My toddler J has been obsessed with trains since before his first birthday. Luckily
for him there are many kids train rides and museums in or around Guelph.
Here is a list of our favourite local train outings:
1. Riverside Park’s miniature train ride for kids. Last year we bought the city of Guelph’s train, merry-go-round and paddle boat pass; at only $20 plus taxes we saved a lot of money. We’ll definitely be buying another pass for summer 2016.
2. To celebrate J’s second birthday last year he and a friend went to the Halton County Radial Railway together. The HCRR is Ontario’s first and biggest electric railway museum. It is located at 13629 Guelph Line, Milton. They rode on and admired many old trains and enjoyed ice cream inside of an train.
*Please note that HCRR opens April, 30th for the 2016 season.
3. The Waterloo Central Railway will delight any train lovers. We went for a short train ride as a family last summer from the St. Jacob’s Market into the village of St. Jacob’s. If you want a longer ride then the train goes round-trip from St. Jacob’s Market to Elmira. The trains on this tourist railway are from either 1923 or 1950.
4. The St. Jacob’s Model Train Panorama is fun. There is a big glassed in model train village and other train memorabilia. This attraction re-opens March 2016 after Mill renovations – I’m excited to see how it looks after the reno.
5. The second train museum in St. Jacob’s is called the St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle Model Railway. This wonderful museum has a larger model train area complete with bridges, little towns and more. Periodically they dim the lights and the model train villages light up for a night scene.
6. Sometimes the Children’s Art Factory will set up their giant train table. J loves playing there, but has an especially great time when the trains are put out. Each week the Children’s Art changes one of their areas and the train table is one of those temporary rotating ones.
7. Whenever I’m shopping at Simply Wonderful, Chapters in Stone Road Mall or Mastermind Toys Guelph you will be sure to see J playing with their display train tables. The Guelph Public Library downtown branch also has a train table set up.
8. Downtown Guelph near the train station is Locomotive 6167. This steam locomotive was built in 1940 and is on permanent display.
9. Hamilton’s African Lion Safari has a miniature train ride for children. It goes past a pond and a few animals. My son and godson enjoyed it so much last year that we rode it twice.
10. Kitchener’s Chistkindl is an annual German Christmas market. Fred and Jenny’s Garden-scale Model Train display was a hit with train enthusiasts if all ages. The trains display took up almost an entire room. J also enjoys playing with trains at home. We’ve found that the wooden Thomas the Train, Imagarium, Melissa and Doug, and Ikea train tracks all fit together. For his second birthday J received both an Imagarium train table and the Thomas circular train tower. He already owned many track sets from Ikea and random bits from Simply Wonderful toy store.