Take an enchanting journey through Indianapolis and the West
Holiday tradition Jingle Rails is “Back Home Again” for 10th year
By Bert Beiswanger, director of marketing and communications
For the past decade, the Eiteljorg’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure has captivated and delighted visitors of all ages. For the young and young at heart, it has become a cherished holiday tradition. The enchanting model railroad returns Saturday, Nov. 23 with exciting new additions.
Jingle Rails is a fascinating network of G-scale model trains that journey over and through bridges, trestles and tunnels, rolling past iconic scenes and landmarks of Indianapolis and the American West. After exploring replicas of the Circle City, including Monument Circle, Lucas Oil Stadium and Union Station, follow trains to iconic landmarks of the West, including Mount Rushmore, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Old Faithful, Aspen, Las Vegas and Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and more. The whimsical representations are all crafted of natural materials such as bark, twigs, leaves, acorns and more, and decked out in holiday lighting.
This year, we celebrate the 10th annual Jingle Rails with some fantastic additions: the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and famous Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest. We also welcome aboard new presenting sponsor Fifth Third Bank and their building to the downtown scenery. And for the first time, Jingle Rails will have extended hours, open until 8 p.m. every Monday in December.
The artistic interpretation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will make you truly feel “Back Home Again in Indiana.” The display will feature a working slot-car oval with two fanciful botanical Indy cars that will race around the track to authentic sounds of race day. Other features will include the Pagoda, scoring pylon, flag stand, grandstands, the Yard of Bricks finish line and the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead.
The journey out West will take visitors to seven historic Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest, including Mission San Xavier del Bac, the San Francisco de Asis Mission as well as the Alamo. Each of these landmarks, like everything in Jingle Rails, is recreated in miniature and showcases intricate architectural details created from natural botanical materials.
Jingle Rails was designed and built by Paul Busse and his talented crew of creative, botanical architects and land-scape designers at Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Kentucky. The nationally recognized team has created similar displays for the New York Botanical Garden and United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.
Jingle Rails is one of the most affordable holiday attractions around and is included with regular museum admission. Children ages four and under are free. Over the years it has received national acclaim and been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Midwest Living, Fox News Travel, USA Today and more.
Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure will remain open through Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
JINGLE RAILS: THE GREAT WESTERN ADVENTURE
NOV 23, 2019–JAN 20, 2020
Open until 8 p.m. Mondays: Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
Check www.eiteljorg.org for discounts.
Fifth Third Bank
Katz Sapper & Miller
The Kortepeter Family
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Storyteller magazine. Jingle Rails photography by Zach Dobson as well as Eiteljorg Museum staff.