While the Romans are generally credited with originating the practice of lugging a tree into the house for the holidays, we have the Germans to thank for setting in motion the time-honored tradition of setting a toy train under the Christmas pine. This year the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or www.mobot.org) takes the tradition to the extreme with six G-scale model trains chugging along 1,800 feet of track at the Gardenland Express Flower and Train Show. The display's theme is "Gathering for the Feast," and so the trains pass through a landscape in which woodland creatures gather food for their holiday meal from the living floral displays. Gardenland Express is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (Saturday, November 23, through Tuesday, January 5), but closed on Christmas Day. Admission is $5 to $7, in addition to the regular garden admission of $4 to $8.
Nov. 23-Dec. 24; Dec. 26-Jan. 5, 2013