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“Ignore the Negatives” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit

Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit
Merchants Square Mall, 1901 South 12th St, Allentown, PA 18103
610-797-7743
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Ranked #5 of 12 Attractions in Allentown
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit has over 40 model trains rolling down 18,000 feet of track; more than 1,000 miniature structures, some handmade from scratch; 30,000 lights illuminating the stars, sky, moon, and buildings; and a real thunderstorm!
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Ignore the Negatives”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

I would respectfully disagree with some of the negative aspects in previous reviews. I found the display to be really interesting. Every time I walked around it I saw something I hadn't earlier. Granted, not a fancy location, but not too expensive either. This may not be directly related, but there is a Professional Wrestling store in the complex which is like a museum if you ever had any interest in professional wrestling.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“If you are into models of any kind.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Went with three generations, and all were awed by the size and scope of the trains and layouts. We spent almost an hour looking at all the trains and buildings. Hard to take photos - very dark.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingswood, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“What a surprise! Super cool train exhibit...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

I had shared an online article I had seen about this exhibit with my other half who is a BIG fan of model trains. We ended up going up last week and had the best time! What a charming and well done layout and set up, we were enthralled. A modest fee got us in line with a multi-generational mix of folks, all excited to see the trains. A quick shout out of " All Aboard!" and we walked into this moving, lighted, magical and musical wonderland of trains, buildings and all sorts of other sweet things. Of course they got me right away by having a Christmas song playing and boom, here comes the tear to my eye. Pretty sweet, transporting in way that takes you back to a childhood you may or may not have had. A thunderstorm with RAIN rolled through, we watched skiers on the slopes and many an a amusement ride spin with LOTS of colorful lights.Buildings were of all decades, highly detailed with lots of action and little people living out their lives in front of us. It was a weeks vacation in an half hour, what can I say besides we loved it.

The location in the Merchant Square Mall is funky and fun, we explored other shops and spent a lot of time at the auction house there bidding on vintage Christmas decor. Go. Relax. Have fun, Enjoy the trains!

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flushing
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“great show”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

On my first trip to Allentown, because Dorney Park was closed, I looked for other things to do with my kids. We went to this train exhibit and were really impressed by the exhibit. My kids and I had a wonderful time. We didn't go back on our return trip the week after, because we went to Dorney Park instead.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, N.Y.
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“Incredible………. BUT!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

First off, this is an incredible layout. It has everything from large scale of visual effects, lots and lots of trains, very detailed scenery, including tall buildings, a lake and a rain cloud….with RAIN.

HOWEVER. There are two huge deterrents from enjoying this fantastic layout.

Location, location, location.
The site is really located in a flea market warehouse type of structure.
It is located in a not so great location in Allentown. During the day it appears it’s more in an industrial area and although the address has the name ‘MALL’ in it, it’s really a flea market warehouse. During the daytime, it seems perfectly safe however I would question the area at night. Also, there is not a lot of people traffic in this ‘mall’ (aka: flea market), it’s pretty desolate. We were the only ones viewing the show at the time of our visit.

Secondly, (And this is the reason why I would question going out of your way to visit this): This exhibit is a timed event. I have never been to a display that is ‘a show’. The ‘show’ starts on the ½ hr and runs for 30 minutes. Trains and lights of the city and all the effects start at the beginning of the show and completely, (and I mean dark as night completely), end in 30 minutes. Why, would you do this, I don’t know. I have gone to several train displays and all of them ran consistently, even with ‘shows’ throughout the day. But never did I go to a display where it started at a certain time and ended completely whereby you were to leave the exhibit.
There is no interaction with the trains or effects. In other displays, they would have buttons for the kids to press to activate scenery.

You could spend hours enjoying this display however this 30 minute limit just doesn’t do any justice, or the cost to view, nor the cost to travel to. I would enjoy pictures and or any Youtube videos you can find and not go out of your way until they come back and offer you the opportunity to enjoy the display at your leisure.

If you do go, check the website for coupons. We acquire 'purchase one full price and a kids ticket is free'.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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