“Hayes Train Special” returns for the holidays, free this year with donations accepted
FREMONT – For the past 26 years, the Hayes Train Special model train display has been a beloved holiday tradition at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.
This year, the display will be free to visitors. A donation box will be available for those who want to make a gift to support Hayes Presidential.
The intricate train display will open on Nov. 26, in the museum auditorium and will remain on exhibit through Jan. 9. For hours and holiday closings information, visit https://www.rbhayes.org/visit-us/visitor-information/.
The trains run through a Victorian holiday scene and delight visitors of all ages through the holiday season. Visitors can watch them wind through tunnels and villages in this multi-tiered 12-foot by 24-foot exhibit. They can get involved by pushing buttons that run one of the trains, turn the Ferris wheel, send the ice skaters gliding across the pond and more.
On Jan. 8, the annual model train clinic will take place from 1-4 p.m. Model train hobbyists will assist guests with repair and upkeep questions about their model trains.
Tickets for the train clinic are $5 per person ages 6 and older. Kids 5 and younger are admitted for free. Tickets are available at https://www.rbhayes.org/events/2022/01/08/events/model-train-clinic/.
Those who bring trains to the clinic can also can run their trains on the Hayes Train Special track. The track fits standard, O-gauge and G-gauge trains.
Also at Hayes this holiday season, experience the magic and supernatural side of Christmas with beloved Christmas stories, including “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens during an evening tour of parts of the historic Hayes Home.
Hayes Home Holidays: Spirits of Christmas tours are offered Dec. 18, 19, 22 and 23.
Dickens, one of the most popular writers of the Victorian era, was a favorite author of President Rutherford B. Hayes and lived at the same time as Hayes. Hear Dickens’ beloved stories in Hayes’ Victorian mansion, which will be lightly decorated for Christmas.
The Victorians believed Christmas was a time when the portal to another world was opened, which made the holiday popular for telling ghost stories. Many of Dickens’ works, including Christmas stories, feature the supernatural.
Enjoy the warmth of the Hayes Home at night, a time when it is not often open to visitors, while hearing stories that will tingle your spine but leave you with a warm feeling. A cup of wassail, a traditional holiday drink during Victorian times, will also put you in the Christmas spirit.
Tours each day are offered at 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. If those slots sell out, additional tours will be added.
Tickets for Hayes Presidential members are $15 for adults 19 and older, $8 for ages 6 -18 and free for kids 5 and younger. Tickets for non-members are $18 for adults ages 19 and older, $10 for kids 6-18 and free for kids 5 and younger. Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased at https://www.rbhayes.org/events/2021/12/18/events/hayes-home-holidays-spirits-of-christmas/. Tickets will be sold at the front desk the days of each event, pending availability.
This is the fourth year Hayes Presidential has offered Hayes Home Holiday tours. Each year, the event has a different theme and experience for visitors. The tours are part of Hayes Presidential’s holiday season events, called A Presidential Christmas.
The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.
For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org.