If your kid lives in Central Indiana and loves trains, we have some great fun for you! Check out these Indianapolis area train rides, train hotels, train events, train activities, train museums and more! These are the best places to visit with kids who love trains and the railroad.
Indiana Train Rides
These family friendly train rides are close to Indianapolis or worth the drive.
- Hesston Steam Museum
- Nickel Plate Express Railroad
- French Lick Scenic Railway Train Rides
- Whitewater Valley Railroad Train Rides
- All Indiana Trail Rides
- Character & Themed Rides in Warren County, Ohio
Day Out with Thomas Rides in Indiana
The Day Out with Thomas train ride is a favorite for our family. Find this themed train ride and others at the Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville. The Whitewater Valley Railroad will not host the Day Out with Thomas Train Ride in 2020. I know, we’re all disappointed too.
Indiana Live Steamers Mini Train Rides
From Spring until Fall, the Indiana Live Steamers Club offers $3 train rides aboard their real steam engines once a month! Small steam engine trains run the rails at Johnson County Park. Passengers pay $3 each for a 20-minute ride over and under bridges and through the woods.
3008 Rodeo Drive, Edinburgh, IN
Train Themed Restaurants
Pizza King Station Train Restaurant
A great stop for lunch for train loving tots is the Indiana favorite, Pizza King Station. Several locations have a train that circles the restaurant, stopping at tables to deliver beverages. You’ll find this fun at these locations:
7045 Bluff Road, Indianapolis, IN
8100 E. U.S. 36, Avon, IN
Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station
Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station (BRICS) is the former home of the Monon Railway Station. These days, Indianapolis area train loving families can choose from nearly 40 flavors of ice cream. On a cold day, heat up inside in front of the fireplace and on a nice day, sit on the patio and watch passerby’s on the Monon Trail.
901 E 64th St, Indianapolis, IN
Red Line Frozen Yogurt Train
Red Line Frozen Yogurt, named for Chicago’s busiest rail line is a south side treat. Choose from 21 flavors of fro-yo and 50 toppings at the counter in a real train car. Take a seat at the back of the train or in the spacious shop that’s fashioned to look like a subway station. Kids will love the magnetic train themed walls.
5920 E. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis, IN
Choo Choo Cafe
This quaint cafe is located in Atlanta, Indiana, home to Mr. Muffin’s Train layout and shop. Check ahead to be sure they’re open, as they aren’t serving food daily quite yet. The food is good and the location is great if you can visit the famous layout while you’re there. Don’t expect to see a lot of train themed decor or activities in this space, but Main Street is home to some of the best train fun in Indiana!
185 W Main St, Atlanta, IN
Los Panchos Mexican Food Train Car
While visiting the Lincoln Pioneer Village during our visit to Santa Claus, Indiana for the holidays, we had lunch at Los Panchos, a small Mexican food restaurant built inside an old train caboose. The food was very good and there was a children’s menu.
715 N 5th St, Rockport, IN
Crown Plaza Train Car Hotel Rooms
Stay the night in a train at the Crown Plaza Hotel in the Old Union Station downtown. 26 of the rooms are old train cars still on the original tracks! You can even swim in the old train station!
Train Displays & Railroad Layouts
Mr. Muffins Trains
Most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Steve and Liz Nelson allow families to check out their large collection of miniature steam, diesel, and electric trains at Mr. Muffin’s Trains . Tiny tracks travel through miniature cities and hand painted waterscapes created by this duo. Information: (765) 292-2044 or www.mrmuffinstrains.org. Stop in and grab a bite to eat at the Choo Choo Cafe or shop at the Train Shop, also operated by the train enthusiast duo.
165 E Main Street, Atlanta, IN
Trains at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has an entire area dedicated to transportation by train. Walk in and out of a real train, operate miniature train track lights, crawl around and see the miniature displays, run a train station…there are so many “jobs” for your child who loves trains.
Columbus Railroad Club at Johnson County Park
The Columbus Area Railroad Club calls Johnson County Park their home. They have a layout in a building where they operate their trains for the public on the third Saturday of every month except for September. Admission is free.
Richmond Furniture Gallery Train Rides & Collection
Only about 90 minutes away, the city of Richmond also has a love for trains. On Saturdays and Sundays, check out the model trains and then take a free ride aboard the train at the top of the Richmond Furniture Gallery.
EnterTRAINment Junction has the largest train display in the world! Over 2 miles of railroad tracks make their way through a 25,000 square foot train display that’s busy with moving parts, lights, water and more. There’s a play area, a fun house attraction area, train museum and more.
Seasonal Railroad Fun for Kids & Their Parents
– Take a ride on the Polar (Bear) Express at these locations throughout Indiana. It’s a special tradition for many train loving families.
– Conservatory Crossing is a special display of electric trains, holiday decor and poinsettias in the Garfield Park Conservatory. Enjoy a fun seek and find!
– The amazing Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg will take your breath away! The beauty of the set up created with natural goods will set the stay for your own little conductor’s future creations.
– Ride the Santa Claus Express at Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum. This Indiana artifact is a historic rite in itself.
– Sullivan Hardware in Indianapolis has their fun Christmas train ride experience, Sullivan Santa Express. Check it out!
– Fort Wayne is host to the Fort Wayne Santa Train.
– During September and October you can ride a train at Lark Ranch in Greenfield and Lark Ranch in Loogootee.