One of our favorite family activities is the Twin City Model Railroad Museum. We’ve visited countless times since my four year old became obsessed with trains when he turned two. They are located in Bandana Square in St. Paul. All children under five are free (which rocks, thank you very much) and the five and up crowd pay $6 each.
We always visit the retired old engine parked outside the building… my kiddos love to touch the wheels and climb on the platforms on the front (which are perfect for photo ops).
Model trains that run by themselves are very exciting to children (well, to mine, anyways). They get excited to see which trains will come through the tunnel and try to guess which types they are (passenger, coal cars, freight cars, etc.).
There are little benches/platforms built into the railings so little ones can stand tall and see the trains…
There are lots of cities, and a large river display. I always notice something new each time we visit. I love the detail in the people, the vehicles and the landscapes.
Like this camper, couple and dog… love it.
You can tell a lot of love goes into making the displays. In fact, the Twin City Model Railroad Museum is entirely run by volunteers.
There are lots of little surprises and fun things for the kids, like this giant bell they can ring.
…and of course, two train tables at the main entrance where they can play with toy trains (all the big displays are hands off, of course).
On the weekends you can visit the toy train exhibit
in the building next door. If you are visiting with young children, I recommend you spend most of your time there as it’s even more kid friendly. You can see pics of some of these displays here
. There are also play train tables in that building and even a large electric Thomas the Train display where children can take turns being the conductor.
In the winter months, the Twin City Model Railroad Museum is known for its Night Trains
exhibit ~ although we’ve never been, I hear it’s great.
Speaking of cool train destinations, I hear Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store
in St. Paul is also a big hit with the little ones and they host birthday parties, too. And don’t forget that Thomas is visiting children around the country this summer… check out the schedule
to see when he’s in your town.
Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way for this post. I paid my own admission.