All Aboard! Did you know that there’s a hotel in downtown Indianapolis where you can sleep in a train car? I’ve been hearing rumors about this train hotel for years and I finally can tell you that this isn’t just a rumor, you CAN spend the night in an authentic train car in Indianapolis! If you’ve got a train enthusiast in the family, or are just looking for a unique and memorable staycation in downtown Indy, the Union Station train hotel would be an unforgettable experience! Re-watch the Polar Express or binge some Thomas the Tank Engine to get pumped up for your stay!
Union Station Train Hotel in Indianapolis
Union Station in Indianapolis is America’s first Union Station and it remains today as a working train station. Union Station is now also home to the Crown Plaza Hotel where you can stay in a normal hotel room or you can check in to one of the authentic 1920s Pullman Train Car guest rooms that are actually on the real train tracks that trains once traveled on. Even if you don’t stay in one of the train hotel rooms, it’s an amazing sight to see the train on the tracks inside of the hotel.
The rooms are named after people who were famous in the early 1900s. There are also white statues throughout the hotel depicting people from the 1900s, wearing clothing from the 1900s. These are known as ghost travelers or ghost figures. You’ll see them trying to catch the train, pass them as you get on the elevator, and see them as you wander the hotel.
Sleep in Train Hotel Guest Rooms
The hotel rooms inside the train cars are super cozy. We all know that trains aren’t the largest spaces. The hotel rooms aren’t either since you’ll actually be sleeping inside a train car. In my opinion, they are the perfect size for a family of 2-4 people, depending on how small your little ones are! But good news – you can reserve adjoining rooms if you have a large family!
The train car hotel rooms are available with two full beds or a single queen bed. You’ll also have a television on a dresser, a seating area with two chairs, a desk with a chair, a small bathroom with a bathtub/shower combo, a small coat closet, and an area with a small fridge and Keurig machine. Each train has two rooms for a total of 26 train car rooms.
Splash in the Train Hotel Indoor Pool
The Crown Plaza Hotel at Union Station in Indianapolis has an indoor pool that’s great for relaxing and playing with friends. My kids loved the pool and could spend hours just playing around. Even though it’s a no-frills pool, it’s located within the train shed of Indianapolis’ Union Station, which is pretty cool. There are also two restaurants on-site at the train hotel so you never have to leave if you don’t want to!
More Train Fun Near the Union Station Train Hotel
The Crown Plaza at Union Station is an awesome place for a family to stay if they love trains and want to sleep in a train car. There are plenty of other Indiana train activities nearby if you’ve got a train enthusiast and want to make a long weekend out of your trip. Just a five-minute walk from the train hotel will put you at the Old Spaghetti Factory where you can eat inside a trolley car!
Just a short drive to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and you’ll be able to take a “ride” on a life-sized train and play with trains on tracks all day long. You’ll be able to ride the most powerful locomotive in the world at the time, the Reuben Wells—straight from Madison, Indiana. Transport back to the 1890s when you buy a ticket and hop on the train for a quick ride through the countryside. Step inside a huge mini-model train set up, play with toy trains, operate control lights and signals on the tracks, and design your own railroad on a computer.
There are so many train and railroad activities in Indianapolis, pick one to try today!
Things to do with Kids in Indianapolis
The Crown Plaza Hotel at Union Station is located in the middle of downtown Indianapolis and there is so much to do right when you walk out the door. You are next to the Indiana Convention Center and Georgia Street, two places where a lot of fun Indianapolis events take place. This train hotel is just a 10-minute or less walk to Monument Circle or Bankers Life Fieldhouse where you can see the Indiana Fever play, cheer for the Pacers, or enjoy a concert or family-friendly performance like Disney on Ice.
You can also walk very quickly to nearby Lucas Oil Stadium to see a Colts game, tour Lucas Oil Stadium with your kids, or attend several other events throughout the year like our favorite, Monster Jam. Stay at the Crown Plaza Hotel during GenCon for a quick and easy walk to the nearby festivities and a touch of wild fun.
Only 15 minutes away from all of the White River State Park attractions (or 5 minutes by car), and you’re in the prime space to spend the day at the Indianapolis Zoo where your kids can have animal encounters and do things like paint with elephants and dolphins. There are a lot of family-friendly things to do along the canal. Make time for a visit to the Indiana State Museum or the NCAA Hall of Fame, both located right along the canal. During the warmer months, you can enjoy a concert on the lawn, rent a hammock to use at White River State Park, or take your kids to an Indians Baseball game.
We hope you have the best stay at the Union Station Train Hotel! For your next sleepover or staycation, try the new Bottleworks District featuring amazing restaurants, duckpin bowling, a pinball arcade, a theater, a virtual reality room, a spa, a salon, an award-winning boutique hotel, and more.
If you’re looking for other winter activity ideas, check out nearby skiing and snowboarding slopes. For an epic adventure closer to home, visit the Ice at Carter Green for outdoor ice skating in Carmel, check out a local sledding hill, pick one of our 100 winter break activity recommendations, or think about all of the other ways to play in the snow. For more ideas of things to do in the summer, check out our 101 Days of Summer in Indy Bucket List checklist.
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