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Museum of Life and Science opens 'Wonderland Express' Saturday

The new holiday exhibit at the Durham museum features model trains traveling past North Carolina landmarks.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham is opening a new holiday exhibit this year.

Wonderland Express opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 15. It features model trains traveling around a snowy North Carolina scene through tunnels, over bridges and across mountains. The trains drive by North Carolina landmarks such as the State Capitol, Jennette's Pier, Kitty Hawk, Blackbeard's ship, Pinehurst, the Durham Bulls bull, the Blue Ridge Parkway and more.

The trains chug along more than 340 feet of track in the exhibit, which takes up about 2,200 square feet. An adjacent cafe serves up coffee, hot chocolate and treats.

The handmade exhibit is made of natural materials and designed just for the museum by Applied Imagination, a Kentucky-based company whose award-winning work has been seen at major spots across the country. It is intricate work. Just the creation of Blackbeard's ship took 100 man hours.

I saw a preview of the exhibit a couple of weeks ago. It will definitely get you in the holiday mood and will spark kids' imaginations as they follow the trains around the exhibit. (Don't miss Thomas the Tank Engine!).

Tickets for the exhibit are $5 for the general public in addition to admission to the museum. Admission to the museum is $14 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 65 and older and active military with ID; and $10 for kids ages 3 to 12.

Watch the video to hear from Taneka Bennett of the museum to learn more and see some scenes.

Looking for other things to do with the kids? Check our list of park and playground reviews and Triangle family destinations.

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