Summer is time for the family road trip! Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story ¦
If you have a train enthusiast in your brood, you absolutely must stop in at the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center in North Platte, Nebraska, home to the world’s largest train yard.
Every 24 hours, some 10,000 trains pass through, change cars and are serviced in North Platte–and you can see it all happening from the eighth floor.
(In fact, if you’re in town on July 4, you can also see a local fireworks display from the deck, too.)
At the museum, you can learn all about the history of trains in the region and modern logistics, which is super interesting if you’re either a Thomas the Train fan or a grandpa.
Alas, my 10-year-old twins yawned their way through this adventure; Charlotte spent the whole time begging for a Hershey bar from the gift shop.
Meanwhile, our manny Joel took special interest the graffiti covering some train cars, as he’s an art student at the University of Texas in Austin. (He suggested that graffiti artists use different color combinations than most other artists, which is something I had never considered.)
As a journalist who writes about young children, I found the small exhibit on “Orphan Trains” especially compelling. (Catholic charities once made it possible for parentless children to travel via train to the Midwest and be placed with families–one of the nation’s first foster care programs. I actually popped for the PBS documentary on the subject in the museum’s store, which I then required my twins watch as we sped across the Nebraska plains.)
Anyhow, I spent $24 for the five of us to enter. I’m not sure it was worth it for my particular group of travelers, but depending upon who is in your back seat, you might want to give it a look.