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dec 10 2008

This weekend: Model trains take over Traverse City, Mich.

Part of the huge display at the Festival of Trains (Courtesy Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Godzilla takes Traverse City! (Courtesy Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Christmas has come early for those hoping for a model train under the tree this year: the Festival of Trains kicks off this weekend in Traverse City, Mich.

The festival, a tradition in this town in Northern Michigan for nearly two decades, opens Saturday. Volunteers set up built-to-scale model trains, mostly in the N, HO, S, O and G scales. The result is a tricked-out giant display of models running on tracks through diorama-like scenes.

The Northern Michigan Rail Road Club puts on the display at the Grand Traverse Heritage Center, a building that used to house a library. The Center is in a beautiful district that also has several mansions of 19th-century lumber barons.

More than 8,000 people attended last year's installment, and organizers are expecting about 10,000 this year.

In case you didn't know, Traverse City is a resort town that's about two-and-a-half hours north of Grand Rapids on Lake Michigan, between the pinkie and the fourth finger in Michigan's mitten.

322 Sixth Street, 231/995-0313, tickets from $2. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A family pass is available for unlimited visits for $25.


Read more in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Check out the Traverse City Visitors Bureau for ideas on what else to do.

Shop in the city's historical downtown area.

For more travel news, go to Alltop.

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.


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