Visiting Lancaster with the Kids: Strasburg Railroad

Two weeks ago, the kids and I excitedly packed an overnight bag looking forward to a “girls getaway” as one last hurrah before the summer ends. We were headed to Lancaster for the 2 day trip and were thrilled to be experiencing some of the best family attractions that the area has to offer.

Our itinerary for the 2 days looked like this:

Day1:
AM: Strasburg Railroad

Overnight Accommodations at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
Day 2:

As we headed out to Lancaster and the Strasburg Railroad, I was reflecting on our family’s first trip to the Railroad several years ago when my oldest was a toddler. I have such fond memories of that trip we made with her, and I was hoping that this visit would be just as exciting for BOTH of our girls. When we pulled into the parking lot and my kids were squealing with delight from the back seat, I knew it was going to be a fantastic day.
Once there, we waited on the platform for our train to pull in. My youngest daughter kept saying “They’re so BIG!” referring to the train cars in front of us. And, compared to her, they are VERY big. Once we boarded, we picked our comfy seats and enjoyed the warm summer breeze that blew in through the open windows.
The train loop is about 45 minutes long to Paradise, PA and back. The kids had a great time looking out the windows to see the Amish countryside as we rambled along. There were beautiful fields of corn, cows in the pasture and thick tree groves. We even passed by Cherry Crest Farm where we were headed later in the day and got a sneak peak of some of their awesome attractions (more on that in another post)!
(my girls enjoying the view)
By the time we pulled into the station, the kids were hungry, so it was a perfect opportunity to stop for a picnic lunch courtesy of Trackside Cafe. My kids devoured their lunches in record time and hurried off to check out the other station attractions. Their favorite by far were the Cranky Cars, which are mini cars that the kids self-propel on tracks using hand cranks. My girls thought they were so much fun.

Strasburg Rail Road

We then took some time to peruse the station’s several gift shops and toy stores. One of the shops is dedicated almost entirely to Thomas & Friends trains, toys and other merchandise. And, speaking of that wildly popular Thomas the Train, did you know that Thomas makes regular appearances throughout the year at Strasburg Railroad for a “Day Out with Thomas”? He will be visiting again September 11 to the 19th. Check out the Railroad’s site for information and ticket purchases.
We had a fantastic time at Strasburg Railroad and would recommend this destination to anyone with children. My girls loved experiencing the train ride and learning more about trains in a very kid-friendly way.
If you want to learn more about Strasburg Railroad, please visit their website and connect with them on both Facebook and Twitter.
And come back tomorrow when I tell you all about our next stop on our Lancaster overnight trip…. Cherry Crest Farm! There is so much for families to see and do in the Lancaster area. We can’t wait to schedule our next trip!
*Disclosure: My family was provided free admission to the above attractions, lunch at the Railroad and overnight accommodations in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and, as always, I’ll tell you the real deal about what my impressions and experiences are. All opinions are expressly my own.

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