Indiana, Travel & Adventure

Jingle Rails 2018 at the Indianapolis Eiteljorg Museum

Jingle rails, jingle rails, jingle all the way…

That’s right, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure is in town!  Chugging down the tracks through Indianapolis and the sights of the American West, Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum is a delightful model train holiday exhibit that passes through replicas of famous landscapes.  Such replicas include Lucas Oil Stadium and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis, the Gateway Arch, Cadillac Ranch, the Farris wheel at Pacific Park Pier in California, and so many more.

Recognized as a ‘10 Best’ Indianapolis holiday attractions by USA Today.

Also check out my post on the Carmel Christkindlemarkt, another Indianapolis family-fun holiday attraction!

We visited Jingle Rails last weekend with The City Moms and the entire family had a great time!  All kids, ages 9-14, enjoyed the exhibit and us adults took in the fun interactive exhibit as much as the kids did.  The exhibit runs from November 17th through January 21st and is included in the general admission price to the museum.

Designed and created by Paul Busse and Applied Imagination, Jingle Rails has been in operation for nine seasons.  My favorite feature about this exhibit is that it is built from all natural products.  While walking through, around, and under, you will notice that tracks are built from wood materials.  The exhibit hosts were super informative and eager to share with us integrate details, such as the grape leaves that were used build the roof on the model for the Grand Canyon Lodge.  Other materials used throughout the displays are bark, acorns, pine cones, tree roots, honeycombs, and much more.  Scenes are also decked out in holiday lights, adding fun and spirit to the Christmas festivities.


Featured as on of the ‘12 ways to celebrate Christmas in the Midwest’ by magazine Midwest Living

With kids in tow, we covered Jingle Rails in about an hour.  The exhibit has a lot to see but you’ll have plenty of time to check out the rest of the museum too!  Our 9-year-old would tell you that his favorite part was the FIND ME! scavenger hunt booklets they had available for the kids (I’m pretty sure he did ALL of the booklets).

While you are there, check out the new New Western Art Galleries.  In the midst of beautiful artwork is an Element of Art Studio for the kids and a large jigsaw puzzle that took five of us to put together (I love the family-friendly touches that are displayed throughout the museum!).

The downstairs of the Eiteljorg is dedicated specifically for the kids and families.  We checked out the entire Family Center and spent a good chunk of time here.  I would say that those under the age of 10 would enjoy this area the most.  It is interactive and hands-on featuring a totem pole, weaving stations, and stagecoach.

Details you’ll want to know for your visit:

  • Location: Eitel Museum, 500 West Washington St., Indianapolis, IN
  • Hours:  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.  Closed: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Website:
  • Parking:  Enter the White River State Park (WRSP) underground parking garage from Washington Street. Free parking is offered to museum visitors most days out of the year when available (ask at the front desk before leaving).
  • Admission:  Adults are $15, seniors are $12, youth ages 5-17 are $8, and children ages 4 and under are free.  Jingle Rails is included in the admission.  (If you order online you can get a $2 discount on tickets!).  Eiteljorg also offers a discount for military families and Veterans.
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