Compiled by Susie Tommaney
Begin a holiday tradition for your family by collecting model trains and Christmas villages. Not only does it eliminate the worry about what to give for holidays and special occasions, it also serves as a touchstone for family memories. Years from now you can look back at each collectible and remember what was happening and who was there that year, making it an important part of your family’s story.
To get started with model trains, go and visit one of the world-class collections at The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Bayou Bend, Second Baptist Church (Woodway) or the G-scale model train layout valued at more than $1 million at the Frisco Discovery Center. Read more in calendar.
1. A view of the late Steve Sanders’ train as it appeared in his Dallas home. The set features six precision trains that run simultaneously and can be viewed in the Museum of the American Railroad’s TrainTopia exhibition at Frisco Discovery Center.
2. Christmas Village at Bayou Bend includes a handcrafted model train circling a 12-foot tree.
Start your model train collection and ask about the various scales at these local hobby shops.
Papa Ben’s Train Place
4007-E Bellaire Boulevard
G&G Model Shop
2029 Southwest Freeway
Upcoming model train events:
February 16-17, The Great Texas Train Show
Premier Events Center, Lakeland Plaza, 1165 South Stemmons Freeway, Lewisville, www.trainshow.com/greattexastrainshow
February 16, San Jacinto Model Railroad Club’s Greater Houston Train Show, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road, Stafford, www.sanjacmodeltrains.org
3. Department 56 has so many villages that there’s sure to be a theme to suit even the pickiest gift recipient. From the sophisticated (Art & Architecture, Dickens’ Village) to the colorful and whimsical (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Disney, Peanuts), these collectibles are the perfect way to show you truly care.
New this year is the just released Harry Potter Village (shown at left) with Hogwarts Great Hall that lights up. Also new are the beautifully lit front gates that match the architecture of each village grouping.
Department 56 U.S. Platinum Retailers:
Good Things For All Seasons
334 South Main, Grapevine
The Christmas Store
155 East Main, Fredericksburg
Explore more at www.department56.com .
Department 56 also is carried locally at Macy’s, Dillard’s and these stores:
2366 Rice Boulevard
125 Highway 332 West, Suite E, Lake Jackson
Hauerlands Gift Shop
1648 South Mason, Katy