Miniature Train - Stanley Park

notes from Mom

Activity:

Our two year old is infatuated by trains.  Ever since he first saw Thomas the Tank, Coleman has never been the same about trains.  His favourite, hands down, is the Choo-choo train at Stanley Park – particularly when it’s all decked out for Christmas.  Maybe it was all the festive scenes we saw en route, or the millions of flickering lights displayed outside the gate, but it truly was a magical experience – and not just for Coleman.  Even our groovy 11 year old and analytical eight year old couldn’t hold back their big smiles as the train chugged by the life-size figurines.  Christmas (thank goodness), only comes once a year, but the trains lives on all year long (except if it rains).  If Stanley Park seems like a long way for you to go to take a ten minute train ride, don’t forget the petting zoo and little kids’ playground are only a stones’ throw away.  Add to these, the Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park seawall, and water park (when the weather gets hot) and you’ve probably got more than your heart’s desire to pick from.

Age group:

At Christmas time everybody boards the train.  Somehow the magic of Christmas transcends the older kids’ worry about whether it’s cool or not.  Even at non-Christmas times the train ride brings back fond memories for your growing-up kids.

Expense rating:

See website below for current prices.

:

This is a nice outing because not only is the train ride fun, it’s nestled inside Stanley Park, a beehive of other fun activities.

:

If you venture down at Christmas, be prepared to wait.  We always go on a weekend at 4 pm to beat the crowds, and catch the first train ride, but then you miss the beauty of seeing the lights in the dark.  I imagine the parking can get tight as well.  Look at it this way, the perfect evening will draw the most people.

Details:

Open every day 11 am - 4 pm, Spring and Summer.
Open weekends only in winter, closed November for Christmas decorating, and longer hours in December for the Bright Nights in Stanley Park event.  

More information about the Bright Nights in Stanley Park can be found at this link: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park-miniature

*also closed during rain, snow, wind

For more information call (604) 257-8531.

Area:

Vancouver

Season:

All seasons

Educational highlights:

The miniature train features an exact replica of Locomotive Engine #374, which pulled the first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.   If your kids are nuts about trains checkout the miniature trains at the Burnaby Central Railway in Burnaby (only open on weekends) and the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish (which by the way is where you’ll find the Royal Hudson steam train).

Fun for the adult?:

Anything that brings excitement and glee to our two-year old and amuses our 11 year old at the same time gets a top rating from me.