You know what Mandy and I love even more than discovering new outings??? We love finding new ways to make some of our old favorite outings even better!!! Like this Holiday Toy Train Display in Portland. So, how do you top a FREE and amazing display of model trains that my kids always go crazy for? With muffins and cake, of course! This year, after my family checked out the display, we zipped down the road to a wonderful bakery and cafe called Melilli’s for some delicious treats and wonderful flavored coffee! Mmmmm…you know how we love our coffee 🙂 They also serve a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner options and the family-friendly set-up (yes, there are high chairs!) makes it perfect for a quick refueling stop with your little ones. I think this will be a new tradition in my family 🙂
Here’s a schedule of the 2015 Train Display so you are sure not to miss it! Enjoy! ~Shawna
And be sure to keep reading Mandy’s post from last year’s event for a sneak peak and all the details!
Did you have an opportunity to check out our segment on Better Connecticut this week? If so, you heard us chatting about our Holiday Events Guide (have we plugged that thing enough, yet? Ha!) and all of the fabulous FREE activities included in this year’s list.
We had a chance to mention a few of our favorites on the show, but there are so many others we could have discussed including a popular category on our list, train displays.
Shawna and I have been wanting to check out one such train display for a few years now and finally got a chance to meet up last weekend (with the kiddos of course) at the Connecticut Cellar Savers Fire Museum in Portland to see their FREE exhibit.
From now until January 11th, the train display will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. (See the full 2014 schedule below for all the details.)
The museum is relatively small, but easy to find. It’s located right off Main Street in downtown Portland and parking is available in the rear.
Once inside, visitors can sign the guest book and, if they are feeling generous, leave a monetary donation.
As a novice train enthusiast, the displays seemed impressive to me. They included not only trains, but so much more: miniature towns, famous Connecticut landmarks, and whole city blocks.
Boo and Bruiser were rather impressed themselves.
Sparkles thought it was very entertaining as well!
On the side of many of the train displays were these buttons the kids could push and add a little extra to the miniature scene. One button made a building garage open up and out rolled a fire truck (that was a hit). Others made workers saw a tree or made a trolley run.
And for families that want a little challenge during their visit, the museum has a scavenger hunt they can try. Find all 20 items and be entered to win a museum t-shirt. For me and Shawna, trying to keep an eye on all our little ones was challenge enough!
I think Bruiser could have stood and stared at this train all day!
And my kiddos kept trying to steal the Hershey kisses out of one of the displays. (I have to admit that chocolate was rather tempting for me as well!)
After we finished enjoying the beautiful train display at the Connecticut Cellar Savers Fire Museum, my kiddos were still itching to see more. If we had time, I could have taken them across the bridge to Middletown to visit another holiday train display at Amato’s Toy and Hobby. But we didn’t have time that day because we were heading to a friend’s house for lunch (Hi Joanna!) and needed to be on our way.
So if you are looking for a quick, fun, and FREE outing this coming weekend, consider heading over to Portland, Connecticut for a visit to the Holiday Toy Train Display at the Connecticut Cellar Savers Fire Museum.
Holiday Toy Train Display
Phone: (860) 342-1187
For even more information, access their Facebook page.
- Mostly Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
- November 28, 2014 – January 11, 2015
- Check out the schedule included in this post for all the details.
- FREE but monetary donations accepted
- Stroller Friendly: MAYBE. There are no stairs and the train displays are all located in one room so technically a stroller would work just fine. However, the space is small, so if you can manage without a stroller, that might be better.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: I DON’T KNOW. Forgot to ask about this item during my visit!
- Restroom: YES. According to Shawna they are in the way back of the building. I totally forgot to check.
- Baby Changing Station: NO. At least we didn’t see one.
- Parking: YES. Parking is free and located behind the building.
- Food for Sale: NO.
- Outside Food Allowed: N/A. You won’t be there long enough to worry about this item.
- Cash Required: NO. Cash is technically not needed because the event is free, but you might want to have some available for donations.
- Dress Code: NO.
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES.
- Discounts: Not needed. It is FREE!
Other Tips & Suggestions:
- Make sure to look for buttons surrounding the train displays. They can operate all sorts of fun things like making a fire truck move or switching a billboard display.
- The train display was pretty high off the ground and there were no step stools available when we visited. Be prepared to pick younger children up so that they can take a look.
- If you would like to continue your holiday train display experience, take the family across the bridge to Middletown where Amato’s Toy and Hobby has their own display. If you visit, though, be sure to bring some non-perishable food items for donation.
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