Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

February 3, 2023

Mom Report: Holiday Junction

Snow covered railway,

Trains filled with toys chug right on,

Santa is waiting.

When you can visit a destination monthly, or even weekly without it getting stale, you know there’s something special about it. That is how my family feels about the Cincinnati Museum Center. We definitely make good use of our memberships. If it is too hot, rainy or cold outside OR too boring inside, my kids request to go to Union Terminal.

During the holiday season, the History Museum is transformed into a must see family favorite tradition! Holiday Junction has so much to offer that we can always come back and find more to explore!

We got a bit side tracked on a recent excursion to see Santa in Holiday Junction. We ended up seeking the 10 tiny presents that are hidden in the Cincinnati in Motion exhibit. My kids love recognizing landmarks like Union Terminal, Findlay Market (“Is that where we get cookies, Momma?…can we go there after this? Mom! I want a cookie!”), and of course the zoo. They love it even more when there is a themed scavenger hunt, so the hidden presents were a big hit!

holiday junction2

We made our way through the history museum and suddenly were transported to a majestic, snowy train depot. My children excitedly went from display to display watching the Duke Energy trains whiz by, and then they came upon an epic Lego town display. My boys circled the town several times and were amazed by its many details. In particular, they both may have squealed when they saw the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo.

It took three men several years of planning and building to create the individual components of the display and it took three whole weeks to arrange the town!

Mark Clay, one of the Lego town builders (along with co-ordinater Nick O’Donnell and fellow builder Andy Mollmann) says “as for total number of bricks, I would say a minimum of 400,000”. No wonder my boys were so enthralled!

CMC’s Santa is our very favorite. We make sure to get pictures with him every year! While the boys get bigger and they look completely different, Santa looks the same. We waited our turn to greet the big guy, and get  some nice photos. There are packages available for purchase, but there is no pressure to do so. You may also take photos with your own camera (with no flash). Alas, Dominic reported he had still been good and yes, he still wants Lego Scooby  for Christmas. And yes, Luca was still good and he now wants Team Umizoomi Legos (I may have to get creative, as these do not exist…).

After our Santa visit, we made our way to the train ride! Each child gets a token to ride the train as you enter the History Museum, make sure to hang onto them! The tiny train passengers love ringing the bells as they wave to their loved ones.

There are also some singing, talking reindeer in Holiday Junction, but they had quite the crowd on our visit. We decided to chat and sing with them on our next visit!

I hope you and your family are able to make it to Holiday Junction before it departs on January 3. I’m sure after one visit, it will make it into your yearly holiday traditions! Maybe we will see you there, because we will definitely be visiting again (and again)!

Cincinnati Museum Center

1301 Western Ave


Members and Duke Energy Customers get in free!



About the Author

Amanda Ciani

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).