Wooo, woo – Alllll Aboard!
That’s a common phrase heard in my house from my 6-year-old. He’s been fascinated with trains since before he could walk, so I knew we had to visit the Tellus Science Museum on his birthday, to check out the new “All About Trains” exhibit.
Although the exhibit is in a relatively small space, in the Cars to Space gallery, it is large with information and fun for any model train enthusiast! The exhibit offers viewers of all ages a guide on how to build your own model train, a brief overview on the construction/history of this exhibit, and a 100-foot model train that brings to life a charming and realistic model-sized seaside village.
Besides running up and down the length of the model-sized village to keep up with the moving trains, my son and I both loved the game on the wall of the exhibit – challenging “How observant are you?” You are asked to find 10 items within the model train village. Examples range from Girls jumping rope (my son screamed “easy peasy!!!” when he found it) to Man using a bullhorn (we’ll give you a hint – he’s on one of the cargo ships!). We were proud to find eight of the 10 miniature items and glad this challenge brought the whimsy of the model-sized village to life.
The instructions on how to build a model train exhibit truly broke it down, layer by layer, paint color by paint color, model tree by model tree. My son was hooked. It appeared so simple that even I, who normally shy away from anything involving acrylic paint and children, promised my son we could give it a try. Yes, parents, be ready to take DIY to a whole new but nostalgic level.
I was glad I guided my son to the “All About Trains” exhibit first before seeing the rest of the large museum, as it seemed to set the stage for play and exploration in the rest of the galleries. What a perfect place to take my conductor-in-training birthday boy to further his love of all things train.
– Valerie Shepherd