Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: Our website is currently undergoing maintenance and information may not be current. For assistance please contact info@morrisarboretum.org.

Garden Railway

Garden Railway

Now Open! Summer Garden Railway 2015: Art & Architecture

Morris Arboretum has just the ticket to kick off summer – the Grand Opening of the Garden Railway display on Memorial Day weekend, celebrating its 18th year! This year’s theme "Art & Architecture" will feature miniatures of iconic Philadelphia sculptures and famous lighthouses, to buildings from the last World’s Fair in 1964 and more!

Visitors will experience art such as Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ to Oldenburg’s ‘Clothes Pin’; marvel at daring architecture including Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Fallingwater’ to Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Monticello’; and delight in the whimsical architecture of roadside attractions such as ‘Randy’s Donuts’ and the ‘Giant Teapot’. This year’s display will again, surely delight visitors both young and old.

Garden Railway Hours

Open daily May 23 - September 7
Open weekends only through October 12


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 display is made possible by the generous support of Gwen and Ed Asplundh. “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


Garden Railway Events

Circus Weeks at the Garden Railway

Saturday, June 27 through Sunday, July 5
Saturday August 29 through Monday, September 7

Free with garden admission.

The first circus was held in Philadelphia in 1793. Come see the Big Top and the circus trains, learn the history of the circus and watch for a few surprises.


Garden Railway Circus Week


Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Weekends

Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12
Saturday, August 8 and Sunday August 9
Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13

Free with garden admission.

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


Garden Railway Thomas the Train Weekend


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 made possible in part by Gwen and Ed Asplundh.


Railway Hours

November 28 - January 4: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Closed December 24, 25, and January 1. Check for weather closings.


Railway Special Events

Friday Night Lights!

SOLD OUT FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26 | 4:30 - 7:30pm
Advanced ticket purchase required; this event is SOLD OUT.

Member Adult: $9.00 / Member Child: $3.00
Non-member Adult: $16.00 / Non-member Child: $8.00

Start a new holiday tradition and come enjoy the Holiday Garden Rail all lit up and decorated for the season during special evening hours. White lights sparkle along the rails and miniature greens adorn the buildings.

The Compton Cafe will NOT be open Friday, December 26.

A sweet treat from Brendenbeck’s bakery in Chestnut Hill will be given to guests each evening, as supplies last!


Friday Night Lights

Bredenbecks Bakery


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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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Construction Notice:

Parking Lot Closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Out on a Limb garden feature will also be closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015

Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.

The entire parking lot will be closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.

Our Out on a Limb garden feature will be closed for maintanence on Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.

The Arboretum is open as usual. 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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Construction Notice:

Parking Lot Closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Out on a Limb garden feature will also be closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015

Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.

The entire parking lot will be closed Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.

Our Out on a Limb garden feature will be closed for maintanence on Thursday, July 30 - Friday, July 31, 2015

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.

The Arboretum is open as usual. 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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