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Holiday Spotlight: The Trains at Northpark

    Holiday Spotlight: The Trains at Northpark

    Need a pit stop from the holiday shopping at NorthPark Center? Scoot over toward Nordstrom on the second floor and you’ll find The Trains at Northpark featuring more than 1,600 feet of track at 1,000 railcars. The exhibit of miniature trains is a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and features well-known landmarks like Big D’s Perot Museum (pictured here), the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the State Fair of Texas and the Cotton Bowl, among many others.

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    Downtown Dallas Construction

    The Trains at NorthPark celebrates its 28th year. It’s the most elaborate toy train exhibit in Texas with a journey across America. Cityscapes include Downtown Dallas and the Grand Canyon, among others. More than 70,000 people visit The Trains at NorthPark each season as part of their holiday tradition. It runs until Jan. 3.

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    The Nation's Capital

    Other American icons include The White House and the Lincoln Memorial and reflection pond. Since the first exhibit at NorthPark, the Trains have raised more than $13M for Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

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    A Peek at the Foliage

    Here’s a display of New England’s fall foliage.

    The holidays are a magical time, and so are trains, so being able to combine the two to raise much-needed funds to keep the lights on and the house open for families during a critical time is important, says Jill Cumnock, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas CEO.

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    The Golden Gate Bridge

    San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge makes an iconic image. Across the exhibit are the Albuquerque hot air balloons.

    The cost of tickets range from $3 for children (ages 2 to 12) and seniors 65 and older, and $7 for adults. Children under 2 years old are admitted free. Discount tickets, which give $1 off regular admission, are available at local Tom Thumb stores.

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    A Thomas Version of Mount Rushmore

    It’s a more kid-friendly (and probably recognizable) version of Mount Rushmore, better known as Mount Thomas and Friends.

    More than 2,000 volunteers are needed to run the trains. Volunteers can be individuals or in groups and must be able to work three-hour shifts. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old without a parent, or 12 years old and accompanied by a parent. The volunteers raise money, sell tickets, collect tickets, serve as greeters and more. It’s estimated that volunteers contribute more than 10,000 hours to keep the trains rolling.

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    The Big Apple

    Spiderman has a great view of New York City’s Times Square and Grand Central Terminal at the fundraising exhibit, which provides the funds for almost one-third of the RMHD’s annual operating budget. The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas exists to serve and sustain families when serious illness or injury strikes the most cherished part of their lives, their children. The Ronald McDonald House program was built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on their child's healing—not where they can afford to stay, where they will get their next meal, or where they will lay their head at night to rest. Since 1981, when the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas opened, more than 36,000 families have been helped. This year, the House will help about 2,000 families. These families come from all over the world to the Dallas area because of the strength of local hospitals and the treatment their children will receive here.

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