Though steam engines seem primitive by today's standards, they were once the only alternative to the stringent security checks and exorbitant baggage fees associated with hot-air-balloon travel. Meet the lumbering beasts that ruled the rails with today's Groupon: for $15, you get four admissions and four miniature-train rides at the Museum of Transportation on Barrett Station Road (a value of up to $40; admission rates vary by age). The museum is closed on Mondays through April 30 except for certain holidays; see here for more information.
For more than 60 years, the Museum of Transportation has given visitors the chance to get up-close views of one-of-a-kind cars, trains, and other mechanized movers. Scores of antique rail cars of every purpose and design, some harking back to the 1830s, inhabit the museum's vast collection, allowing train-obsessed tots to see how Americans came to occupy lands from coast to coast without ever actually moving their legs. Guests can climb on and explore some of the wheel-footed track animals, blow the whistles once used to signal the start of a game of train tag, and even hop a ride on the museum's miniature train (a $4 value per ride), which makes its rounds three times every hour. The museum's Earl C. Lindburg Automobile Center pays homage to what Henry Ford called “locomotive-less road trains,” including the Chrysler Turbine Car—the only operational example of a turbine car on public display—and a glimmering 1941 Cadillac with whitewall tires and a mischievous grin. Airplanes, boats, streetcars, and buses round out the museum's vehicular revue.
An invaluable resource for wheel reinventors and road warriors in training, the Museum of Transportation is open seven days a week during the summer and six days a week the rest of the year. Although all the admissions and rides obtained through today's deal must be used within a year of purchase, they don't need to be used in one visit (you will receive vouchers for any unused admissions or rides), meaning you can celebrate every solstice and equinox by nuzzling up to the iron maw of your favorite locomotive.
The miniature train ride is available through October 31 and will be available again in the spring.
- We took our grandson here and he loved it. If you love trains this is the place to visit. – Blackwolf1, TripAdvisor
- The Museum of transportation is an exciting place to see train cars of an era go by, the cars are fully restored or in the original condition. One of the Vanderbilt's [sic] private cars is on display. – Gregory F., Insider Pages
Museum of Transportation
The Museum of Transportation sprawls across 129 acres, presenting its vast collection of automobiles, boats, planes, and trains dating from the mid-1800s to the present day. More than 70 massive locomotives reside in the museum, including the largest successful steam locomotive, the Union Pacific Big Boy—though later examinations revealed that the train is actually female. Explore rare autos—including a motor carriage dating back to 1901 and rides owned by Dean Martin and W.C. Fields—and a fleet of military aircraft that constantly snubs visitors by pointing their nose cones skyward. A miniature locomotive leads a following of bright-red cars around the museum grounds, and the hands-on Creation Station gives tots aged 5 and under the opportunity to familiarize themselves with modes of transportation outside of diesel-powered strollers.