He plays with his trains for hours, he learned his colors by using his trains (eg, James is red, Thomas is Blue), he would watch "Thomas" on YouTube on my iPhone for hours if I let him, he-loves-trains.
So with his 3rd Birthday just around the corner, I am scratching my head trying to decide what to do. I logically think, trains. I searched for "trains, MN" in google, and BAM!
Minnesota Transportation Museum
I had never been there, and didn't want to have a party there without knowing if it was worth it or not. Luckily, they have Tot & Train Wednesdays. So, we went this morning.
It was a look on his face that I had never seen before when we pulled up. Trains outside on "TRRAAACKS". He was in heaven.
We went in, and it was $12, 2 and under are free. The Tot and Trains shindig went from 10-12. Just in the door was about 5 train tables, loaded with trains, wooden tracks and turn tables. Of course, we had to play there for a while. They had a train table for the younger kids with big trains and some toys for Babies/Toddlers. Mari attached herself to a Ernie doll. There is also a coloring table with crayons galore and various coloring pages.
Once the complete thrill of the train tables began to ware off, he noticed we were surrounded by retired train cars! So exploring we went. There was an old Caboose, Engine, Passenger car, and several others.
This was a fun little train that had lots of gauges and was very toddler friendly.
The passenger car was pretty neat. The furniture looked original and the woodwork is a sign of a lost trade. The tops of the trains had stained glass windows and the hallways are so narrow 2 toddlers had to squeeze through.
A comment from a fellow mom "it just shows you how big people have gotten" I had to have a little chuckle at that. I had Mari in my Ergo and it was tight, her little feet kept getting caught on the sides of the car.
There are buttons for kids to make the bell ring, and railroad crossing signs blink and ding (they are not loud--which is something I worried about)
They read a story at 11am, and they had some mini muffins for the kids to snack on. From the sounds of it, this is a new undertaking and it seems super busy! I don't think they knew that this would be such a hit! Other moms I've talked to said they heard about it from other moms, word is spreading quickly! I have no pictures of story time because my children don't sit for story time.
This was the place to be, and we waited in line for a long time to get up there and finally when we did we got to sit and push levers and pretend to be an engineer.
They have a little shop with souvenirs, engineer hats, and trains. We purchased a Thomas zoo car and we left about 11:30. We had a drive home and kids were getting hungry. I decided to leave before a meltdown ensued.
All in all---it was heaven. He loved it and I am sure we will be back. Saturdays they give caboose rides, ride as many times as you want and it's free with admission!