Duke Energy Holiday Trains open, but no free vouchers

Why your Duke bill no longer includes free passes

The trains are back!  

After a two-year absence, the Cincinnati Museum Center is once again hosting the Duke Energy Holiday Trains exhibit.

However, for the first time in its 70-year history, you can no longer see them for free.    

As visiting mom Kristin McDoulin and her two children found out, Duke is no longer sending out free vouchers.

"They should," in her opinion, "because the trains are awesome and the kids love it."

Ticket subsidy expires

The Duke trains were never really "free" at Union Terminal and the Museum Center. 

When Duke moved them from 4th Street Downtown to the Museum Center in 2011, Duke agreed to pay for admission for the following five years, according to Duke spokeswoman Sally Thelen. That grace period expired in 2016.

As a result, visitors will have to buy a museum ticket to see the exhibit. 

Prices:

  • Adults: $14.50
  • Children: $10.50
  • Seniors: $13.50

The Museum Center's Cody Hefner said it's now a much better deal: Anyone who purchases a ticket can visit the full museum rather than being confined to the train exhibit as they were before.

"Now you get admission to the Children's Museum, the Museum of Science, and the Cincinnati History Museum, so you have a more robust museum experience," he said.

The museum is currently not offering discount tickets or promo codes, but Hefner said the best deal is becoming a museum member.

An annual pass costs $110 for a family, $85 a couple, or $45 for an individual.

"$110 for a family of four will pay for itself after three visits," he said.

Although some visitors may complain, longtime train fan Mike Tener says the improved train exhibit is worthwhile. 

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "It's definitely worth it. It's way way way better."

Click here to learn more about times and ticketing information so you don't waste your money.

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