News Release: Holiday favorite Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails rolls into the Eiteljorg Museum
Family activities area added in newly expanded space
INDIANAPOLIS – The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art welcomes back families for a favorite holiday tradition with the opening of Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure on Nov. 19. Now in its 13th holiday season, Jingle Rails in a one-of-a-kind whimsical model railroad that features a network of G-scale electric trains, 1,200 feet of track and artistic miniature representations of iconic landmarks of Indianapolis and the American West. Jingle Rails, which runs through Jan. 16, 2023, will be displayed in newly expanded space this year, providing an even more enjoyable holiday family experience.
Winding through tunnels and over trestles, model trains pass miniature features of the downtown Indianapolis skyline such as Lucas Oil Stadium and Monument Circle, along with landmarks and scenes of the American West, such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore and more. The scenic backdrops are amazingly crafted out of all-natural materials such as bark, tree roots, pine cones, acorns, seed pods and honeycomb.
“We are very excited this year to once again present this holiday tradition to the community,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “It has meant so much to families over the years. And we are very excited to showcase Jingle Rails in our newly expanded Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court event space, featuring a new family activities area. Grandparents and grandchildren, parents and their children and generations in between will want to take in this overall experience and create family memories.”
The newly expanded space now has a striking all-glass east wall with a beautiful view of Downtown, and it includes the new family activities area. Visitors will have additional space to better enjoy Jingle Rails with new child-friendly activities, including train tables with wooden toy trains, magnetic tiles for assembling your own train, an “I spy” activity and a reading nook filled with train-themed children’s books, as well as the always popular Jingle Rails photo opportunity.
Jingle Rails visitors once again will delight in the return of the miniature Indianapolis Motor Speedway scene – complete with working Indy slot cars racing around the track, including a miniature representation of the Fifth Third Bank Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Graham Rahal Indy car speeding by. One of Jingle Rails’ other annual highlights is the Indiana State Fair scene, this year back in its original featured space. A popular part of Jingle Rails for years, the State Fair diorama features a colorful working Ferris wheel, the iconic Coliseum and more. New this year: a miniature of the Glass Barn education center, made possible by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
Visitors this year also will enjoy a special exhibit on view at the museum, Snow Days. Showcasing artworks from the Eiteljorg permanent collection, Snow Days is centered on the theme of winter. Featuring beautiful paintings, pottery, drawings, textiles and other works of art, Snow Days continues through Feb. 5, 2023.
The creative team at Applied Imagination – a botanical architecture firm in Alexandria, Kentucky – created Jingle Rails and installs the model railroad at the Eiteljorg for its run each holiday season. During Jingle Rails, a team of local volunteer model-train enthusiasts assists daily, answering visitors’ questions and maintaining the model trains.
Jingle Rails is one of the most popular and affordable holiday attractions around, and tickets include admission to the rest of the Eiteljorg Museum’s exhibits, including Snow Days. Tickets: Adults are $18, seniors are $14, youth ages 5 to 17 are $10, and children ages four and under are free. Guests are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Eiteljorg.org/jinglerails with discounts applied by using the promo code JINGLE at checkout. Museum members get free admission.
Programming: Several public programs and holiday art-making workshops take place at the Eiteljorg in December. Visit Eiteljorg.org/calendar for dates and details.
Fifth Third Bank is once again leading the way this year as the official title sponsor. The Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: Great Western Adventure is also sponsored by Katz Sapper & Miller, OneAmerica, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, the Sunrise Foundation (a fund of the Indianapolis Foundation) and Boot Barn.
About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 33 in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Jingle Rails has been featured in major tourism outlets such as Midwest Living and AAA Travel. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.
File photos of the Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. Jingle Rails runs at the Eiteljorg Museum from Nov. 19, 2022 to Jan. 16, 2023. Images courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum and Zach Dobson Photography.
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