It’s time for some fun on the rails with these train rides in KC:
Day Out with Thomas & Percy: Thomas the Tank Engine joins his buddy Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt at Midland Railway Station for the Ready, Set, Go Tour! in Baldwin, KS. Kids can take a ride in their favorite tank engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy a variety of activities including an exotic animals adventure, Isle of Sodor storytelling, a magic show, live music, a petting zoo, creativity station, and more! June 3-5, and June 10-12, 2016, with departure times every hour from 9am–5pm. Tickets start at $19 in advance; Midland Railway, 1515 W. High Street, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Click here or call (913) 721-1211 for more information and to purchase tickets. Note: We strongly recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time, tickets are often sold out by the day of event.
The Midland Railway also offers a number of longer, regular train excursions, including the Kansas Belle Dinner Train and the Maple Leaf Train Robbery ride. Click here for more information.
Belton Grandview & Kansas City Railroad: This is a fun, old-fashioned train riding experience for the whole family! They offer Saturday & Sunday rides in June (Saturdays only in July & August), but we love the Friday night Ice Cream Social, at 7pm every Friday, June – August. I mean, who doesn’t love an ice cream sundae to top off the train ride? The BG&KC runs south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. It is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading. Runs weekends from May through September; $10/person (2&under free); $12/person for the ice cream social ride. Click here for times, dates and to purchase tickets, or call (816)331-0630. Note: Credit/debit payment accepted online for advance purchases, but make sure to bring cash or check to purchase tickets on site.
Kansas City Northern Railroad/Line Creek Route: This miniature train is about as cute as it gets for all ages. Be sure to read up on the history of the trains so you can discuss with one of the knowledgeable and friendly train engineers when you get there! Running weekends and holidays May-September, weather permitting, the KC Northern Railroad definitely takes you back to yesteryear. For 75 cents per passenger/ride, you’ll enjoy a loop around the park, complete with a tunnel to cool you off on a hot day! Trains run Saturdays 10am-6pm, Sundays & holidays, noon-6pm, and depart approximately every 7 minutes. 6060 NW Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO 64151; take I-29 North to NW Waukomis Drive. If you’re looking for a good party idea, the Kansas City Northern offers group charter rides on Fridays during open season for only $30.00. They also charter by the hour for $80.00/hour.
The Missouri River Runner Route: Hop the train in Kansas City, MO, Lee’s Summit, or Independence for a memorable family trip to St. Louis. We tried it and loved it! The kids kept busy exploring the train on our ride there, and my husband and I got to relax for a few hours! It’s great for a weekend stay…if you want to explore downtown St. Louis without a car, you can hop on the MetroLink (city rail system) to get to some of the city’s bigger attractions.
But you don’t have to get on a train to enjoy them in Kansas City. A visit to Union Station (be sure to read up on it’s history first) to look around is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. My kids love visiting there with grandpa, who tells them stories about his family’s travels by train when he was a kid. The KC Museum of Toys and Miniatures has some trains and other miniature forms of transportation on display, and the Overland Park Arboretum has trains big and small in their train garden, which includes a fairly sophisticated miniature train world (trust me, the kids and adults loved it on our last outing there) and a full-size train car for hands-on exploration.
Photo courtesy of Midland Railway and KC Norther Railroad.