Train enthusiasts, look no further than these train activities around New York City! Whether you're seeking a hands-on experience where your children can explore a historical train car, take a ride on a model steam train, or watch model trains live in action, the following places in and around NYC have something for you and your family!
Black River & Western Railroad
Jennie Utsinger: The Black River & Western Railroad serves freight customers and offers passenger excursions, so your train enthusiast can ride in a "working" steam train. Themed excursions, such as the Pumpkin Train or the North Pole Express are offered, as well as sightseeing excursions. Next to the station, visitors can step into a restored baggage car, which houses the railroad museum, to look at a model train and learn about railroad history.
Cost: from $10 (ages 3-11); from $16 (ages 12 and up); free (children under age 3)
Northlandz Model Railroad
Jennie Utsinger: Prepare to be amazed by one of the world's largest model railroads at Northlandz. Hundreds of trains travel over 8 miles of track, along towering mountains, through villages, over bridges, and among the trees. The tallest mountain is 30 feet high and the longest bridge is 40 feet long! Northlandz is also home to a 94 room dollhouse and over 200 dolls from around the world.
Cost: $15.75/adult; $10.75/kids; free (kids under 2)
New York Transit Museum
Emily N: The New York Transit Museum is a must-see in NYC, especially for kids who are interested in trains! Housed in a real subway station, the museum features vintage subway cars open for exploring to see the evolution of the subway system as well as other fun things to see such as the bus and trolley exhibits.
New York Transit Museum - Holiday Nostalgia Rides
Jennie Utsinger: Train lovers, rejoice! Every holiday season, the Holiday Nostalgia trains are put into service. The vintage subway car is from the 1930s and features rattan seats, incandescent bulb lighting, and original advertisements.
Grand Central Terminal
Kelly R.: Grand Central Terminal is an exciting destination for any train-loving kid, even if you're not headed anywhere (though a train ride would certainly be the icing on the cake). Take a tour to learn more about the terminal's history and architecture, ogle the constellation-studded ceiling mural, watch the trains come and go from the platform on the north side of the terminal, and grab a kid-friendly bite at the dining concourse. Don't miss the free New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store to take in the rotating exhibits, including an annual holiday train show.
New York Botanical Garden - Holiday Train Show
Nancy L.: The New York Botanical Garden hosts its annual Holiday Train Show showcasing famous New York landmarks. With its iconic landscape and architectural treasures, there are 175 New York landmarks and thousands of lights.
Wantagh Railroad Museum
At the Wantagh Museum, visitors get the chance to explore 3 structures, the Wantagh Station, the Jamaica Railroad Car, and the original Wantagh Post Office. Visitors can view the restored station in its 1904 appearance, which contains “turn-of-the-century” photographs depicting the historical lives of Long Island residents, tour the Jamaica car, which was a fully equipped parlor car, and then get a chance to walk through the historical post office.
Oyster Bay Rail Road Museum
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum opened its Visitor Center to the public while the main museum, which will be located at the historic train station, is being completed. The Visitor Center features interactive exhibits, displays from the museum, train layouts, and descriptions and plans for the restoration of the station. Visitors can also view the rail-yard to see locomotives, some of which are being still being restored, and other railroad artifacts.
TMB Model Train Club - Open House
Age: All Ages
Danbury Railway Museum
Jennie Utsinger: Young train aficionados will love visiting the Danbury Railway Museum and its huge collection of historic railroad equipment and artifacts. There are yard tours, hands on exhibits, steam engines to explore, and play train tables for the littlest visitors. Train rides around the 6-acre railyard are offered, which includes a spin on a real operating turntable, and kids can choose whether to sit in the cab, coach, or caboose.
Cost: $7/person aged 3+ (train rides are extra)
Long Island Model Railroad Engineers - Open House
Cost: Free, Donations Welcome
Long Island Live Steamers Public Run Days
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Jennie Utsinger: Hop aboard the Essex Steam Train for a narrated 1 hour train ride through the Connecticut River Valley. The steam locomotive departs from the 1892 Essex Station and travels 12 miles through towns, coves, and preserves. Kids can try to spot ducks, swans, egrets, and even bald eagles during the ride. The trip can be combined with a 1.25 hour riverboat ride along the Connecticut River. During select weekends, passengers can ride in the caboose.
Cost: Starting at $19/adult, $10/child (2-11), free for children under 2
Primary photo: Lubomirkin on Unsplash
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