Boys have a fascination with trains early on in life and my son is no exception. However, he takes loving trains to a whole new demension. Thomas the Train is his absolute obsession. We have tons of Thomas videos, little trains and almost all of the tracks you can buy. When he uses all of his tracks, it extends from his play area into the livingroom, diningroom and the kitchen. I don’t know how many times I almost kill myself walking around the house!
My son has ADHD so the Thomas videos and episodes on TV are only a few things that keep his attention. He can sit still for Thomas longer than he can anything else. It has been the best thing to help him calm down. Or make him more excited at times when he sees Thomas.
Today we took him to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. He has been begging for months to go there. Although it isn’t exactly close to us, it’s the closest thing we have to a decent park. I remember going to this park when I was a little girl, but it has changed since then and I think the new addition is great not only because it is free but it keeps train enthusiasts entertained as well.
For being such a warm day, there was a lot of shade and opportunities to cool off in air conditioning. I think our son’s favorite part of the park is the new addition. Some of the model trains include Disney toys on the trains and Thomas is seen pulling several trainloads. There is a mock of a real train that kids can climb on and part of the wheels that you can take pictures next to in the front of the building.
Everything in the park is pretty much ADA compliant and unless your child can’t be lifted and put onto the train, there isn’t anything they won’t enjoy. If your child loves trains as much as mine does, then this is a great outing for you! The larger train that goes around the park is 2 tickets or $2 a person and the carousel is $2 or 2 tickets per person. This is relatively cheap for the benefits you get from it. The train does take you on a rather long ride, so it is worth it.
We have gone at Christmas time and the lines have been atrocious. But today, the lines were non-existent and we were actually able to enjoy being out and about as a family. It’s especially hard in the Phoenix area this time of year not to feel totally smothered by the heat, but it wasn’t so bad there.
My father had a love affair with trains as well and when my son is older we will set up his grandfather’s trains. I personally do not see the attraction to trains as this mode of transportation is no longer a necessity to get across the country. However, there is something probably soothing to the clickety clack of the train on the track and for kids who have special needs that can be comforting.
I highly recommend this park for parents who need to escape the house and give their kids a little low cost fun. It’s hard to find things that are cheap and this is one of the rare quality gems.