November 10 2015

Family Outing: San Diego Model Railroad Museum

This past weekend, we visited one of the boys’ favorite destinations, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Located inside Balboa Park, the museum houses miniature models of actual California railroads. Parker and Logan excitingly ran around from display to display, taking each one in. Look closely and you’ll find mini dioramas of real life – semi-trucks filling up on gas, folks lined up at a movie theater, and even people lounging around a McDonald’s.

The boys love one room in particular, the toy train gallery. Here you’ll find Thomas the Train, minions, and Disney character filled cars, it’s a children’s paradise. There’s even a few buttons you can push to make some of the trains go round and round.

The museum is run by more than 300 volunteers which includes model builders who make sure every detail is painstakingly in place. The institution calls itself the largest and only accredited model railroad museum in North America and one of the top model railroad museums in the world.

For us, the trip is only about an hour from our house but for those driving in from Los Angeles, it can take up to two. You won’t be disappointed, however, because aside from this museum you’ll find sixteen more inside the park. Balboa Park is a breathtakingly beautiful cultural park that has gardens, restaurants and a koi pond as well. Bring food and you can enjoy a picnic under the sun, or you can be like us, and pick up noodles and curry at the small Japanese restaurant.

For those visiting southern California, Balboa Park is a must-visit destination. Though we have a few different annual passes for some of the museums, I think that next year we’ll probably end up buying the annual family pass for the whole park, which gets us into any of the 17 participating museums. Yes, that’s how much we love this place!

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Me and the boys in front of Balboa Park’s large water fountain.

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This last photo was shot at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center which is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the railroad museum. It’s another great place to take the kids.

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