Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit

Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit

Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit
4.5
Speciality Museums
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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!
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
79 reviews
Excellent
52
Very good
19
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Sam T
Yardley, PA2 contributions
Feb 2020
I did not know what to expect, we arrived in middle of the show and were let in, came back later for full show. I was amazed, two types of trains, HO scale & O gauge. There were at least 15 trains running, even had a subway train. worth your time.
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NORMARK2
Southampton, PA61 contributions
Jul 2013
I have visited a number of model train displays and this is one of the best. Admission is reasonable. There are a number of stools so the little ones can see better. Realistic scenery. And even a thunderstorm rolls through. A must see.
Written July 6, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Catherine K
1 contribution
The layouts are amazing and so much fun! Watching families who visited at the same time, I could see how great this is for kids and parents, too! So much to see, I could've stayed watching for hours, not just the 30 minutes your ticket gets you. Lots of action - not just trains, lots of other things happening (no spoilers! You'll have to come see it all yourself!)

Message for railroad purists: leave your OCD at the door and just have fun!! The eras are mixed and consists aren't true to prototype, but who cares when there's such an amazing labor of love to watch?!

The music gets a wee bit loud, and the time goes by too quickly, but these are the only drawbacks I could come up with.

Bring the kids and if you're a railroad lover this is a great activity for the whole clan!
Written October 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Harewego
Rocky Point, NY258 contributions
Aug 2013 • Family
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'.
Written August 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JBTheTraveler
Clermont, FL22 contributions
Nov 2013 • Couples
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!
Written November 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael B
New Jersey893 contributions
Feb 2018 • Couples
We were looking for something to do and saw an ad for this place. Glad we did as it was a wonderful experience. Don't have to be a train nut, but there is a kid in all of us. This is on a second floor (elevator available) this large building of antique and collector's stores. So there are many other things to do here. There is a small place to eat. They take cash only, it only runs for 30 min and a 30 min wait between shows. Everything here is working, unlike the place in Flemington, NJ. Bring your cameras as there are hundreds of detailed structures. There are small stools for the little ones to see over the glass. This place is rather large, you go between the center and wall display. Everything is working, the lights dim (camera phones beware if they are not low light) and you get thunder and rain too ! It runs year round but not every day. It is closed over the summer.. just a warning. There are no tours and no audio to go along with the show. There are tons of moving rides, cars as the trains go by. Staffed by volunteers and no reservations so not sure what happens if someone calls in sick or there is a huge crowd.
Written February 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Antonio P
Valley Forge, PA79 contributions
Jul 2014 • Solo
located on the second floor of the Mercahnts Square Mall (Antiques/Collectibles Mall)
is this wonderful Train Exhibit
very expansive in the space given to the Exhibit, it is a true "wonder" of train displays
the presentation is excellent and is well worth the admission price
this is a timed and scheduled exhibit, so be aware of that
Written December 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Watnottaken
102 contributions
Jan 2014
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.
Written January 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Garden-Cats
Ithaca, NY33 contributions
May 2013 • Friends
My family and friends enjoyed the train layout over Memorial Day weekend. The show runs once an hour every half hour, since the trains and layout must be turned off periodically to prevent overheating. The show begins with a choreographed lighting of the layout and gradual startup of the trains to the accompaniment of the Olympic games theme. There is a circus, an amusement park, city skyscrapers, beautiful bridges, a rural section with mountains and skiers, a large drive-in movie theater with actual movies running, a subway system, a Home Depot, drive-in eating establishments and gas stations, city streets complete with trees, people, and street lights, and, of course, the famous central lake with real water and its thunderstorm... and real rain! After 30 minutes, the show ends with a strobe spotlight, colored lights, and a patriotic anthem. The layout covers the entire area of a former ladies clothing boutique. There were so many trains that I did not bother to count them. The attendants are friendly and informative. This is truly an unusual gem, and plans exist for further expansion. You won't want to miss this unusual opportunity. (Don't be put off by the location, a flea market mall. Take the elevator to the second floor, turn right, and prepare to be amazed.)
Written June 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mrsgfhjr
North Carolina306 contributions
Jan 2016 • Couples
My husband and I had heard that the Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit was one of the best train displays around. We decided to visit during the Model Train Meet weekend. Both of us were very impressed with the amount of tracks, trains, and buildings this exhibit had. The amount of time that had gone into putting this display together! WOW! I was impressed by all the moving Non-train items too! The ski mountain had skiers moving! There are lots of step stools for little ones to step up to see. The storm with rain was also very "cool"! Definitely worth going to visit. The trains run for 1/2 hour beginning on the hour. Adults cost $8, kids 5-12 cost $3.00, under 5 free. Open Fri, Sat, Sun.July through March.
Written January 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Merchants Square Model Train Exhibit (Allentown) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go