Great Trains Holiday Exhibit

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Trains, Trains, Trains – and Santa, too, for the holidays at the Wilton Historical Society!

After the familiar Thanksgiving rituals of parades, turkey and football, keep the family fun going, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. Take the children in your life to an entrancing afternoon with trains and live entertainment. Dressed for the holidays, the Wilton Historical Society’s historic 18th and 19th century buildings are transformed into a train-lovers delight with many different train layouts winding through tiny towns with a variety of different kinds of buildings, tunnels and two working Ferris Wheels! The interactive display enchants visitors of all ages with lots of buttons to push and knowledgeable “train engineers” on hand to “talk trains”. An expanded new Lego set up makes its debut this year. In a special train room for the youngest guests, there are buttons galore plus Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio for hands-on fun. The Wilton Historical Society is the place to be – come enjoy opening day of the ever-popular Great Trains Holiday Exhibit on Friday, November 24 from 12:00 – 4:00.

Enjoy a preview of this seasonal delight:


Video created for the Society by David Riss from Greyskye Marketing. Thank you, David!


Saturday, November 25

Puppets, too! Special Puppet Performance by Jim Napolitano 2:00 – 3:00

For thousands of years, man has manipulated puppets for a variety of reasons: religion, education, and entertainment. One of the oldest and most wonderful forms of puppetry is shadow puppetry. People don’t recognize Jim Napolitano even though he has been broadcast to millions of television sets nationwide. That’s because he’s a puppeteer. He’s performed for the PBS show Between the Lions, Disney’s The Book of Pooh and Nickelodeon in A Show of Hands. His puppetry has taken him across the country and around the globe. No charge.

And even more on Saturday, November 25!

See the Great Trains Exhibit on Saturday, and leave some time for the kids to enjoy an art project. From 11:00 – 1:00 they can paint a wooden train engine, perfect for using as an ornament. Art project fee: Members – $5 per child, max $15 per family; Non-members $10 per child, max $30 per family.


Saturday, December 9

Holly Jolly Saturday with Santa, Pomanders, Gingerbread Cookie Decorating and Silhouette Portraits

What could be more in-the-holiday-spirit than a chance to confide in Santa, see chuffing trains run, savor the scent of cloves and gingerbread, and find one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends? Saturday, December 9 is a Holly Jolly day at the Wilton Historical Society, with something for everyone. From 11:00 – 2:00 Santa will be visiting, and workshops in pomander-making and gingerbread men cookie decorating will be open for drop-in fun during the same time. Workshop charge: $5.00 per child per activity.

Have a Silhouette Portrait Made!
Artist Deborah O’Connor Creates Heirloom Silhouette Portraits 12:00 – 4:00

silhouette-art-deborah-oconnorRenowned silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will create individual portraits cut entirely freehand from paper, using scissors as her only tool. Subjects pose for silhouettes, created in a matter of minutes, which they can take home–the perfect holiday gift, and a future cherished family heirloom. “Cutting silhouettes is basically drawing with a pair of scissors. The only difference is you can’t make any mistakes, as there is no erasing,” Ms. O’Connor says. Check the Society’s website for details. Please call 203-762-7257 to book your reservation — a deposit is required.


More great programs to come! Check our Calendar for more fun activities related to the Great Trains Holiday Exhibit!

The fun continues all month long with fun events and programs in December:
Saturday, December 2, 11:00 – 12:30 Gift Customs and Wrapping Holiday Gifts Workshop for Kids
Saturday December 16, 11:00 – 12:30 Stained Glass Holiday Ornament Workshop for Kids
Saturday, December 23, 11:00 – 12:30 Mosaics Workshop for Kids
Saturday, December 30, 11:00 – 12:30 Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids: Pound Cake with “Oranges” Juice

The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit will run from Friday, November 24, 2017 through Monday, January 15, 2018. Wednesdays – Saturdays, 10:00-4:00; Sundays 12-4. No charge for children under 12. Admission is free for adult members of the Society, and $10 for non-member adults.

And for gifting, don’t miss the Betts Store Museum Shop- Sip and Shop on Saturday, December 2, 10:00 – 4:00
The Society’s Museum Shop, like the original 18th-century Betts Store, always features locally-made and one-of-a-kind items, many hand-crafted. The store is freshly stocked for holiday shopping, and is brimming with an eclectic and interesting collection of affordable finds and follies! At the Betts Store you will discover beautiful gifts for holiday giving, including jewelry, scarves, books, puzzles and letterpress note cards plus nifty toys, games and crafts for kids. There is an excellent selection of home accessories and hostess gifts…unusual candles, honey, artwork, mugs, bowls, cups and tea towels, including a good selection of Wilton-themed items featuring local landmarks. The store is committed to supporting local craftsmen and businesses; some items are made in Wilton, some in Connecticut, and all are made in the U.S.A.


Great Trains Holiday Exhibit 2017-2018 Sponsors



  • Anytime Fitness
  • Bridgewater Prep
  • Canine Company
  • Cannondale Animal Clinic
  • JM Painting
  • MCL Piersall, LLC
  • Melissa & Doug
  • NLC Insurance
  • Perry and McKendry
  • RBC Wealth Management
  • Realty 7
  • Security Solutions
  • Wilton Hardware