Great Trains Holiday Exhibit

Trains, Trains, Trains! – Opening Friday, November 24th

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland opens the day after Thanksgiving, and ushers in the most festive season of the year! Dressed for the holidays, the Society’s historic 18th and 19th century buildings are transformed into a train-lovers delight with eight different train layouts winding through tiny towns with many 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”. In a special train room for the youngest guests, there are buttons galore plus Thomas the Tank Engine and a Brio set for hands-on fun.

Enjoy a preview of this seasonal delight:

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

2016/2017 Schedule:

The Great Trains Exhibit will run from Friday, November 25, 2016 through Monday, January 16, 2016, Wednesdays – Saturdays, 10-4, and Sundays 12-4. Admission is free for all children and members of the Society, and $10 for non-member adults. Please note: the trains on display in the Abbott Barn are only available on weekends.

Grand opening: Friday, November 25

locomotive_floca12:00 – 4:00, with a Special Opening Day appearance
by Brian Floca from
1:00 – 2:00. 
Brian Floca, author of the fabulous Caldecott Award-winning book Locomotive, will have a program for kids and sign copies of his book. Books available for purchase at the Betts Store.

Saturday, November 26

john-hooker-hanfordSpecial Performance by Tom Hanford from 1:00 – 2:00. No charge
Join Tom Hooker Hanford as he performs seasonal songs and stories for the Grand Opening Weekend of the Great Trains Holiday Exhibit! His programs combine music, storytelling, and colorful painted masks. In recent years Tom has taken his interactive shows for children to Old Sturbridge and The Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts, Clermont State Historic Site, The Farmers Museum, Olana, and Erie Canal Village in New York State, and many other museums, historic sites, and festivals.

Saturday, December 3

mercury-glass-group11:00 – 12:30 Mercury Glass Votive Workshop for Kids
In this fun and festive workshop, kids ages 6 – 12 will use paint to make shiny mercury glass votives. While making their votives, Lola Chen, Museum Educator, will talk with the children about the origins of mercury glass, which was originally created as a replacement for sterling silver, and contains neither silver nor mercury. The session includes a snack.

Wilton Historical Society members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: or call 203-762-7257.

Saturday, December 10


For kids and families, Santa visits from 11:00 – 2:00
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 12 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 crafting fun during the same time.
Drop in workshop charge: $5.00 per child


Saturday, December 10

silhouette-art-deborah-oconnorHave a Silhouette Portrait Made!
Artist Deborah O’Connor Creates Heirloom Silhouette Portraits 12:00 – 4:00
Renowned 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.

First silhouette is $30, additional copies $15. Silhouettes are mounted on white or ivory archival quality cardstock. Mattes, extra copies for gift giving and frames will also be available. Silhouettes can also be made from photographs (in profile). Please call 203-762-7257 to book your reservation — a deposit is required.

Saturday, December 17

cranberry-shortbread11:00 – 12:30 Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids 

This Month: Cranberry Shortbread
Every month, the Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop at the Wilton Historical Society teaches kids in grades 4 – 8 a Colonial “reciept” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region.  While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals and way of life.

This month, the children will be making cranberry shortbread.  The large amount of butter is what makes shortbread short: the term short, when applied to biscuits and pastry, means crumbly, like shortcrust pastry should be. It is the reason why the fat added to biscuits and pastries is called shortening. Though the origins of shortbread are found in Scotland, the addition of cranberries will give these traditional holiday cookies a distinctly American flavor.

Members: $10; Non-members $15. Space is limited — please register by contacting or call 203-762-7257.

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