From minions to Thomas the Tank Engine, plus a soaring DC3 and a scale model of the Herr’s potato chip factory, the train display for “A Brandywine Christmas” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art is much more than trains on a track, with dozens of details and surprises. Discover how the extensive layout, one of the world’s largest, is created, and learn about the complicated multitasking it takes to keep everything running during Breakfast with the Trains on Dec. 19. The before-hours event includes a private tour of the trains in action with Brandywine Railroad engineers, including special activities for the youngest train fans and a continental breakfast in the museum’s café. Children will receive a Brandywine Railroad souvenir. Children aged 3 and older accompanied by an adult are welcome. Or, see the display anytime. It runs up to five trains at a time on nearly 2,000 feet of track. The locomotives, passenger/freight trains and trolleys pass through a town, a farm, a carnival and a Renaissance fair. There’s also a drive-in theater screening “Frozen” and “The Polar Express.” An activities handout, available in the train display, encourages visitors to count the Santa Claus figures on the display, to seek and find special railway cars and to play other games. After a visit to the trains, families can see the display of antique dolls dressed in beautiful period clothing, as well as the thousands of whimsical Critter ornaments on trees throughout the museum.
“A Brandywine Christmas” is on view through Jan. 3. The Brandywine River Museum of Art is open daily (except on Christmas) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Dec. 17. The museum is open until 6 p.m. from Dec. 26–30. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 65+, $6 for students and children ages 6+, free for children 5 and younger and free for Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art members. The museum is on U.S. Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pa. For more information, call 610-388-2700 or visit brandywinemuseum.org.