When I hear the name Lancaster, I immediately think trains. As the daughter of a father who worked for New Jersey Transit, and now the wife of a husband who works there, I’m all about beautiful trains. When I found out that we would be able to visit the Strasburg Railroad during our blogger trip, I was extremely excited. When I shared the news with my son, who’s also a train fanatic, he just about lost it. Since he was two and his grandmother gave him a wooden train set for Christmas, he’s been intrigued with how trains work and is elated whenever we get to ride in one.
When we arrived at Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, PA, the questions were fast and furious from our son. He wanted to know what year the trains were built, if they ran off of steam or coal and how long our train ride would be. The 45 minute train ride was complete with facts from the conductor. The Strasburg Railroad is the oldest short line railroad system in America and offers coach, first class, open air and dining cars. We already agreed that the next time we visit, we’re hitting up that dining car. It looked like the patrons had a blast in there. We we all set to see the Vintage Baseball game they have every Saturday, until the Duchess fell asleep in the train car. Yet another thing to add to our list for the next visit.
The next day, we got up early and had a breakfast buffet at our hotel, The Bird-In-Hand Inn. Then, we were off to Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg. The Choo Choo Barn features more than 150 animations and 22 operating miniature trains. The 1,700 square foot handcrafted, work-of-art is packed with small-scale local landmarks and detailed scenes from Lancaster County. The detail of the display had us there for almost two hours, finding new and exciting scenes with every go around. My favorite was the house on fire, the tiny fire engine and firefighters rushing to the scene. My son and daughter loved the carnival and circus display while my husband was entranced with the underground scene that glows in the dark. We all loved that there was “night fall” over the miniature town every ten minutes, so you got to see the whole display lit up. I even caught it in the video I shot.
I absolutely adore places where the parents and kids can have a memorable experience. The Strasburg Railroad and Choo Choo Barn provided that for our little family, and we can’t wait to go back and visit soon. If you have a family of your own, I’d highly suggest adding these attractions to your summer vacation list.