top of the hill, and be sure to vote for your favorite scarecrow along Scarecrow Walk (the Oak Allée). Click here for hours.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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