train guide

A Lake Country Kid’s Guide to [All Things] TRAIN

We know that our Lake Country kiddos love TRAINS. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate Train Guide for Train-loving Kids.

This guide is categorized by:

TRAIN GUIDE SPONSOR

EAST TROY RAILROAD MUSEUM

East Troy Railroad

Operating on the last 7.5 mile stretch of the original interurban system in the state of Wisconsin, you can experience fun for all ages with Dinner, Pizza, Burger, Oktoberfest, Birthday, Christmas, Bunny and whatever other train you can think of!

Dinner Train Update September 2020:
The East Troy Electric Railroad announces that it will restart the railroad’s popular Dinner Trains at the end of the month. Only a limited number of tickets are available to assure that passengers can be seated a safe distance from other groups on the train. The railroad has installed new air filters and air ionization systems to improve passenger safety.

“We’ve installed new air filters and a pinpoint bipolar ionization system in both of our dining cars,“ said Ryan Jonas, President of the East Troy Railroad Museum. “Thiscombination will reduce the risk for spread of any viruses and provides a clean, fresh and comfortable environment for our unique dining experiences.” Five dinner train events are planned for the Fall 2020 season, beginning with a “Family Picnic Train” on September 26th.

Each train features a unique menu:
Sept. 26 – Family Picnic Train – Popcorn, Hot Dog, Chips and Brownies
Oct. 3 – Oktoberfest – German Sauerbraten, Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Dessert
Oct. 10 – Autumn Glow – Tuscan Chicken or Whisky-glazed Brisket, Potatoes & Dessert
Oct. 17 – Sweetest Day – SOLD OUT
Oct. 24 – Adult Halloween – Wear your favorite costume and enjoy Cider Marinated Short Ribs or a Bourbon Brown Sugar Chicken Quarter, Potatoes & Dessert

You must purchase tickets in advance for all of our Dinner Trains. Please go to
www.easttroyrr.org/dining-service where you will be able to select either Family Picnic Trains or Dinner Trains — then read more about the details of the menu for each of the available trains. Then purchase your tickets using a major credit card.

The East Troy Railroad Museum is pleased to announce that it will receive a $20,500 grant from the Emery Rail Heritage Trust to help the organization finish the restoration of Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Car 761.

The $20,500 grant toward the restoration of Car 761 will be used to pay for the seats to be re-upholstered, for new flooring to be installed, for re-plating some of the seat frames and all the luggage racks, and for other interior repair work necessary to return the car to operating condition. The volunteers in East Troy hope to have the car operating again before the end of the 2020 operating season.

If you would like to contribute toward this restoration effort and another project underway to restore Chicago South Shore & South Bend Car 6, please visit their GoFundMe page  — or visit their website. Sign up for their newsletter to receive updates on the progress of these and other restoration projects at the East Troy Railroad Museum.

Seasonal/Special Train Events

SUMMER MONTHS

  • Milwaukee Zoo Train {TBD in 2020}
  • Opening weekend at the MILWAUKEE LIGHT ENGINEERING SOCIETY (Cedarburg) 
  • Day out with Thomas – Green Bay (National RR Museum)
  • RAILFEST at the East Troy Railroad Museum
  • Bay Beach Train – Green Bay (May through September see WEBSITE)
  • Whiskey River RAILROAD DAY  – 2020 July 11th at Little Amerricka
  • Chicago Day at the East Troy Railroad Museum
  • 3 Summer Trainfest Builder Clinics 
  •  

FALL

Pumpkin Train Rides

  • Pumpkin Train at Little Amerricka
  • LIONEL RAILROAD CLUB of Milwaukee- Semi annual open house is November 24 & 25
  • Annual Model Railroad Open House Nov EVENT at the Oconomowoc Historical Society hosted by Milwaukee North Western Railroad
  • Free admission to the Oconomowoc Historical Society while trains are running
  • TRAINFEST® , America’s Largest Operating Model Railroad Show with five football fields of running trains and family activities, at State Fair Park is November 14-15, 2020 {cancelled in 2020}
  • MILWAUKEE LIGHT ENGINEERING SOCIETY Pumpkin Run Train in Cedarburg [Free] including night runs.  See all the events HERE.
  • Autumn and Pumpkin Train Ride weekends at the Mid-Continent Railway in North Freedom during October
  • The Great Pumpkin Train at the National Railroad museum in Green Bay
  •  

Christmas Time

Ticket Happy Pass Trainfest

    • The magical ride will take you a half hour from East Troy Depot (2002 Church Street, East Troy, WI) to Santa’s workshop located at the Elegant Farmer. Here children can visit Santa and get a photo taken with the jolly elf himself! Santa’s workshop wouldn’t be complete without a craft project and some hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy after working on those crafts! Sold out in 2019. Look for tickets in Summer 2020 for next season.
  • HOLIDAY TRAIN Comes through Wisconsin (Oconomowoc & Hartland nearest locations)
  • Polar Express Ride out of Green Bay WEBSITE (sold out in 2019!)
  • SANTA TRAIN at the Mid-Continent Railway in North Freedom runs November 2019
  • TRAIN DISPLAY at Country Springs Hotel [FREE] 

train

  • Christmas Village, one of two buildings located at the end of the trail, is home to an amazing model train display. Featuring six model trains running throughout four different levels of animated scenes, this display is sure to be a hit with people of all ages. Also located in Christmas Village are additional holiday displays, including an area to take photos, and a concession area where guests can purchase refreshments.
  • ZEIMER’S MODEL TRAIN OPEN HOUSE 2019 dates TBD
  • Train Display at Shady Lane Greenhouse in Menomonee Falls. The KFH Legacy train will run on Saturdays!
  •  

trainfest train guide image  Kids Run Trains at the Layouts at  Trainfest®

WINTER

SPRING

GO FOR A [TRAIN] RIDE - TRAIN TRIP IDEAS

Here is a list of some places you can ride a train and approximately how far they are away from Lake Country.

KNOW OF ANY OTHER PLACES TO RIDE A TRAIN IN WISCONSIN? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS AND WE WILL ADD TO THE GUIDE FOR ALL TO ENJOY!

Santa Train Ride, East Troy Electric Railroad East Troy Christmas Trains Lake Country Family Fun  East Troy Railroad Museum

Train Dining

  • Choo Choo Charlie’s in Kenosha – Kid-centric train restaurant constantly has train-themed movies playing, has four different trains running
  • PC Junction in Bailey’s Harbor – This is the ultimate train-themed restaurant. Every detail here has been thought of, from outside decor and play areas to the interior where your food is delivered via model train.
  • Buffalo Phil’s in Wisconsin Dells – Your food is delivered on a TRAIN!
  • La Estacion Mexican Restaurant in Waukesha – It literally has seating in an old box car and is by the tracks
  • Maxim’s at The Oconomowoc Depot – Boxcar dining right by a real railroad. Model railroad runs in the restaurant.
  • Titletown Brewery & Restaurants in Green Bay – When trains go by, they ring the bell!
  • The Crossing Restaurant in Pewaukee – located near a train track
  • SteamYard Coffee Shop in Hartland -Mildy train themed and not too far from train tracks!
  • Whelans Ice Cream & Coffee in Oconomowoc – There is a wooden train in the patio garden
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY SPECIAL TRAIN-THEMED DINING? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS AND WE WILL ADD TO THE GUIDE FOR ALL TO ENJOY!

Parks/farms/places with trains

GREEN MEADOWS Green Meadows

  • Imagination Station – There is a play train in the little kid area
  • Madeline Park in Sussex – Train-themed park (new!) in Sussex. N6523284 Elm Drive , Sussex. Madeline Park is a 7 acre open space park located on the northeast edge of the Stonefield subdivision on Waukesha Avenue, south of the Union Pacific Railroad line. My kids call this the “Train park”.
  • Cushing Park – There is a wooden train with steering wheel
  • Green Meadows – They have a brand new wooden train and train room! The train room has ride on trains, over 5 train tables, train toys of all kinds and more!
  • Shady Lane Green House Menomonee Falls – The KFH Legacy Model Train resides in a separate greenhouse (the House of Blooms) and measures 4,800 square feet. train runs every Saturday and Sunday 10:00am till 3:00. It is always best to call before coming.
  • Wales “Train” Park -Right off of the Glacier Drumlin trail in Wales is a wooden play train. Grab a coffee at MAMA D’S and enjoy it while your kiddos play on the train. The train was just updated by Wales Family Dental!
  • Oconomowoc Historical Society – The museum in Oconomowoc has a model train display also. On the night of trick or treat, the museum is open with free admission and lots of treats! Trains are running that night as well.

KNOW OF OTHER FUN PLACES WITH TRAINS? COMMENT BELOW AND WE WILL ADD TO THE LIST!

RAILROAD CLUBS

  • Lionel Railroad Club of Milwaukee
    • Parkland Plaza
    • 2721 South Calhoun Road New Berlin, WI 53151
    • (262) 754-9900
    • (entrance in back of building)
    • “One of the Oldest Railroad Clubs in Wisconsin”
    • Open to the public Fridays, 1 to 10 pm (Free)
    • (and Saturday & Sunday hours October > April 1 – 5 pm)
    • Don’t miss the trains
    • WEBSITE

 

  • Milwaukee Light Engineering Society
    • 2620 Country Aire Dr Cedarburg, Wisconsin
    • We are a live steam club that has almost a mile of 7.5″ track on 6.5 acres.
    • The Milwaukee Light Engineering Society was founded in 1969. M.L.E.S. is open to all individuals interested in mechanical devices and all phases of their construction.
    • WEBSITE
 
KNOW OF OTHER LOCAL RAILROAD CLUBS? COMMENT BELOW AND WE WILL ADD TO THE LIST!

Train Hobby Shops

WANT YOUR LOCAL RAILROAD SHOP ADDED TO THE LIST? COMMENT BELOW AND WE WILL ADD IT!

Hidden Gem Spots

  • Nixon Park – Trains go through the area and you can see/hear them from the park
  • Bridge in Butler, WI overlooking the train depot
  • Dickten Park in Nashotah. Trains can be seen going by on the tracks, which are across the street (a safe distance) from the park.  Also, there’s a fire station next door.
  • Frame Park Waukesha –  you are bound to see/hear a train here if you play
  • Kiwanis Village Park in Pewaukee– three trains went by in ten minutes when we were there the other day (you can also catch trains from Pewaukee Beach)

WHERE ELSE DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES VIEW REAL, LIVE TRAINS? COMMENT BELOW AND WE WILL ADD TO THE LIST! 

Don’t forget to share your train fun with Lake Country Family Fun on Instagram (IG) with #lovelcff. 

Find us on IG HERE.

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A Lake Country Kid's Guide to [all things] train

 

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE TRAIN ACTIVITIES!

Do you have a train ride, a train dining spot, a train trip, a train viewing area or park with a train that is not on this list? I bet you do! Well…share the train tips with your fellow Lake Country Families. Email them to us at Erin@lakecountryfamilyfun(dot)com or use the contact form button. We will add them to the list.

4 thoughts on “A Lake Country Kid’s Guide to [All Things] TRAIN”

  1. Lionel Railroad Club of Milwaukee
    Parkland Plaza
    2721 South Calhoun Road
    New Berlin, WI 53151
    (262)754-9900
    (entrance in back of building)
    Semi annual open house
    April 7 & 8, 2018
    November 24 & 25, 2018

    Also monthly swap meets during winter months

    milw-lrrc.com

  2. Hidden Gem Spot:
    Dickten Park in Nashotah. Trains can be seen going by on the tracks, which are across the street (a safe distance) from the park. Also, there’s a fire station next door.

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