The San Diego Model Railroad Museum features interactive toy trains, Lionel-style electric trains and a 20-scale mile long rail crossing of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Plus, this museum is the only accredited railroad museum in the entire United States. It is the largest permanent operating model railroad exhibit in North America with 27,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.
Always expanding and always under construction are new exhibits that are created by local railroad clubs.
Also fascinating is the Toy Train Gallery, which is home to an impressive exhibit of an imaginary town with multiple train lines. The town changes with the seasons; look for autumn colors in the fall and Christmas lights in the Balboa Park in winter. Kids can even operate some of the trains with the push of a button!
Be sure to check out the LEGO Train City and Brick City Kids Zone, open through January 18th. Come to a miniature world made entirely of LEGO bricks presented by the Southern California LEGO Train Club. You’ll be amazed at the craftsman like detail of the LEGO Train Layout. Also, on display from the L Gauge Museum is a collection of LEGO toys showing the transition of wooden LEGO trains to the modern day brick trains. This is a World Premier of some of the oldest LEGO Trains in existence. Let your child’s imagination come to life in Brick City, an entire room of LEGO brick creativity. Make LEGO art on a LEGO wall or learn how to create your own LEGO Train. Brick City is sponsored by the LGauge Museum
Make sure not to miss a visit to the gift shop, which is filled with a fabulous array of railroad memorabilia for the railroad lover in your life. Their selection of vintage railroad posters is especially noteworthy. And if you are a history buff, their Erwin Welsch Research Library is a must.
The museum and gift shop are open Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sat.–Sun. till 5 p.m. Admission is ($8) for adults, ($6) for seniors 65 and older, ($3) for students with ID, ($4) for all military with ID, and free for children 14 years and under when accompanied with an adult. Admission includes access to their railroad history library.
Big attractions here are their themed birthday parties and special events for kids of all ages. Contact Ana Parra (619-696 -0199).