Starry Nights, Sparkling Lights & Magical Trains

All aboard! This phrase and all it implies is VERY much on the radar of Treasure Coast residents these days. “All aboard”, booms the conductor in many books from my childhood (including my ALL time favorite: “The Little Engine that Could”). I hold many fond memories of trains. I rode the rails extensively in my travels around China. Amtrack delivered myself and my belongings to college and I am often nostalgic for the Metroliner trips I used to take from Washington, DC to New York in my career years. My strongest train memories though are from my youth: “Trolley” from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood of Make Believe and the Lionel train set my father would carefully assemble under the Christmas tree each and every holiday season. Even now I am mesmerized by the lights and sounds of trains – they carry me back to magical Holiday memories. December brings magic to McKee Botanical Garden & Vero Beach. Peter Tyson, who is passionate about travel and model railroads, spends more than 200 man hours building an amazing model railroad at McKee on display only six nights in December.  During McKee Garden’s “Holidays at McKee” & “Nights of Lights”, three (G scale) model trains will whistle and chug along an absolutely magical three-level landscape complete with tunnels and an alpine Christmas village. The train display is so incredibly magical that on the nights of December 20th to the 22nd, Santa and Mrs. Claus cannot stay away.  Just a few short nights prior to their busiest night of the year, these two dedicated memory makers attend the train spectacular to accept your last minute wish lists.  While marveling at Peter’s train display,  you may enjoy holiday tunes played by a vintage band organ, sugar plums (candy) a plenty, seasonal refreshments from Osceola Bistro and even last minute shopping for gifts. When the magic inside becomes too much for your senses, stroll McKee’s garden paths.  The gardens become an illuminated wonderland of twinkling lights and candle luminaries.  While you will not experience the “moon on crestfallen snow”, McKee truly becomes a Winter Wonderland not to be missed. Get aboard and make some memories!   _______________________________


Peter Tyson was bit by the model railroad bug one Christmas long ago.  His family, like so many, had a train set under their Christmas tree.  Over a quarter century ago he moved up to G scale trains under his tree.  The obsession grew and Peter’s train tracks and scenery soon extended through several other rooms in his family’s home.  When the 2004 hurricanes destroyed the home’s orchid room, Peter repurposed the space as his “permanent” train room.

McKee Botanical Garden “Holidays at McKee”, December 20, 21, 22 from 6 to 8pm General Admission: $12 adults, $11 seniors, $8 children ages 3-12 (Garden Members and children under 3: free)

“Nights of Lights”, December 27, 28, 29 from 6 to 8pm 350 US Hwy 1 Vero Beach, FL 32962 (772)794.0601 LGB Trains “G” Scale Trains American Flyer Model Trains
Sherry Nist