Here are the best activities for kids who love trains. Among them, train shows and exhibitions, train excursions, train-themed museums, and gaze-worthy operating model train displays. Choo-choo, DFW!
Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot
Stephanie W.: East Texas has awesome tours for train-loving kids at the Texas State Railroad! Different kids of trains are available to ride, like steam or diesel-powered trains, all with anything from a rentable caboose to seats in an open air car. Four hour trips include seating, food and drink service, and narration of the history of the trains you ride as well as the areas you'll visit. The railroad also provides fun events like Pumpkin Patch Rides, and the Polar Express!
Cost: Tickets start at $25/Ages 13+, $15/Ages 2-12, FREE/Ages 2 and under. For more pricing click here.
North Texas Council of Railroad Clubs - DFW Train Shows
Fall Plano Train Show: October 12, 9am-5pm
Dallas Area Train Show: January 18, 10am-5pm & January 19, 10am-4pm
$10/person (13+), Free for children 12 & under, Cash Only
Stephanie W.: Check out the Fall Plano Train Show and Dallas Area Train Show! Folks from all over will show off their miniature train layouts, and clinics are held throughout the day teaching adults and kids alike how to build certain parts of an exhibit, like how to airbrush or constructing wood trestles. Feel free to look at the incredible layouts, or get creative and create and enroll your own!
Interurban Railway Museum
Stephanie W.: The Interurban Railway Museum in Plano features fascinating exhibits about the history of the railroad in Dallas. Some are seasonal, such as the Holidays on the Texas Electric Railway, in which a mini railroad is set up that shows how the holidays have been celebrated on trains in our past. Tours of the museum's historic train car, Car 360, are available as well. A must-see for history and train-loving kids!
Museum of the American Railroad
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Stephanie W.: The Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco is the perfect museum for your train-obsessed little ones! Come learn about the history of the railroads that helped shape Texas over 150 years ago, and helped make cities like Dallas and Fort Worth what they are today! You'll see trains from different eras and learn about and celebrate the people who helped to build them and serve their passengers, like the Pullman Porters. Guided tours are available on scheduled dates.
The Trains at NorthPark
Elizabeth Hercules: This holiday family tradition has become a favorite for generations of Dallas families and includes 1,600 feet of track rolling from coast to coast on a whimsical rail journey across America.
Christmas at the Anatole
$24.95/adult (18+), $19.95/child (2-17), Free for children 2 & under, Free for Hilton guests
Stephanie W.: Christmas at the Anatole has tons of wonderful holiday activities for you and your family to participate in. The Peppermint Park is open each evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and is open to the public! There, you'll find Santa, entertaining holiday shows, and a holiday train ride that will take you around the park!
Dallas Zoo Monorail
Stephanie W.: The Dallas Zoo monorail is such a fun way to get to different areas of this incredible zoo, and if you love trains, you get can enjoy the journey as much as the destination! It was entirely renovated in 2016, giving you the updated Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari Monorail that you see today- new ramps, new paint and graphics, and even new bird exhibits in the monorail station. The monorail will show you six exhibits not visible by foot, so taking a ride is definitely worth the trip!
Cost: Zoo admission is $15/Ages 12-64, $12/Ages 3-11, FREE/Ages 2 and under. Monorail tickets are $5 each.
Lone Star Toyota of Lewisville Railroad Park
Stephanie W.: This park has a history to it, in that the original Katy Train Depot once existed just a mile north. There is a railroad track that now runs just west of the park, giving park-goers a great opportunity to watch as the train goes by. With trains being the theme to this park, train-lovers will enjoy the boxcars placed in the park, as well as structures that are meant to embody the spirit of the original train depot. In addition, three lakes, walking trails, and sports fields are available to explore and play on!
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
March-May & August-October open Saturday-Sunday, June-July open Friday-Sunday. Closed January/February.
Stephanie W.: The Vintage Railroad is a one-of-a-kind experience that your train-loving kids will go crazy for! Take a step back in time on these authentic Victorian trains (named Puffy and Vinny) from the 1920s which rides along the historic Cotton Belt Route. Along with regular train rides, there are special events such as a Mother's Day or Father's Day ride, a Day Out with Thomas, and in the holiday season the train transforms in to the North Pole Express and rides through the Christmas Capital of Texas
Cost: Tickets start at $10/person. See more scheduling and pricing, plus special event info here.
Lone Star Hi Railers Model Train Exhibit
Open Saturdays and Sundays
Stephanie W.: Head to Grapevine's historic rail yard to see a real-life vintage baggage car and engine, originally built by the Pullman Company. Step INSIDE the car, and you'll find an incredible diorama of Grapevine with buildings from the 1800s and early 1900s- even a model of the car you're standing in! This is like an exhibit within an exhibit, and your kids will learn about the history of Grapevine while they're enjoying the trains — real life and model!
Cost: $2/Ages 13+, $1/Ages 2-12, FREE/Ages 2 and under
Six Flags Over Texas Railroad
Stephanie W.: Travel through the amusement park in style on Six Flags's own steam engine! You'll depart from the Texas Depot in the Texas neighborhood of the park, and get a scenic ride through the park. You'll pass through a hobo shanty town and see teepees and wild animals along the route. This train was built over a century ago and has been running at Six Flags for 50 years. Your train-loving kids will love traveling through Six Flags in style!
Cost: Entry to the park required. Tickets start at $49.19. See more pricing options here.
Just Train Fun!, North East Mall
Stephanie W.: Just Train Fun! is a train that rides around the North East Mall! Each ride is 8-10 minutes long and trains run several times an hour so there are plenty of opportunities to hop on. Expert engineers will lead you and your children in storytelling or songs —each engineer has their own style! Parents and kids alike will love a chance to get some shopping done and take a train ride while you're at it.
Cost: $4.99/single ticket, free under 12 months. Discounts for multiple tickets available.
Fort Worth Zoo's Junior Train Conductor Experience
Stephanie W.: Be a conductor for a day! This magical experience at the Fort Worth Zoo will allow your child to play conductor of the Yellow Rose Express Train. The experience is offered three times daily. Participants help the staff collect tickets, greet guests, clear the train to leave the station and ring the bell at crossings. They'll also receive an official certificate, train hat and safety vest. Price includes 2 one-way train rides, and up to three additional riders to watch the conductor in action!
Cost: $40 plus price of zoo admission
Forest Park Miniature Railroad
Stephanie W.: An oldie AND a goodie, the Forest Park Miniature Train Ride has been around for over 50 years! This well known tradition in Fort Worth is a 5 mile, 40 minute trip that will take you and your kids from the Forest Park Depot to the Duck Pond in Trinity Park and back. Enjoy beautiful scenery while riding one of may different colored vintage-style trains. Your kids will love this experience!
Cost: $5/13+, $4/Ages 1-12. Cash only.
Primary photo: Upparent
Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.