Tots and Trains
Lots of fun in store for train lovers – you'll find something perfect for your kidlets in these options.
Tots & Trains Toddler Program
Select Wednesdays from 10am-noon, Minnesota Transportations Museum. Head to the Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave. E, St. Paul, 55130 on select Wednesdays (first and third Wednesdays) for a morning of family fun! Play in their open play area with train tables and new display additions, create a craft to take home, listen to train-themed story time, and enjoy coffee and treats as well! Check the website for dates; you can purchase tickets ahead or at the door. Admission Adult $11, Child (age 5-15) $9, Senior (age 62+) $9, Toddler (age 2-4) $7
The Jackson Street Roundhouse Mini Train Ride
The Roundhouse is also open on Saturdays from 10am-4pm, and they offer short train rides 910-15 minutes) as part of your museum admission. Admission $13 Adult, $11 Child, but they offer family pricing and age discounts.
Night Trains season is a special tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, located at 668 Transfer Road, Suite 8, Saint Paul, 55114. Night Trains will begin November 2nd and run every Saturday evening from 6-9pm through the last Saturday in February (Saturday, February 29th, 2019). The lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for special lighted models of vintage passenger trains. The make-believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum, the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations. You view the town from railed platforms and strollers are not allowed. There is ample free parking. Admission $15 for Individuals; Family and Group Rates (Groups of 3 or more, max 10) available: The first two visitors pay full price ($15) and each additional member of the group pays half price ($7.50). Children 4 and under FREE http://www.tcmrm.org
A REAL Train Ride
The Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway 50-minute, roundtrip coach excursions between Osceola & Dresser; and 90 minute, roundtrip coach, brunch, dinner and pizza excursions between Osceola & Marine on St. Croix on an Empire Builder Fleet that begins in Osceola, WI. You should book event tickets in advance - the brunch and dinner excursions are family friendly, and the dinner is vintage-style with an expectation to “dress” for dinner. The railway cars are not wheelchair accessible, but there is a lift to the concession car. Coach passes may be purchased at the ticket window, but reservations are also recommended as they don’t guarantee space. There are special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day excursions, a Fireworks Express in July, and Pumpkin Express dates in October. Watch for later holiday specials with Santa as well. www.transportationmuseum.org/trainrides
Choo Choo Bob's
And then there is a visit to Choo Choo Bob's Train Store at 2050 Marshall Avenue in Saint Paul. Storytimes 10am Tuesdays, but always check the schedule first as Conductor Bob is sometimes travelling. Train table playtime, anytime. Just a few steps away from Izzy’s Ice Cream Shop (they also have seasonal hours though).
ONE MORE IDEA!
In Motherhood round one, my friend, Lucy, and I would tag team for a Red Wing Amtrak run. The ride for one adult and one child is only $18 and 54 minutes – 8-8:54am, getting you there just in time for breakfast at the St. James Hotel! Because the train comes back late at night, long for some kids in Red Wing, so one would ride the train with the kids, and the other drive the car to meet up there! Breakfast, Red Wing riverfront activities, ride back. It would be especially fun for the Red Wing Children’s Book Festival in September of each year at the Anderson Center. https://www.andersoncenter.org/eventAuthorsIllustrators.html