San Diego Model Railroad Museum ~ For The Train Lover In All Of Us

"Ride" the trolley before entering.

“Ride” the trolley before entering.

If you are a model train enthusiast, or if your kid just loves Thomas the train, spending a couple of hours at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a fun way to get your train fix.

Located inside the popular Balboa Park in downtown San Diego, the railroad museum is a quaint, slightly hidden gem. It is in the basement of the Casa De Balboa building. Just outside the main door is a full size trolley car (that’s cut in half) that the kids can ride in and watch a little video on trains. Once inside the museum the models are vast and detailed.


The kids loved not only seeing the trains chug along the extensive track but they loved to look at all of the little scenes the conductors had set up. Their favorite was the carnival scene.

So much detail in all the scenes.

So much detail in all the scenes.

We had visited during Christmas time so they had a special holiday room that was made up just with winter scenes that included snow and visits from familiar bearded fellow. This particular room changes throughout the year. One of the volunteers suggested that we stop back next October when the room is set up for Halloween.

The Christmas room is covered in holiday scenes.

The Christmas room is covered in holiday scenes.

The volunteers that are at the museum are as plentiful as the tracks they loving lay throughout the museum. Be sure to chat them up about all things trains and you’ll learn some extra facts you might have missed in the normal self guided tour.

The kids had a blast walking through the maze of train scenes and I liked that they were all behind Plexiglas so I didn’t have to keep as keen an eye on wandering hands. Though the train sets were placed a little high, there were plenty of ramps and stools for the shorter kids to stand on to be able to easily see everything.


Plus they also have some full sized train items that the kids can touch and see up close.

So if you need to keep the kids busy for a couple of hours while at the park. Head to the railroad museum and have fun feeling like a kid yourself.


They do offer a military discount on the already very reasonable admission prices.


One response

  1. My favorite Balboa Park museum!!!


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