All aboard! Night Trains is in full swing at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, and it’s a MUST for the model train lover in your family.
Night Trains is a special holiday tradition at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum, taking place each year on Saturday evenings from November to February. The whole museum in transformed into a magical place, as lights go down and model train layouts are lit up.
The make believe town is Matlin, it’s Christmastime, and it’s covered in snow. The miniature townspeople are sledding, shopping, enjoying carnival rides, and riding trains in several displays.
What is the Twin City Model Railroad Museum? The museum is a nonprofit whose roots began with the St. Paul Craftsman Club in 1934. Its members built an O-gauge model railroad, and moved from one location to the next as it grew. Over the years the museum has reproduced railroads from the Twin Cities’ history. Now it’s located in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood and is 10,000 square feet full of model railroads as well as toy trains for all ages!
We had visited the museum in its previous location in Bandana Square several years ago, and were excited to see how it looked in its newest location. As you can see from my many pictures here, it’s a colorful and impressive collection, and there is a lot to see!
My 7-year-old is the biggest model train fan in our household, and pretty much wanted to look at everything in the museum.
There were O-scale, HO-scale (which means half of O-scale), S-scale and N-scale trains in different layouts with towns and people and cars and many other fun details to see. Many items moved and there was nice music playing.
A nice volunteer told us to look for the horse and the Santa on one of the trains (we found them). You might learn other interesting tidbits from the volunteers too!
Look at these very detailed displays.
(The G-Whiz Gang is a group that built model train layouts in Minneapolis/St. Paul for 25 years.)
They also had vintage train sets that kids played with generations ago, like the American Flyer brand of toy train and model railroad, now owned by the Lionel Corporation.
For the littlest train lovers, there are train tables with wooden sets. There was also a table with someone giving out paper conductor hats for kids.
My son loved this electric train set that you could control.
There was a big carnival set with rides that you could control individually by pressing a button. These were popular with kids (including my own).
Watch the live video I posted on Facebook:
And of course, there was a gift shop. The prices were very affordable though – you could get all kinds of memorabilia as well as little train cars and tracks for dirt cheap. We bought a few.
We definitely enjoyed Night Trains. There was so much to see here. Though you couldn’t touch most of the trains, there was enough to interact with to keep the busiest kids interested. It’s also really neat to see the Twin Cities’ history laid out in model railroad sets.
We spent about an hour here. We could have been here longer but my kids were getting hungry (there is a vending machine down the hall).
Admission is $15 per person, though children 4 and under are FREE, and families of 3 or more will get a discount:
Family and Group Rates (Groups of 3 or more, max 10) available: The first two visitors pay full price ($15) and each additional member of the group pays half price ($7.50). Examples: 4 Guests: $45, 6 Guests: $60, 10 Guests: $90. This equals a great savings for your family or group!
Address and Contact info
Twin City Model Railroad Museum
668 Transfer Road
Saint Paul, MN 55114
To learn more, visit the Twin City Model Railroad Museum website.
Enter to win 4 tickets to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum! The tickets are good for Night Trains (2017-2018 season ends February 24th), or for any other visit through December 31, 2018.
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below by Monday, February 12th at 11:00pm.
If you leave a blog post comment, tell me who you’d be excited to bring to Night Trains!
(Disclosure: I received complimentary passes to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.)