** World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour, Feb. 6-7, 2016 **
RiverCenter, St. Paul
Children 16 & under admitted free with paid adult
If you are a train lover or have train lovers in your family, then the Twin Cities is a fantastic place for you.
James J. Hill–a native of Ontario, Canada–was a pioneer in Minnesota developing the Great Northern Railway and pioneering the Pacific Northwest Railway. Because of his legacy, the Twin Cities has a rich railroad history making it a great location for any train lovers.
These destinations are just the beginning of what you can find here:
- Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum, 1021 Bandana Blvd E, St Paul ($8-$10/pp, children 4 & under free)
If you like to putter with model trains, you will enjoy a visit to the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum. With the World Famous O Scale reproduction of the St. Anthony Falls Milling District, you will be able to see how the railways played a specific and important part in history. The special holiday Night Trains runs Saturdays through Feb. 27, 2016, after which the museum will temporarily close to relocate.
- Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave. E., St. Paul ($5-$10/pp or $25/family)
The historic Jackson Street Roundhouse is the former steam engine maintenance facility for the Great Northern Railway. The interactive exhibits feature local and regional railway history, and you can experience a real operating roundhouse turntable. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, there’s special programming just for little ones on select Wednesdays called Tots ‘N Trains.
- Minnehaha Depot, Minnehaha Park, Hwy 55 & Minnehaha Parkway (free admission)
Located in Minnehaha Park in South Minneapolis, one of the prettiest settings in the Twin Cities, the depot is open during Sundays Memorial Day through Labor Day and is an iconic piece of history.
- Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway, 114 Depot Rd, Osceola, WI (rides $8-$20/pp, meal trains $25-$55)
Just across the border into Wisconsin, train rides depart every Saturday and Sunday throughout the weekend. 50 or 90 minutes in length, these beautiful trips through the scenic St. Croix Valley offer a one of a kind appreciation for vintage trains; meal excursions such as the family-friendly pizza train are offered on 90-minute rides.
- The Hennepin Overland Railway Historical Society, 2501 E 38th St, Minneapolis ($7/pp or $20/family)
Offers for the most sincere model train lovers a 400 square foot layout in a nondescript building. If you are unfamiliar with Minneapolis, finding the building could be a challenge but well worth your time.
- Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store , 2050 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
A must stop for young train lovers and their parents! It houses seven train tables and two or three different model layouts to mesmerize youngsters and a storytime led by Engineer Paul ongoing Tuesdays at 10am.