Mostly Main: Good times a’rollin at the B&O Holiday Train Exhibit in Ellicott City

The B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station offers a holiday train exhibit. Santa will also visit.
The B&O Railroad Museum Ellicott City Station offers a holiday train exhibit. Santa will also visit. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)

There is so much going on in the historic district at this time of year. No matter what you celebrate it is easy to join in on the fun.

I went to the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, with my family the day after Thanksgiving in the first hour of the first day of the Holiday Train Exhibit.


By chance I was talking to my 2-year-old grandson Henry and a woman standing next to us piped up, “Do you write the column in the Times?” (I had mentioned Henry by name in my last column encouraging folk to “come on down.”)

She told me that the only reason she was there with her family (including her 2-year-old grandson, whose middle name is Henry) was that she saw it in my column.


And was glad she did. In my writing life, nothing is better than that.

The exhibit is a delight. Henry particularly liked the interactive gingerbread house where he could push a button to open the door, and he liked ringing the bell outside, especially when a real train went by. I was also happy to see my old friend Travis Harry, who has been on staff at the museum, between stints at the B&O in Baltimore, for over 20 years.

The exhibit continues through Jan. 15 and admission is free. Don’t miss it. And if you are hungry after, don’t miss the Phoenix Emporium across the street. I marveled that the waitress didn’t write our complex order down and got everything right, including Henry’s specific request for “milk with a straw and pasta with HOT red sauce.”

The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is also expecting a visit from Santa on Dec. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. Its Rails and Tales program for kids ages 2 to 5 is featuring a reading of “Polar Express” at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14, 22 and 28. The cost is $3. And, its Freight House Film program is showing the movie “Polar Express” in the Freight House at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22. Call 410-313-0419 for more information.

Coming up this Saturday, Dec. 14, is Christmas on Main — a Toys for Tots drive. There will be 20 donation drop-off locations throughout the town and lots of things going on.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Old Mill Café will be putting on a musical talent show. Come to participate or just watch. The Flower Barn is teaching a holiday terrarium workshop and Reclaimed by You is ready to help you create a Christmas farm-style family name sign starting at 4.p.m.

The Wine Bin is offering free holiday wine tastings from 1 to 9 p.m. and 20% off a case of wine if you are wearing an ugly sweater.

Many shops are offering specials when you make a donation. Among them are EC Pops with free Christmas popcorn; the Manor Hill Tavern and the Old Mill Cafe with 10% off your check the Park Ridge Creamery with a free topping for your ice cream; Syriana with free coffee; and the Wine Bin with 10 percent off beer, wine, spirits and other potential gifts.

At 7 p.m., Miss Fit Girls’ Night Out features a dance fitness program, and at 9 p.m. the Judges Bench will have live music with The Arrangements. There is no cover charge. On Dec. 21, it is presenting Mr. J.

On Dec. 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. there will be Christmas in the Park at Centennial Park. This family friendly event includes a tree lighting, caroling and light refreshments. Call 410-313-7275 for details.

On Dec. 15, Ellicott City Brewing Co. is featuring a Creepy Little Christmas, taking a dark look at Christmas legends, starting at 7 p.m. Go to MDHistoryTours.com for ticket information.

The Howard County Historical Society’s Music at the Museum program is featuring the Centennial Brass Midwinter Revels – Ghosts of Christmas Brassed with soprano Wendy Baird on Dec. 20, starting at 7 p.m. This event is $12, free to Society members.


On Saturday, Dec. 21, it is holding a Solstice Celebration with fablelore Waylon K. Smith and Brinjal. There will be a costume contest for the best fairy, woodland or solstice themed outfits. The party starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $14 in advance, $18 at the door. Call 410-480-3250 for tickets.

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