For kids, trains and railroads are more than just a way to get from point A to point B. These old-fashioned locomotives are their fantasies come to life, and New Jersey is home to plenty of train rides for them to hop aboard. Many of these historic tourist railways operate one-of-a-kind antique, preserved equipment. They are located in bucolic scenery, small towns, and recreate the experience of rail travel from the era when it knitted the country together. Some even host special events and offer seasonal excursions that the whole family will enjoy.
A visit to a train museum can be a fun and educational experience, but the best way for kids to have the most fun is to take a ride on an actual train! Whether it’s a Thomas the Tank engine-themed trip, or an excursion through a tree-filled forest, these New Jersey train rides for kids will bring joy and excitement to any child. These unique attractions are also great settings for taking pictures of the little ones with their favorite characters.
Some train rides for kids nj include additional activities at the station and throughout the journey that will keep children entertained and engaged. In addition, most offer photo opportunities with trains and their surroundings, which makes for some wonderful photos that will be treasured for years to come. During the holidays, most train rides for kids nj will feature a visit from Santa and his elves. Kids can meet the big man himself and receive a gift before hopping back on board for a magical journey through a winter wonderland or holiday lights.
If you are a fan of the British series The Railway Series by Reverend W. Awdry and his son Christopher, you will love the chance to see the cast of lovable anthropomorphic trains in person at NJ’s Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. This family-friendly attraction features miniature trains, model railways, and even a Skyway Gondola that takes you high up in the air offering a beautiful view of the entire park.
The Whippany Railway Museum offers a scenic train ride to admire the changing leaves during the fall, or the Pumpkin Train that brings families to Pumpkin Junction where they can pick their own perfect-sized pumpkins, get lost in a corn maze, take a wagon ride, and much more before returning to the station. In addition, this historic railway hosts numerous special events from May through October including evening Caboose Trains, Reading Railroad Storytime, Great Train Robbery, Trick or Treat Express, Candy Cane Limited, North Pole Express, Victorian Christmas Special, and more.
Other scenic train rides for kids nj include the Black River Limited, which operates on weekends from May to September, and the North Shore Scenic Railway, which runs daily during peak season. Both operate historic narrow-gauge steam preservation locomotives. The Black River Limited provides service between Flemington and Ringoes, while the North Shore Scenic Railroad departs from the historic civil war-era station in downtown Morristown. Both offer a variety of special trains including the Polar Express (select dates Nov-December) and the Haunted Train.