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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Trains & Winter Fun for Kids

Four years ago when my oldest son was in day care, their November newsletter included some winter activities for kids. One was the holiday model train display at The Garden Factory. Since "train" was one of the most frequently used words in our one-year-old's vocabulary, we decided to check it out. And we've been back every winter since then.

The Garden Factory is located at 2126 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY 14624. Sure, they have plants, shrubbery, garden accessories, holiday decorations, and Christmas trees. But from late November through late December, it's a train mecca for kids.

Just walk in through the main entrance and keep going straight to the back of the store. Go through the doors and into the greenhouse, and step into the winter wonderland. The model trains run from 12 - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission fee to see the trains. Yes, it's free. Yay!
The model train display is huge, and there are several platforms around the display so that kids can get a better view. Of course, they will want to try each platform to see the trains from every side.
On weekends from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. there are rides ($0.50-1.50 each), crafts ($1-2.50 each), games ($2.50 each), a holiday light show ($2 per person; ages 3 and under are free), and pictures with Santa (prices vary). Be sure to check the schedule for other activities which may include reindeer, alpacas, or other animals, as well as food vendors, and Thousand Islands Winery. A link for the schedule can be found by clicking on "Seasonal Events" on the home page, and then on "Holiday Family Fun."

Weekends only, kids can ride a train...
...or a spinny-ride...
...or feed some animals...
...or climb through a fun house...
...or ride down a giant slide.
You can also get a great holiday family photo for your Christmas cards at The Garden Factory. There are pre-lit Christmas trees on display, plus tons of holiday decorations around - - you're sure to find a perfect backdrop for your photo.
The Garden Factory is stroller-friendly and there are indoor restrooms. While the trains and the activities are all indoors, the greenhouse is not heated. We usually keep our coats, hats, and gloves on while inside. There are food vendors available on weekends; during the week I would recommend bringing your own light snacks.

I hope you and your family have fun at The Garden Factory! As always, thanks for reading.

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