Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure at the Eiteljorg Museum is the premier holiday exhibit for all who love Western culture, trains and Indianapolis. Model trains chug down the track past national landmarks and natural and human made wonders like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. You might want to start planning your big summer road trip out west after you see the landscapes of Mt. Rushmore, Yosemite Falls, Las Vegas and the newly added Route 66.
Kids will love watching the trains making their ways down the tracks past beautiful landscapes crafted from natural materials. At first glance, you’ll see buildings and mountains, but look a little closer and you’ll notice that each item is carefully crafted from things like leaves, tree bark, moss, acorns and other materials found in nature. Your family might even be inspired to create your own masterpieces.
The 1,200 feet of train tracks run trains past more than 30 displays. Afterwards, check out the kid-friendly stations in the Western Galleries or the RB Annis Western Family Experience on the canal level. There’s also one of the best places to eat in Indy, right inside the museum at the cafe. Trust me, it’s amazing!
On your way in to the exhibit or on your way out, stop and take a step behind the near life-size train facade for a photo opportunity. Like the replicas in the exhibit itself, this train is made from natural materials and there are buttons to push to create sounds.
Children can test their hide and seek skills when they grab a seek and find checklist on their way in. The labels on placards have QR codes that can be scanned to see special bonus information and videos. There are also two train tables set up outside of the gallery. It was very difficult to peel my kids away from there, even though we have an expansive collection of trains at home.
“I really liked looking at the models of downtown Indy and watching the trains pass by.” – Lulu (age 8)
“I loved playing with the loud noise train (the photo opportunity outside of the exhibit).” – James (age 4)
“I liked seeing inside the Colts stadium.” – Scout (age 6)
“I like the big train (photo opp).” – Quinn (age 2)