Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Orange Empire Railway Museum
I had the opportunity this past Saturday to take my family to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris. Words can't begin to describe what an amazing place this is for kids and adults alike. It's an incredible place that will not soon be forgotten by our family. In fact my husband and I are going to plan a date around it just to go out and explore the grounds. The Orange Empire Railway museum is 88 acres and quite extensive- so make sure to bring great walking shoes, sunscreen, hats, water and if you have the really teeny tots a good sturdy stroller.The Museum grounds are quite large and contain numerous buildings, parks and outdoor areas to explore. The grounds are quite large and there's a lot to see! Our kids just loved running in the open space (although we were a little paranoid with the trains running around). You will have exhausted kids from exploring all day. The museum is home to the West's largest collection of railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings and other artifacts dating from the 1870's (they even have old Disneyland ticket booths there!!) Your little trains enthusiasts will have the opportunity to learn all about locomotives, steam engine and my absolute favorite (I'm a Los Angeles history buff) - the old Pacific Electric red cars and Los Angeles Railway yellow cars. We were able to walk around the hangers and see the trains that are in the middle of restorations by the dedicated volunteers. We were also able to explore different railway cars and locomotives which the kids went bonkers over. They loved shouting all aboard and manning the controls. My son was in train heaven!! There was so much to explore and although we spent 3 hours there it really was not enough time. While admission and parking for the Museum is free, a ticket must be purchased to ride on the Museum Railway. The ticket is good for the entire day, for as many trips as you wish. Your fare goes directly towards meeting Museum operating expenses. On regular weekends, an all-day pass to ride the trains costs $12 for adults, $8 for children 5-11, free for kids under 5. We could not resist and opted to purchase a day pass and boy was it worth it. We rode two pacific electric cars, two southern pacific trains and a trolley all for about the price of a movie. It was an amazing experience and the kiddos of course were thrilled. I would say that this most definitely is an outing that would take a couple of hours. There is a park/picnic area where you can enjoy lunch under the shade. Pack drinks and a picnic and you will be set!! There is also a snack shop with food that not only was tasty but quite reasonable. I would also make sure to pack a camera because this is a photography heaven! The museum is open everyday- however most of the exhibits and the railway are closed weekdays. The best day to visit is on the weekends from 9 am to 5pm- although the railway runs from 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. The museums is located at 2201 South "A" street Perris, 92570 We had no problems with our directions from mapquest and our navigation system. It led us right to the entrance. You can learn more about the museum here. I am trying a new feature to the blog- taping our little excursions- and my husband helped me capture a little bit of our experience. I hope you can all go out and explore this hidden gem. It is an experience that your family will always remember- I promise!!