Nixon Library Trains Return for Annual Holiday Run

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is home to some of the best holiday train displays in Southern California.

I talked a little yesterday about some of T’s favorite holiday trains, but the holiday trains at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, CA, are his all-time favorite holiday train destination. This is another family tradition that started a few season ago when we discovered T’s love of trains, and it’s become can’t-miss destination for us every December. The best part of all about the Nixon trains is the wide variety of trains on display; from traditional electric trains in their special events room to a more modern LEGO train-scape in their main lobby area, it’s safe to say that if you love trains, there’s something here for you to see and enjoy.

The special event room at the Nixon Library goes train-crazy during the holidays, and we love it!

A view of the "city" train set-up at the Nixon Library.

T's favorite electric display by far is this western train track and town-scape. When T was just two-years-old, one of his first two-word phrases was "wild west" - all because of this train at the Nixon Library!

The holidays are not complete without a ride on the Polar Express, or at least watching it go by anyway. And the Nixon Library knows this, too!

Another great feature of the Nixon Library Festival of Trains is the wonderful artwork on display. Shown are two pieces from the Walt Disney Archives of the Thunder Mountain Railroad.

While we went to see the Nixon trains last season (of course), sadly they didn’t dedicate their special exhibit room to the holiday train displays as they had in years’ past (they just had the LEGO trains). However, this season they brought them all back, and then some. This year’s electric set-ups are better than ever and very kid-friendly in that the trains run right at a preschooler’s eye level (behind plexiglass to keep the kids safe from the runaway trains, of course). Designers broke up the room into four distinct viewing quadrants: City, Traditional Holiday, Wild West, and Modern Holiday. The Nixon Library Holiday Trains are on display in the Special Events room this season until January 2, 2012.

The LEGO holiday train display at the Nixon Library. Impressive is quite the understatement!

In and Out... that's what a hamburger (and a LEGO train display) is all about!

Trains wait in station and zip past you in the LEGO train display at the Nixon Library Festival of Trains 2011.

The LEGO trains will be up through January 2012 at the Nixon Library.

Just as impressive is the more modern LEGO train display. Boasting almost 1 million LEGO bricks, it’s very hard to see this exhibit and not be impressed. The detail of each vehicle, structure, and building is hard to miss brick-by-brick, and given that we have become a LEGO household ourselves, we know how long it can take just to make one simple car, let alone an architectural set such as a bridge or building with roof tiles. These trains run MUCH FASTER than the older electrics, and naturally the kiddos are on the hustle to keep up with the trains and where they are headed so fast. The Nixon LEGO train display will be up through the month of January 2012.

A model Pacific Electric car on display during the Nixon Library Festival of Trains. As Nixon's father worked his entire career with PE, it's obvious how deep the love of trains runs in this family.

Thanks to everyone who made the Nixon Library Festival of Trains happen this holiday season!

Do make time for the Nixon Library Festival of Trains this holiday season. Whatever your political leanings are, just remember that trains are non-partisan, and your kids will approve this message and vote for this outing every time!