All Aboard! If you have a train-loving little one in your house, chances are you hear this phrase all day long. Many kids are fascinated by trains and everything about trains. They love to wear their conductor hats, build new tracks and watch their trains chugga-chugga along. There are several train-themed activities, museums and restaurants for Columbus kids to enjoy. Some are right here in town, while others are a short drive away. Either way, you and your train-loving child will enjoy visiting the places on the list. Did we leave out a train theme location or event? Please add it in!
Buckeye Express Diner
Serving lunch and dinner
Katie G.: Enjoy a meal in a real train car at Buckeye Express Diner. Located in Bellville, Ohio, about an hour Northeast of Columbus, you can't miss the train car right off of I-71 on top of a hill. The cozy restaurant serves up traditional diner food including burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, fries, onion rings, subs, salads, soups and desserts. If the weather is nice, enjoy your meal at a picnic table outside while the kids play on the small, train-themed outdoor playground.
Sandel Legacy Trail - All Aboard For Railroad Fun
Sat: 10 AM - 2 PM
Sun: 12 - 4 PM
Katie G.: This monthly open house invites visitors to come learn about the history of trains in America as you watch model trains travel through a miniature village at the Sandel Legacy Trailhouse. This event is sponsored by the Delaware County Model Railroaders who will be on hand to answer questions.
Columbus Metropolitan Main Library - Huntington Holiday Train
Katie G.: Columbus families have been enjoying the Holiday Train at the Main Library since 1992. The train display can't be missed as you enter the Grand Atrium of the library. Bring your entire family to see the display with its trains, tracks, waterfall, tunnels, bridges, mini homes and castle. Guests will receive free one-hour parking in the main library's garage.
Great Train Show
10 AM - 4 PM
Katie G.: Have a train-loving kid in the family? Or just looking for a fun event to take the kids to? Head to the Ohio Expo Center for the Great Train Show. This traveling, model train show features hundreds of train displays to see, accessories for sale and activities for the kids. There is a real train for the kids to ride, whistles to blow and so much to see.
Moody Street Trains
Katie G.: Take your train enthusiast to Moody Street Trains for a large selection of model trains. The store specializes in Lionel trains and accessories, but has plenty to offer from steam engines to tracks and starters. Kids will love looking at all the different train cars in the store and playing at the train table with Thomas and Friends. The store often host special events which are kid-friendly so be sure to check out their website or Facebook page for more information.
The Train Station
Katie G.: The train Station, located in Clintonville, is a model railroad store which has been serving Columbus for over 40 years. Customers can find model railroad products and supplies, as well as books, DVDs, magazines and other products all about trains. Kids can enjoy the small play area and train table at the store.
Ohio Railway Museum
Open May - December
Katie G.: As one of the oldest railroad museums in the United States, the Ohio Railway Museum educates visitors on how important train cars were to people and businesses in the past and how trains worked. Train-loving kids will enjoy riding in a real train car and visiting the exhibits of historic railroad equipment and artifacts from locomotives, streetcars and interurbans.
LM&M Railroad - Day Out With Thomas
Katie G.: Have a little one who loves Thomas? Then you won't want to miss a Day Out With Thomas at the LM&M Railroad, located in Lebanon. Thomas the Tank Engine will be visiting the station offering rides to families. There will be entertainment, videos, temporary tattoos and a chance to meet Thomas' controller, Sir Topham Hat. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Katie G.: Take a day trip to Cincinnati to visit Entertrainment Junction. You won't be disappointed by all there is to do and see at this train-themed park. Check out the largest indoor train display in the world, let the kids run around in the play area, create some laughs as you try to navigate through the funhouse and learn all about trains at the museum. Experience a real train ride during the warmer summer months when weather permits. It's sure to be a fun day for the whole family.
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