Fun for Kids at Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

My sons and I are currently visiting my parents in Sonoma, California, and we thought we’d spent part of an afternoon exploring the Sonoma TrainTown Railroad.

Sonoma TrainTown Railroad boasts “a quarter scale railroad on 4 miles of track. Each train trip lasts 20-minutes and goes through tunnels, over bridges and makes a stop in Lakeview – our miniature town and petting zoo. ” There are also a number of fun carnival-style rides, a gift shop, and concessions stand.

entrance to Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

Although the parking and admission are free, it was $5.75 for each of us to ride the train, and I paid $12.75 for a 6-pack of ride coupons (each ride takes one coupon). Not a very cheap adventure, but I do believe we got more fun out of it than we expected.

The park at Sonoma TrainTown is a bit dusty, but quite lovely, with several benches located in the shade.

the park at Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

The train ride itself was pretty great – they put a lot of thought into the corny-but-cute scenes along the tracks, the route winds through a pretty wooded area, and the tunnels were surprisingly long and spooky (warning for tender little kids – the tunnels are very dark!).

taking the train at Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

“Lakeview,” the miniature town and petting zoo along the train’s route, is worth getting out for a few photo opps, but my boys weren’t interested in the petting zoo, and a few minutes into the side trip, we were ready to get going again.

Sonoma TrainTown Railroad miniature town

Back in the main park, we waited in line for a few different rides, and while none of the operators seemed in a particular hurry (at one ride, we even had to wait while the operator finished running another ride just around the corner) the boys enjoyed themselves. If the rides weren’t $2+/ea, I would have paid for my boys to try all of them.

boys on carousel at Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

boys on rides at Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

We avoided the concessions stand, but did visit the gift shop, where most things were way out of our budget, but we did find a couple of magnets – and a crazy straw that Eli stuck in his mouth before I could stop him. You lick, you buy.

Eli at gift shop of Sonoma TrainTown Railroad

Altogether, we had a good time and I’m glad we went. I would suggest to others that they be prepared to relax and just go with the flow in TrainTown, as the general atmosphere was pretty laid back. It’s also a bit pricey, but I did see several expired Groupon and other daily-deal vouchers for TrainTown online, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for those deals if you know you’ll be coming for a visit.

*Totally unnecessary non-disclosure disclosure: Although I often work with companies to review products, events, places, etc, our trip to TrainTown was entirely self-funded and outside the business of my blog.

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  • Jenn_FiveDollarShake

    What a great day! Love your photos.

  • Kellyv

    LOVE this place! Have spent a lot of time there. Our oldest son had a MAJOR Thomas the Tank Engine obsession that started about 1 yr old & lasted til he was 5 yrs old. So I would be up there at least once a week. He’s 12.5 so of course that obsession has died down a bit 😉 Every year for Mother’s Day I say I want us all to go to church together, have a nice brunch, then head up to Train Town. We usually hit 1-2 wineries before heading home. Our youngest son is 8 & still enjoys going but if big brother thinks it’s uncool, so does he. So, sadly, I think our time here is over…. 🙁

    • Yeah, I’m not sure when we’ll be able to go again, or how interested the boys will be if we get the chance. This day was a rare, perfect point in time where both of them (5 & 12) really enjoyed themselves. I’m grateful for those moments! 🙂