Lifestyles
The Trains at NorthPark rolls for the 26th Year in Dallas
By Juliette Coulter, The Coulter Group
Dec 9, 2013
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Dallas -- On November 23, The Trains at NorthPark, presented by Bank of Texas, celebrates its 26th year of a favorite holiday tradition and rolls through January 5, 2014. This yearís exhibit is located on Level Two, the Nordstrom Wing between Sephora and Free People.

The most elaborate miniature toy trains exhibit in Texas, The Trains at NorthPark includes trains rolling across 1,600 feet of track on a journey across America. Cityscapes include downtown Dallas, with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the State Fair of Texas and the Cotton Bowl; New York Cityís Times Square and Grand Central Terminal; Washington, D.C. with The White House; New Englandís fall foliage; the Grand Canyon, Route 66, San Franciscoís Golden Gate Bridge and the Albuquerque hot air balloons.

The exhibit encompasses more than 3,800 square feet of train themed environments, with all the trimmings of the holiday train travel experienceósteam engine and coach cars, a ticket booth and a train station. More than 75,000 people visit The Trains at NorthPark each season as part of their holiday tradition.

The Trains at NorthPark rolls into Dallas Nov. 23 to Jan. 5, 2014. This holiday tradition is a family favorite for all ages. More information can be found at www.rmhdallas.org.

Hours and times are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The early closing dates are as follows: November 27, Thanksgiving Eve, at 6 p.m.; December 24, Christmas Eve, at 4 p.m.; December 31, New Years Eve, at 6 p.m.; January 1, New Years Day, at 6 p.m. The exhibit will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it will be open on New Year's Day.

The cost is $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children (ages 2 to 12) and senior citizens (65 and older). Children under 2 admitted free. Discount tickets are available at Tom Thumb ($1.00 off regular admission). NorthPark Center is located at North Central Expressway at Northwest Highway, Dallas, Texas 75225.

Event Co-Chairs are Claire Raggio and Courtney Westerburg. Both have been on the trains committee and have been involved in the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas Young Friends. Honorary Co-Chairs are community leaders Lauren and Pat Arthur. Through his company MHBT, Pat has supported The Trains at NorthPark and has also served on its board of directors. Lauren has been on the trains committee and served in various volunteer roles.

This yearís Honorary Kid Conductor is Bishoy Megally, originally from Egypt. He was born with severe Kyphoscoliosis, abnormal front-to-back and side-to-side curvature of the spine. Since this surgery could not be performed in Egypt, the family searched the globe for a place to have the surgery, and they came to Dallas. They stayed at the House for quite a while during which time Bishoy had three surgeries. The family has now relocated to the North Texas area, so they can be near the fine medical facilities. Bishoy will blow the train whistle on Nov. 23 to open the exhibit.

For those who want to purchase hand-painted personalized railcars, a standard railcar is $175, a caboose is $225, a limited edition RMHD rail car is $275, and an engine is $325. Visit www.rmhdallas.org to place an online order.

For those interested in volunteering as individuals or as a group for three-hour shifts, visit www.rmhdallas.org. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old without a parent, or 12-14 years old and accompanied by a parent.

Established in 1981, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has served as a home-away-from-home for more than 33,000 families of seriously ill or injured children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals. By providing a caring, supportive, home-like environment, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas keeps the family intact and helps allow a family to establish a normal routine in the midst of crisis. It also provides families with the opportunity to share their concerns with other families in similar circumstances.