Christmas Lane Train is no more…?

Kevin, Socks and I walked to Christmas Lane last night.  It was awesome.  Most of the houses–from Christmas Lane to a couple block East–were very well-lit and it was nice to take our time walking and look at everything.  Socks, of course, considered everything his and marked everything as such.  There’s was a couple cool animated penguin displays–one with an igloo cannon with a turret that rotated slowly to aim at onlookers, and the other one was a Whack-a-penguin game where the penguins kept popping up out of the holes in a box.  Another display had a life-sized Santa hanging by his hands from someone’s gutter!  Pretty funny.  Then we found two completely different life-sized either scared-stiff–or very cold–snowmen.  They just stood there, eyes bulging, shivering like crazy.  Perhaps they were afraid Socks would mark them…

Today, during the daylight, Socks and I walked one block further South of Christmas Lane, to the block where the Christmas Train display is normally setup.  There’s one house there that’s always a huge attraction with a model train set display covering the entire front yard (and sometimes even expanded to the back yard).  They always attract a lot of people and cars slow to a stop all winter long to take a look.  Closer to Christmas they always have a fire or two going in the evenings and serve hot chocolate and snacks, and Santa even comes and hands out goodies to the kids on occasion!  It was great…but I don’t think it’s going to be there this year.  Sadly, when we got to the house, there was only a few standard Christmas decorations in that yard this year.  He has always had the display up, or at least well into the setup by this time of year, so it doesn’t look good.

I just googled the Kenosha Christmas Train and I believe I found out what happened.  Here’s what is currently posted on

Holiday Train Display
November 23, 2012 – January 6, 2013
For your enterTRAINment – check out the Holiday Train Display. A local man used to showcase his train collection in a popular outdoor display in his front yard each December. Now he shares it with an even wider audience at the Kenosha Public Museum. Watch as locomotives chug their way through a quaint village scene.

That’s a relief, at least, from what I was starting to think might have happened.  I guess he’ll stay warm and his display will be protected from the elements this way, but still, it takes away a lot of the festivity from our new neighborhood, so we’re a little disappointed in this move.

Christmas Tree Lighting

We attended Kenosha’s Christmas Tree Lighting tonight at the Museum.  The weather was pretty rough though–blizzard conditions!  Kevin, Matt and I toughed it out though, and sat in the cold on a bench in front of the tree outside the museum for about 45 minutes for the ceremony.  I took a few photos, and Matt even managed to capture the entire audio of the ceremony with my Olympus DS-2 Digital Recorder.  Thanks, Matt!

Kevin froze most of the time, and got mad when I called him Rudolph because he had a red nose.  He just kept asking to go home.  I kept reminding him that it wouldn’t be long and that we’d go to Christmas Lane and see the Christmas Train afterward, but he said he just wanted to go home.  After the ceremony we warmed up in the car, got nice and toasty and we headed over to Christmas Lane feeling much better.  Matt took some more photos and Kevin talked to Santa and got a couple of gifts from him at the Christmas Train House.  They even served cookies, treats and popcorn!  We stood around a fire pit they had set up and kept warm while we drank hot cider, hot chocolate, and had a few snacks.  It was a very nice evening all around and we had a nice, Christmastime night, even if it was a bit early.

Click here for the audio from the Tree Lighting Ceremony, and click here for the photos we took.  And as an added bonus, click here for an awesome display now showing at the museum:  David Valentine Holmes: The Mystical Mechanical Menagerie.  When viewing the images in this gallery, be sure to view them FULL SIZE.  The detail is amazing on all of them, and I left the original images quite large to show the detail.

Enjoying the Christmas season

Kevin had a nice Advent program at church tonight. He sang with the other 3 and 4 year olds. Afterward we went to see Christmas Lane and all the wonderful Christmas decorations, and then stopped at the Christmas Train house close to Christmas Lane. It was amazing, as it is every year! Santa was there tonight, talking to the kids and handing out little gifts for the kids. They also had hot chocolate, hot apple cider, snacks and cookies. The train set is a major attraction in Kenosha this time of year, and tonight was no exception. It was a very crowded street tonight, probably because Santa was there. The trains take up this guy’s entire front yard and backyard, and the tracks run throughout, and the trains even travel from the front yard to the backyard! There are a few photos in our albums, but we plan to take a bunch more during the daytime this year to give everyone a good idea of how amazing this setup really is, and to help get the word out and attract even more people! So stay tuned, we should have a new album up soon. Meanwhile, we’ve just posted the pictures from Kevin and his class’s field trip to the Jelly Belly Warehouse, so take a look at those when you get a chance.