All Aboard! May 10th is National Train Day

It’s National Train Day! For the 7th year in a row, train enthusiasts and supporters will be celebrating trains all over the country, with an event held at the St. Louis Station today where there will be live entertainment as guests explore trains, sleeping cars, and try foods that were at the 1904 World Fair. What better way to celebrate after the festivities than with beautiful art of a train in the form of a puzzle?

We may think that trains don’t hold as much significance in our lives now that so many people have personal cars and that planes dominate the skies to take us from place to place, but we would be wrong! Train ridership has grown 55% since 1997, meaning that it’s the fastest growing travel mode.

So today we’re going to pick some of our favorites train jigsaw puzzles, share them with you, and let you know some great facts we’ve learned about locomotives for National Train Day.

train jigsaw puzzle

Golden Age of Railroads from White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

You might say that it’s the golden age of trains… because for every plane ride between the major cities of New York City and Washington DC, there are three times as many train rides.

Durango Express from Springbok. 500 pieces.

Amtrak carries 31.6 million people every year… and Amtrak just has passenger cars. That doesn’t add up all the trains that run every day to deliver goods to communities in a timely, efficient manner!

alaska jigsaw puzzle, aurora lights

Alaska Memories from SunsOut. 1000 pieces.

Trains are also more environmentally friendly, keeping the world bright and beautiful. For every passenger that rides, Amtrak trains are 16% more efficient than planes and 34% more efficient than cars.

The Coming of the Iron Horse from SunsOut. 500 pieces.

Trains bring us close to nature! Amtrak delivers people to 237 National Parks, historic sites, and monuments, meaning people can pack their hiking gear and leave the car keys at home.

All Aboard! from White Mountain. 1000 pieces.

With so many trains and stations to operate, Amtrak creates a lot of jobs for local communities. In fact, it employs more than 20,000 people across the nation, which is roughly equivalent to every single student at New York University.

lionel trains puzzle

Lionel Series 1935 from SunsOut. 300 pieces.

There are many types of trains. There’s Maglev trains, monorail trains, suspended monorail trains, bullet, commuter, and super trains, and they each have their strengths. For instance, the Maglev is the fastest land-based transport. It has no wheels and hovers only on magnets, and it can whiz past on those tracks at speeds of about 323 miles per hour (430 kilometers per hour).

History of Trains from Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

The invention of trains came over a hundred years ago in 1804. A man named Richard Trevithick invented the first steam powered train. It’s first run included over ten loads of material, with about 70 people and some wagon and iron materials. It wasn’t very fast–it took over two hours to travel nine miles–but it was blazing in comparison to riding a wagon.

Lunchtime from SunsOut. 550 pieces.

It wasn’t until 1925 that there came a company that was dedicated from transporting people across the country in the steam powered machine. This was around the time of the Ford Model T, when cars could travel about 40-45 mph tops. Trains at this time only went 9 mph, but they could carry hundreds of passengers at a once and, just like today, riding a train has advantages for traveling long distances with beautiful scenery and more comfortable seats.

In fact, some people love riding trains so much it’s not even about getting somewhere. Recently Amtrak announced it would be offering free residencies for up to 24 writers, who love the calm, serene rides so much and find them to be a good place for productivity. But forget the destination, because this is about the journey. Writers will travel roundtrip, but only to enjoy the ride and get writing done in their sleeper cabin.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: Jigsaw Puzzles for Every Mom

Mother’s Day is next Sunday, and we have some great ideas for what to get her! With themes in our Mother’s Day Section from outdoors and camping to fine art and fashion, you’ll find exactly what Mom loves.

Dolphin Family from Cobble Hill. 400 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 18″

A great family-friendly activity for families with kids of varying ages is our special family format puzzles, which includes 3 different sizes of puzzle pieces for little hands, experienced puzzlers, and everyone in-between! If Mom loves puzzles and you want a gift that speaks to that and gives her some great family bonding time, this is it! Wake her up Sunday with breakfast in bed and then spend the day with some quality bonding and puzzle time. For ages 10 and up. Check out more of our family format puzzles to choose a theme that Mom loves!

Route 66 from White Mountain. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 30″

landmarks jigsaw puzzles, travel

Landmarks of the World from Master Pieces. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 26.75″

Does Mom love travel? Whether it be a good old fashioned road trip with a map spread out on her lap, a fancy getaway destination where she can relax in the sun, or a high cultured trip to all the top landmarks in the world, we have plenty of travel-related puzzles she’ll love to put together. If you’re planning a trip together, from a small one to the beach or a big one to Paris, you’ll be able to find a puzzle related to your travel destination! If you took some family vacations when you were growing up, find the perfect puzzle that reminds you of that summer visiting the Grand Canyon or all those trips to beautiful Florida during spring break. Build the puzzle together and reminisce as you laugh over old memories and create new ones together.

 

On that same note of reflection, outdoors puzzles are great for the mom that took you fishing on the lakes and pitched the tent in the forest so you could sleep under the stars. If your love of nature came from her, remind her this Mother’s Day!

National Park Badges from White Mountain. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 24″ x 30″

Catching Memories from Master Pieces. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 13″ x 39″

 

If you want to go a different route, get something for her that reminds her of when she was young–whether that be through the styles of the good old days or the entertainment. Complete the gift of an Elvis puzzle with a companion Elvis CD she doesn’t yet own, or rent some I Love Lucy DVDs and let her tell you all about the things she grew up with.

America Back Then from Willow Creek Press. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.625″ x 19.25″

I Love Lucy Collage from Aquarius. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″

If themed gifts are your thing, get her or make her some delicious treats and pair with a similar food-themed puzzle.

Chocolates from Eurographics. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25″ x 26.5″

Find her a subscription to a magazine she loves with a matching puzzle featuring a vintage cover…

Good Housekeeping – Bath Time from New York Puzzle Co. 300 pieces. Finished size: 20″ x 27″

…Or get her seeds to plant a garden as beautiful as one she’d envied from a jigsaw puzzle cover!

Tulip Garden from Springbok. 1500 pieces. Finished size: 28.75″ x 36″

Alternately, you could get her two sorts of flowers: a fresh bouquet and matching flower puzzle to last all year long! Help her put it together and frame it and she’ll have a keepsake to go along with a great memory of Mother’s Day 2014.

Colorful Market Flowers from Lafayette Puzzle Factory. 1500 pieces. Finished size: 23″ x 33″

We could go on forever but your Mom is unique and her hobbies and interests will reflect that. You know her best, we’re just here to help with dozens of themes to help you find the just the right gift that shows that!

Amazing Skyline Jigsaw Puzzles from Piatnik

If the first jigsaw puzzle you see from Piatnik’s new Skyline series is New York, you night not be so intimidated. Skylines are a popular theme for travel jigsaw puzzles, and this one fits in nicely and shows just how much variety there is in building size in the Big Apple.

new york city puzzle, nyc jigsaw puzzle

New York Skyview by Piatnik. 1000 pieces.

But the rest of the Skyview series is tough. Vienna, Paris, and Venice are long distance aerial views with teeny, tiny details. Paris and Vienna are even made up of the same color scheme! These puzzles would be a great challenge and are very unique compared to other skyline travel puzzles.

It reminded me of a great artist, Steven Wiltshire, who has been called the Human Camera. He can take a helicopter ride over a city’s skyline and then reproduce the image–by memory–perfectly, down to the smallest details. With no preliminary sketches or preparation minus the helicopter ride, he can proportion the city exactly and remember every building’s relation to other buildings and landmarks. Check out the video proof. It’s stunning and amazing.

New York City Skyline by Steven Wiltshire

So, for the ultimate challenge, channel Wiltshire, and try these extra tough puzzles by studying the image on the box, then refusing to use it as reference for the rest of your puzzling!

vienna, travel puzzles, skyline, challenging jigsaw puzzles

Vienna Skyview by Piatnik. 1000 pieces.

paris jigsaw puzzles, france puzzle

Paris Skyview by Piatnik. 1000 pieces.

italy jigsaw puzzle

Venice Skyview by Piatnik. 1000 pieces.

 

Best of Paris Puzzles

Travel to one of the most beautiful cities in the world–without even leaving the comfort of your home! Paris makes for one of the prettiest subjects of puzzles, whether it’s a photograph or a painting. Put together the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame in the best of the France-themed travel puzzles that we are Puzzle Warehouse offer.

The Louvre by SunsOut. 1500 pieces. 24 by 33 inches.

notre dame puzzles, french puzzles, paris jigsaw

Notre Dame by SunsOut. 2000 pieces. 26.75 by 39 inches.

paris in autumn

Paris in the Fall by Cobble Hill. 500 pieces. 24 by 18 inches.

Moulin Rouge by SunsOut. 19 by 30 inches.

Bal du Moulin Rouge by Clementoni. 1000 pieces. 27.2″ x 19.75″.

Paris – Je Tadore by Clementoni. 500 pieces. 19.33″ x 14.2″.

Soiree a Paris by Clementoni. 1000 pieces. 38.6″ x 13″.

TWA Travel Posters by New York Puzzle Co. 1000 pieces.

eBoy Pixel Art Jigsaw Puzzles

The clean and sharp art of eBoy graces three of our 1500 piece cityscape jigsaw puzzles by Heye. eBoy, a group consisting of Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital and Kai Vermehr, started creating pixel art together in 1998 because of their shared affinity for making art “for the screen.” Pixel art is a special type of digital illustration, meaning that the members of eBoy are working with their art down to the pixel— painstaking effort for maximum detail work. Now their art is used in a different context—often printed, and now richer and more complex than it was 15 years ago.

Rio by Heye. 1500 pieces. 23″ x 32″

“Handling pixels is fun,” they say. “You are forced to simplify and abstract things.”

But even with the simplicity of pixels, eBoy is able to create grand views of popular cities, showing us something familiar in a new way. The choice for cityscapes comes from their love of the “liveliness, density, and variety of an urban environment.”

Los Angeles by Heye. 1500 pieces. 23″ x 32″

If eBoy devotes itself solely to one project, with all 3 members working on it full time, it can take between 6 to 8 weeks to complete with all the detail and work. But eBoy often works on things in their spare time, meaning some projects take months—or even years.

Their work has paid off. They have worked for big name companies such as Coca-Cola, Honda, Nike, and the New York Times.

Paris by Heye. 1500 pieces. 33″ x 23″

eBoy puzzles are fun because you’re never stuck working on one portion of the puzzle for too long. There’s always something new to look at and discover. In a review from pleased customer Jeremy, he said, “Easily the most fun puzzle I’ve encountered. Plenty of variety in the imagery, so the 1500 pieces stay fun the entire time. Felt like mini-puzzles within a giant puzzle. Leaves plenty of room to get the entire family around.”