If your kids are into trains, Detroit has some great attractions that they will surely enjoy. Here are some things to do in Detroit for kids who like trains:
- The Henry Ford Museum: The Henry Ford Museum has a large collection of trains and train-related artifacts. You can see trains from different eras, including steam locomotives and diesel engines. There is also a train ride that takes you around the museum grounds.
- Great Lakes Live Steamers – Miniature train rides at Starr Jaycee Park in Royal Oak and Southgate Train Park in Southgate. See website for details.
- Greenfield Village: Greenfield Village is part of The Henry Ford Museum complex and is an outdoor museum that showcases life in America during the 19th and early 20th centuries. You can ride on a historic steam train through the village, and see the trains used for transportation during that time.
- Michigan Transit Museum: The Michigan Transit Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of public transportation in Michigan. The museum has a large collection of streetcars, buses, and trains that your kids can explore.
- Detroit Model Railroad Club: If your kids are into model trains, the Detroit Model Railroad Club is a great place to visit. They have an extensive model train layout that your kids can watch in action.
- Train Watching: Detroit has many train watching locations throughout the city, including the junction of Conrail and CSX in Northville, where you can see freight trains passing by. Your kids will love seeing the trains in action. You can also stop by Royal Oak Station in Royal Oak.
- The Detroit People Mover: The Detroit People Mover is a monorail system that takes you around downtown Detroit. It’s a fun way to see the city and your kids will enjoy the ride.
- Tauber Family Railroad – Take a one-way ride across the Detroit Zoo.
Beyond Southeast Michigan
Overall, Detroit has plenty of options for kids who love trains. From museums to outdoor attractions and train watching, your kids will have a great time exploring the city’s train-related offerings. If you are willing to drive a couple of hours or take a weekend trip, here are some additional spots we recommend:
- The Lost Railway Museum – Imagine the time before paved streets, cars and buses. Village streets bustling with activity and people in the early 1900’s of Grass Lake. The electric Interurban railway system is the primary mode of public transportation. More than six railways intersected Jackson County and delivered visitors to and from Ann Arbor, Jackson, Battle Creek and Lansing. Now, get ready to experience what that time was like at the Lost Railway Museum by taking a ride on the Boland Express.
- The Steam Railroading Institute: The Steam Railroading Institute is dedicated to educating the public about steam era railroading in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. This includes the preservation of the skills and technology for maintaining steam locomotives by operating steam era equipment and providing the experience of steam locomotives in actual operation.
- The Little River Railroad – Steam Train Rides in Coldwater Michigan – Ride the rails with an authentic 100 year steam engine train at the Little River Railroad.
- The New Buffalo Railroad Museum – Located on the grounds of what was once the largest train yard in Southwest Michigan, the New Buffalo Railroad Museum is home to exhibits and collections recalling New Buffalo’s proud heritage as a railroad hub for both the Pere Marquette and Chesapeake & Ohio (also known as the Chessie System). The rail line behind the Museum still carries CSX freight trains through the stanchions of one of the original coal towers. Visitors can stroll through the Chessie Box Car and Troop Pullman Sleeper Car. Everyone can operate the hand-crafted model train layout that delights visitors of all ages.