Thursday, August 16, 2012

Travel Town Museum

Thursday, August 16, 2012
My Cost: Free!

5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Another hot August day. I woke up this morning with no plan or idea of where we might go, so I took to the computer to see if there were any events. I saw that there was a story and craft activity at the Valley Plaza Branch Library, but not until 4:00. So I put that idea on the back burner and went back to the drawing board.

I decided on the Travel Town Museum in Griffith Park. I have driven past the trains on many occasions, and once several years ago I even stopped and asked about admission cost and hours. FYI, there is no cost. (Although back then there was someone stationed in the booth accepting suggested donations. I guess they have suspended that.) Weekday hours are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and weekends from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The best thing about this museum is that it is so wander-able! It's outdoors and you stroll, and there are lots of benches so you can sit and relax. There is an Exhibition Hall with some horse-drawn carriages and wooden cars that need more protection from the elements, but beyond that it is just a big park with trains in it! There are lots of picnic tables and even those built-in barbecues (though I'm not sure if we're allowed to use them when the fire threat is high.)

Lots of picnic tables are available - pack a snack!
Inside the Exhibition Hall there was an area called "Holden's Corner: Travel Town Museum Children's Learning Center." I was pretty excited about the possibilities there. Maybe a train for the kids to climb on? Things to interact with like buttons to push, or a track to switch? Sadly, no. It was a big space with a small-scale train in the center that we weren't allowed to touch, and off to one side was a table with a toy train track on it, but you have to go check out a train to use with it. I think this area is more enjoyable if you check the Travel Town Calendar and come on a Play Day (the next one is September 2nd.)

The untouchable model train.

The toy train tracks are on the table surrounded by the benches. I do love the mural!
Steps away from the Exhibition Hall is the Gift Shop. We didn't go inside, so I can't comment on it's selection, but it looked quaint from the outside!

In between the Exhibition Hall and the Gift Shop is the Travel Town Railroad. They built it to resemble an old-fashioned train station with old-fashioned ticket windows and a waiting room with a heavy black safe and sparse furnishings. The rides are cheap (see below), but had already ended by the time we got there. The last trip of the day was going around the tracks and there were only two passengers: another mother and her toddler.

Last loop of the day! Can you see the conductor waving at us?
It was not at all busy, perhaps because of the heat, or because this is the first week of school for LAUSD students, or maybe just because it was so close to closing. We did come across three other mother-and-toddler pairs, so I felt like I fit the visitor profile!

I imagine Steam Punk types would love this place!
The stroller that I always say is like pushing a train, next to an actual train. Love Vivi's face!
Such a good spot to wander!
Vivi is Miss Independent and exited the Museum all on her own.

No comments:

Post a Comment