A Brandywine Christmas offers visitors of all ages a spectacular holiday experience, with a gallery filled with a model train display, another filled with dozens of antique dolls ranging in size from three to 30 inches, along with holiday trees decorated for the season with Critter ornaments. The Museum is open late on Thursdays in December, with dinner available for purchase, for a festive holiday evening for the whole family.
The museum’s model train display, a family holiday favorite since 1972, offers something for everyone with its dazzling array of both toy and scale model trains made by Lionel, Williams, Atlas, Mike’s Train House, K-line and others. With more than 1,000 pieces, including locomotives, passenger and freight trains, and trolleys, all moving along 2,000 feet of track, the annual holiday exhibition of the Brandywine Railroad is one of the largest modular model railroad installations in the world.
On view in the Museum’s first floor, A Holiday Fantasy: The Ann Wyeth McCoy Doll Collection features a stunning collection of antique dolls. Approximately three dozen dolls are “at home” for the holiday season in a grand dollhouse filled with hundreds of miniature objects, remarkable in every detail. On one side are six rooms from a large-scale dollhouse, filled with hundreds of miniature objects, remarkable in every detail. Larger dolls, up to 30 inches tall, will appear nearby in two holiday vignettes. Ann Wyeth McCoy (1915-2005) started her doll collection as a young girl and added to it throughout her life.
Critters are delightful, distinctive ornaments and tabletop decorations, each made by hand using natural materials. Each Critter has its own unique personality and expression—no two are exactly the same. From delightful animals—like cats, dogs, reindeer and bears—to heavenly angels and stars, critters come in all shapes and sizes. Using their imaginations, the volunteers work with raw materials such as pine cones, acorns, egg shells, flowers, and seed pods, to give each critter its own unique personality and expression. Brandywine volunteers have been creating critters for more than 40 years, with all proceeds benefitting the Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund, and Art Education and Programming.
The Brandywine River Museum of Art features an outstanding collection of American art housed in a 19th-century mill building with a dramatic steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily (except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day) and is located on Route 1 in Chadds Ford, PA. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for students and children ages 6; free for children 5 and younger and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art members. For more information, call 610.388.2700 or visit brandywinemuseum.org.