photo credit:  Takeshi Sergel

After the familiar Thanksgiving rituals of parades, turkey and football, keep the family fun going. In between shopping Wilton’s many stores, take the children to an entrancing afternoon with trains and live entertainment. Opening day of the Wilton Historical Society‘s always-popular Great Trains Holiday Exhibit is this Friday, Nov. 25 from 12-4 p.m..

Opening day on Friday, 1-2 p.m. features a program and book signing with Brian Floca, the Caldecott-winning author of Locomotive. On Saturday, Nov. 26, from 1-2 p.m., the Historical Society hosts a special musical performance by Tom Hanford.

Trains, Trains, Trains!

Dressed for the holidays, the Society’s historic 18th- and 19th-century buildings are transformed into a train-lovers delight with eight different train layouts winding through tiny towns with many different kinds of buildings, tunnels and two working Ferris wheels. The interactive display enchants visitors of all ages with lots of buttons to push and knowledgeable “train engineers” on hand to “talk trains.” In a special train room for the youngest guests, there are buttons galore plus Thomas the Tank Engine and a Brio set for hands-on fun.

The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit will run from Friday, Nov. 25 through Monday, Jan. 16. Exhibit hours are Wednesday-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sundays 12-4 p.m..  There is no charge for children, and admission is free for adult members of the Society, and $10 for non-member adults.

Friday, Nov. 25, Program and Book Signing with Brian Floca

1-2 p.m.:  Flora, author of the Caldecott Award-winning book Locomotive, will have a program for kids and sign copies of his book. Books will be available for purchase at the  Society’s Betts Store.

Saturday, Nov. 26, Special Musical Performance by Tom Hanford

1-2 p.m.:  Join Hanford as he performs, “Fiddle Dee Dee: Children’s Folk Songs of Old New England,” including singing games, ballads, comical ditties, rounds and sea shanteys. His programs combine music, storytelling, and his colorful painted masks.

In recent years Hanford has taken his interactive shows for children to Old Sturbridge and The Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts, Clermont State Historic Site, The Farmers Museum, Olana, and Erie Canal Village in New York State, and many other museums, historic sites, and festivals.

More Saturday Events

See the Great Trains Exhibit on Saturday, and leave some time for kids to enjoy an art project.  From 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. they can paint a wooden train engine, perfect for giving as a figurine gift or using as an ornament. Art project fee:  members $5/child, maximum $15/family; non-members $10/child, max $30/family.

The Wilton Historical Society is located at 224 Danbury Rd./Rte 7..