Gardenland Express

When: Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 2018

It's unclear exactly when the holiday season and trains became entwined. Did Santa travel by rail before he got the reindeer? No one seems to know. What is known is that trains are now a major part of the Christmas experience, from children's horror movie Polar Express to Gardenland Express at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; Garden staff build a G-gauge train set-up every year that wends its way through a landscape of living flora filled with houses, buildings and tiny people. The display is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through January 1. Admission is $5 (plus regular garden admission), but free during Garden Glow evenings.

Paul Friswold

Price: $5 plus regular garden admission ($12)