While the Romans are generally credited with originating the practice of lugging a tree into the house for the holidays, we have the Germans to thank for setting in motion the time-honored tradition of setting a toy train under the Christmas pine. This year the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or www.mobot.org
) takes the tradition to the extreme with six G-scale model trains chugging along 1,800 feet of track at the Gardenland Express Flower and Train Show
. The display's theme is "Gathering for the Feast," and so the trains pass through a landscape in which woodland creatures gather food for their holiday meal from the living floral displays. Gardenland Express is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (Saturday, November 23, through Tuesday, January 5), but closed on Christmas Day. Admission is $5 to $7, in addition to the regular garden admission of $4 to $8.
Nov. 23-Dec. 24; Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2013