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Olbrich's Holiday Express:  Model Train and Flower ShowOlbrich's Holiday Express

Holiday Express

December 5-31, 2015

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily

Member Preview Party

Friday, December 4

3-7 p.m.

All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express!

Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias and fresh evergreens in Olbrich's Holiday Express: Flower and Model Train Show.

During the show, members of the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society come from all over the state to show off their large-scale model trains. You may see a bullet train, steam train, Santa train, circus train, or freight train, depending on the day. It is a display you do not want to miss!


  • $5 for adults
  • $3 for children ages 3 to 12
  • Children 2 and under are free
  • Free for Olbrich Botanical Society members
  • Admission to the tropical Bolz Conservatory is included


Strollers are not allowed in Olbrich's Holiday Express. Please enjoy the show with children on foot. Stroller parking is available in Olbrich's Lobby, and strollers are permitted in the Bolz Conservatory and outdoor gardens. We apologize for any inconvenience.


School groups, daycares, bus tours, and other groups are welcome to visit Olbrich's Holiday Express. We hope you will join us for this truly amazing event and register your group for a visit.

Groups larger than 10 people must register in advance. Please call 608-246-4550 to schedule a time for your group to visit so we can provide the best experience possible for your group and other vistiors as well.

Limited dates and times may be available for group visits. One group leader and the bus driver will receive free admission into the show. Payment can be made on arrival with the Event Manager. Cash, check, debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) are accepted. Please do not bring carry-in food or drink into the building.

behind the scenes

The hundreds of poinsettias used in Holiday Express are all grown in Olbrich’s greenhouses. Several poinsettia plants from the 2013 Holiday Express have been cared for all year and are now featured as large poinsettia shrubs!

Holiday Express was not built in a day! Olbrich Horticulturists and Garden Staff spend weeks preparing the show space, transforming the Atrium from an empty room to an enchanting winter landscape. Visit Olbrich's Holiday Express Behind-the-Scenes to see the transformation!

Energy-Efficient Holiday Lights

Evergreen trees in the show are decorated with energy-efficient LED lights, which use 90 percent less energy than typical incandescent holiday lights.

Sponsor a Tree

A festive way to support the Gardens during the holidays! Sponsor one of the trees in Olbrich's Holiday Express: Flower and Model Train Show. Your $50 gift can be in tribute of a friend or family member, and is tax deductible. The tree will be noted in the Holiday Show Program if donation is received by November 26.

Simply fill out the form below and return with your payment to: Olbrich Botanical Society, 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704. If you would like to phone in your sponsorship, please call 608-243-0153.

Sponsor a Tree Form (PDF)

Olbrich's Holiday Express is sponsored by

American Family Insurance     


Also at Olbrich

Visit the tropical Bolz Conservatory, a glass pyramid filled with exotic plants, bright flowers, a rushing waterfall, fragrant orchids and free-flying birds.

Olbrich's Growing Gifts shop is loaded with garden-related gifts for friends and family.

Stroll the outdoor gardens. Colorful bark, berries, and the Thai Pavilion stand out against the snow.

Enjoy festive holiday music on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. during December. Olbrich's Holiday Concert Series features holiday music for the entire family!



GLEAM Opening Reception - August 28

Member Movie Night feat. Jurassic Park - September 11

Bulk Mulch Sales - Saturdays, September 19-October 10

CRACKLE, Fire & Froth - September 25




Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719