The Historic Wayzata Depot doubles as the the Wayzata Historical Society Museum and is the perfect outing for a train enthusiast of any age. In 1906, the Great Northern Railroad (owned by James J. Hill) built this depot, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors are encouraged to interact at Wayzata Depot!
10 Fun Things for Families at Historic Wayzata Depot
As soon as we entered the depot, we were swooped upon by volunteers who love to show off the attractions. Here is a short checklist of fun activities for kids:
- Get a souvenir ticket at the ticket window
- Blow a train whistle
- View the hand-built train model displays - and press the button to operate them
- Operate the 1950's Coke machine - bring change!
- Try out the “penny lollipop scale”- pennies were provided by the staff
- Send a Morse code message
- Watch modern trains as they pass the museum.
- Weather permitting, check out the miniature Garden Railroad.
- Take a trip on the Steamboat Minnehaha - this is a seasonal attraction ($15/adults, $5/kids & free for under 3
- Explore Wayzata with a walking tour (see the "treasure hunt" below).
Before heading to the Historic Wayzata Depot, take a moment to print the map below and the accompanying historical descriptions. Give the kids the map. You can keep the descriptions to add commentary where you think it might be appreciated. Admittedly, "treasure" is in the eye of the beholder here, but each numbered location will lead to an historical marker where your family can learn a little more about the history of the area.
Big Kid Tip: Take a Seventh Inning Stretch: Plan a stop after #13 to cool off (or warm up) at the Wayzata Library and maybe have a picnic in the attached Children's Garden. When you have rested, there will be only 4 more stops and a short walk back to the depot.
Small Kid Tip: Just hit the first six markers. Then if you are not done, you can drive to the library/Children's Garden before heading home. If you have both big kids and small kids, you can meet the walkers for the picnic and then meet back at the library when they are done.
Printed copies of this guide are available for free at the Wayzata Depot. Ask for the "Historic Wayzata Land Tour".