It’s been all about trains, trains, trains with my toddlers, so I thought I’d highlight all the train-related activities we’ve had the opportunity to experience. These are our top picks around Chicagoland and beyond. Click on the links to bring you to the review.

Tips to enjoy Day Out With Thomas at t

 

All Aboard! Places you can actually ride a train


Blackberry Farm – ride on the train that circles the lake
Fox Valley Trolley Museum – a few trains on the lot to see but the highlight is the actually trolley ride back and forth alongside the Fox River
Illinois Railway Museum – We went here for Day Out With Thomas and loved it! Read all about it here.
Lambs Farm– ride around on their mini train
Safety Park at the Pat Shepherd Center – could not be any happier with our birthday party that included train rides
Spring Hill Mall – my kids love this going here and riding the choo choo that goes around the mall
Waterman and Western Railroad – a mini train with real train signals

Train-related activities

Discovery Center – includes a train structure and a train table
Kohl Children’s Museum – train table and a train structure
Safety Park – not riding the train? There’s actually a train structure to climb

Lambs Farm – fun train themed playground

Train places to eat


2Toots Grill – all seats are seated by the train tracks and the food is brought out to you on a train
Windhill Pancake Parlor – fun restaurant in McHenry that has a small section where the train delivers the food to diners.
All Aboard Diner in Frankfort – food is brought to you by a train and there’s a fun train-themed playroom

Train Events

Happy Holiday Railway – Illinois Railway Museum
High Wheeler Train Show
Day Out With Thomas  – a must-do for any train fan.
Naperville Jaycees Santa Train
Trainfest – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – the world’s largest model train show
Here are other great suggestions from Time Out Kids Chicago.

Train watching

DuPage County Historical Museum – the basement has an HO gauge model railroad layout. Every 3rd and 5th Saturday of the month is their designated Train Day when engineers run the trains.
Lambs Farm – Model Railroad Days
Model Railroad Garden at Chicago Botanic Garden – loved the miniature train models and miniature landmarks
Museum of Science and Industry – A huge track with over 30 model trains
Rochelle Railroad Park, Rochelle – train-watching at its best

Railway Garden at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve