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Arts & Culture

Miniature trains kick off the holiday spirit at Dallas’ NorthPark

The Buckners smile as the trains pass by the miniature San Francisco, holding their son in their arms.
Keren Carrión
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KERA News
The Buckners come every year and said they were excited to bring their son this year, who’s finally old enough to enjoy it. They stopped by the miniature San Francisco as the train passed by.

The Trains at NorthPark exhibit has been a family tradition for 32 years and raises over $13 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Families brought their little ones to experience the 1,600 feet of track rolling from coast to coast on opening day.

Jones Robertson, 4, is a blond-haired little girl holding her toy doll while she looks for Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the scavenger hunt at NorthPark’s Train exhibit. She holds the crayon in her hand before marking the scavenger hunt, as her mom watches over her shoulder.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
Jones Robertson, 4, looks for Woody and Buzz Lightyear on the scavenger hunt at NorthPark’s Train exhibit. Amanda Robertson said she’s been coming to the exhibit since she was a kid and wants to continue the family tradition for her own children.
The trains pass by the small replica of the Perot Museum and other iconic buildings of the city of Dallas. Another train wraps around a miniature Christmas tree next to the city. The exhibit features over 600 trains and is considered the most elaborate miniature toy train exhibit in Texas.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
The trains pass by the small replicas of downtown Dallas. The exhibit features over 600 trains and is considered the most elaborate miniature toy train exhibit in Texas.
Annie Byrd holds her son Charlie, 2, while watching the trains run through New York City with her family.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
Annie Byrd holds her son Charlie, 2, while watching the trains run through miniature New York City with her family. Although they recently moved about an hour from Dallas, the Byrds have been coming to the exhibit for 10 years. “It’s December first, so we decided to surprise the kids to see the trains in NorthPark,” she said.
Woody and Buzzlightyear are hidden under a tree in the miniature Dallas display. They were among the 30 objects included in the exhibit’s scavenger hunt. Regular people figurines are seen around them.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
Woody and Buzzlightyear were among the 30 objects included in the exhibit’s scavenger hunt. Chris Hubbard took his two-year-old son Oliver to the exhibit. “He likes the characters they hide,” Hubbard said. “His favorite part is to find the hidden figurines.”
Three-year-old Penelope Shelley is mesmerized by the blue light of the New York City exhibit as the trains pass through. She holds onto the railing and looks up at the trains.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA News
Three-year-old Penelope Shelley is mesmerized by the trains passing through the tiny village of New York City. Her mother was excited to kick off the Christmas spirit with this activity for the little ones. The exhibit will remain open until Jan. 2, 2022.

Keren Carrión is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Got a tip? Email Keren at Kcarrion@kera.org. You can follow Keren on Twitter @kerencarrion8.