Fun for the Whole Family at EnterTRAINment Junction

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EnterTRAINment Junction in West Chester, Ohio makes an awesome day trip or weekend get away for Columbus families!

This post is written in partnership with Visit Butler County!

If anyone in your family loves trains, EnterTRAINment Junction should be on your list of road trips this summer! What a fun place to explore!

EnterTRAINment Junction

model train

First of all, the model railroad display is amazing – in fact it is the world’s largest train display! The trains run on 2 miles of track and takes a journey through the history of railroads. Beginning in the 1860’s, the display takes viewers through the Civil War, into the Middle Period in the 1940’s and 50’s and into the Modern Period including subways!

kids looking at a model train

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

The display is so lifelike, it’s almost like you could step right into the city and walk the streets and wait for the subway.

Model Train

Model Train

kids watching a model train

This isn’t just for little kids. My kids loved this display, of course, but my husband loved it too! It’s a display that I believe has something for all ages!

model train display at EnterTRAINment Junction

model train at EnterTRAINment Junction

Upstairs, there is a separate model depicting Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park in it’s glory days (1965)! This is a 1000 foot, handmade replica that includes a roller coaster, ferris wheel, haunted house, arcade games and more! There are also interactive portions of the exhibits! You can press buttons on the exhibit that make the rides move, buildings light up and more!

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

Coney Island display at EnterTRAINment Junction

You can’t miss Imagination Junction, a play area for kids! There is a large climbing structure, small model train displays, a train to ride on and an area for toddlers to play, too! Socks are required to play here and are available for purchase if you forget!

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toddler play area at EnterTRAINment Junction.

Indoor play area at EnterTRAINment Junction

There are also two outdoor rides that are available Memorial Day through Labor Day. We didn’t get to experience these but friends have told me this was the best part!

Also inside EnterTRAINment Junction is the A-Maze-N Funhouse which resembles a circus midway. (Admission to this exhibit is separate.) There are various exhibits to enter and experience! Some of the exhibits were a little too stimulating for my kids, but they liked running through the mirror maze!

hall of mirrors at EnterTRAINment Junction

A-Maze-N Fun House at EnterTRAINment Junction

Last, but not least (certainly for my kids), were the amazing toy and gift shops! Honestly, I had to drag my kids out of the toy store to go see the exhibits! haha! There is a huge LEGO section, so I don’t think I need to explain myself! 😉

toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

Toy store at EnterTRAINment Junction

We try to pick out a new Christmas ornament every year when we go on vacation. Our 2018 ornament will be from EnterTRAINment Junction! 🙂 Get your souvenirs in the gift shop and almost any toy you can imagine in the toy store!

There is also a cafe on site and the space is available for birthday parties!

lobby at EnterTRAINment Junction  Cafe at EnterTRAINment Junction

This attraction is well worth the drive! We’ve had this one on our list for a long time and I’m so glad we finally did it! We spent about 2 hours here and the kids probably could have played longer in the play area if I had let them! But either way, that means you still have time for the Butler County Donut Trail!

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat before or after visiting EnterTRAINment Junction, check out Bagger Dave’s, which is close by! They have lots of Kids Meals to choose from and the restaurant is very family-friendly!

hamburger at Bagger Dave's

 

Know Before You Go:

7379 Squire Ct, West Chester, OH 45069
513-898-8000
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

  • EnterTRAINment Junction is running a special April 2nd through May 25th, 2018 where if you buy one Do-It-All ticket you will get a return visit for free! Get it All tickets are currently $14.95
  • In addition to your admission ticket ($13.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids 3-12), the outdoor rides are $3 and the Funhouse is $9.95. Check the website for group rates, senior pricing and other upgrades! Kids 2 and under are free.

EnterTRAINment Junction

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5 on Friday: Holiday Trains in Columbus

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Here are 5 holiday train and train related events going on around Columbus during the holiday season! Your train lovers will be in heaven!

One of the fun things about the holidays is the train-related events and displays that pop up around Columbus! These holiday trains in Columbus always make our list of must-do activities in November and December!

5 Holiday Trains and Events in Columbus Ohio:

1. Holiday Train at Ohio History Connection

holiday train at Ohio History Center

There is a Lionel Model Railroad set up at the Ohio History Center during their holiday season. Kids can interact with the train set, pressing buttons to make the trains go!

If you haven’t been to Ohio History Connection (or even if you have!), it would make a great trip over Winter Break! There are lots of interactive exhibits for kids including a cabin and hands on pioneer area! There lots of mounted animals to see and a small play area for kids! 

When: Late November – Early January
Where: 800 E. 17th. Ave., Columbus OH 43211

holiday train at Ohio History Center

2. Holiday Train at Main Library

holiday train at main library, columbus

Main Library is home to the Huntington Holiday Train and every year this amazing display is set up during the holiday season! The train is usually on display through New Years!

This is a handcrafted, Paul Busse railroad that is just incredible to see! There is usually a list of items to look for in scavenger hunt fashion hanging on the fence surrounding the railroad! Make sure to climb the steps to look down on the railroad and see it from a new angle!

When: Mid November – Early January
Where: 96 S. Grant Ave. Columbus, OH 43215

holiday train at Main Library, Columbus, Ohio

3. Holiday Open House at Central Ohio Model Railroad Club

boy in front of a model railroad

Every Saturday and Sunday in December you can visit Central Ohio Model Railroad Club during their Holiday Open House. They have an extensive lay out including an interactive Thomas the Train set up. Admission is free!

When: Each Saturday and Sunday in December from 12:00-4:00 PM.
Where: 6471 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

Central Ohio Model Railroad Open House

4. Paul Busse Holiday Train at Franklin Park Conservatory

Paul Busse Holiday railroad at Franklin Park Conservatory

Conservatory Aglow offers special holiday decorations, performances and evening hours at Franklin Park Conservatory. There is always a beautiful train display created from natural materials! The train circles the display while the display itself is turning in circles!

You can see this train throughout the daytime hours for regular admission or stop by in the evenings (after 5:00 PM) for special performances and activities for a special engagement rate. (Members receive half off.)

When: November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020: 10:00 AM — 9:00 PM
Where: 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43203

Paul Busse Holiday train at Franklin Park Conservatory

5. Holiday Trains and Letters to Santa at Ohio Railway Museum

Train at Ohio Railway Museum

Photo provided by Ohio Railway Museum

Ohio Railway Museum hosts Letters To Santa on December 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd (2018). (awaiting 2019 dates) Kids can write a letter to santa and mail it in the Railroad Post office Car and there will be craft making for kids! 

When: Select weekends in December
Where: 990 Proprieters Rd., Worthington, OH 43085

  • If you have kids that love trains, you should plan a trip to EnterTRAINment Junction, an amazing train museum open all year round!

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holiday trains in columbus, Ohio

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ICYMI: 10 of Our Favorite Columbus Christmas Traditions


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Exploring Ohio with Kids: Bellevue

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Bellevue, Ohio is a fun town to explore in the Lake Erie Region! With a great indoor play area, railroad museum and tasty barbecue there are a lot of fun things to do in Bellevue!

This post has kind of been a long time coming! We did this late last summer and it seemed too late to post it, so I’m sharing it with you now as an idea for a fun road trip this summer! Bellevue, Ohio is a small Lake Erie town about 2 hours from downtown Columbus.

We spent a week at Sandusky Bay and this is how we spent one of our days. It could be done in a one day road trip or you could spend the night somewhere near Sandusky and also visit the African Wildlife Safari Park!

Here are 3 fun things to do with kids in Bellevue, Ohio:

1. Jungle Junction

110 Cherry Blvd. Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-484-5532

Jungle Junction claims to be the largest indoor play structure in Ohio. I cannot verify this, but I will take their word for it! 🙂 This play area is designed for kids ages 12 and under and you must wear socks. I forgot socks and I was able to purchase a pair at the counter.

Jungle Junction play area in Bellevue, Ohio

Jungle Junction seating area

Around the periphery of the main play area is a toddler play area with animals to climb and slide on.

Jungle Junction toddler play area

Jungle Junction toddler play area

My kids had spent a lot of time in the toddler area until they gained the courage to enter the Tree Top Play area!

Jungle Junction Tree Top Play Area Bellevue, Ohio

Inside the Tree Top Play area there are lots of climbing structures, slides, tunnels, etc. There are also air cannons that shoot plastic balls all around the area. (If your kids are sensitive to this kind of thing, they do have a Sensory Day on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM where the air cannons cannot be used.) My oldest is sensitive to noise and it took him a while to get used to the noise and have the courage to go inside!

Jungle Junction Play area in Bellevue Ohio

ball launchers inside the play area in Jungle Junction

Admission is for the day, so you can come and go with a stamp on your hand. There is no charge for parents/caregivers and the price for children (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • Children 1 and under: $2
  • Ages 2-12: $6
  • Twilight Special – $4 (After 5:00 PM, Monday-Thursday)

2. Bone Boy’s BBQ – Bone Boy’s BBQ is now permanently closed. 

109 W. Main St., Bellevue, OH 44811
Phone: 419-483-7447

We’ve only eaten at one restaurant in Bellevue, but I can highly recommend this one if you like BBQ and it is kid friendly! I loved to see the meat being grilled right out back of the restaurant!

Bone Boys BBQ in Bellevue, Ohio

Inside Bone Boy's BBQ and Catering

A big bonus here is that kids under 5 eat free!

Kids Menu at Bone Boy's BBQ

Yum!

Plate of food at Bone Boy's Barbecue in Bellevue, Ohio

3. Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum

253 Southwest St., Bellevue, Ohio 44811
Phone: 419-483-2222

Wow. I took a lot of pictures here! There is SO MUCH to see! If you have kids that love trains, they will be in heaven at this museum! The museum is open every day from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and on weekends during May, September and October.

Outside of Mad River Railroad Museum in Bellevue Ohio

You buy your tickets in the gift shop – and then try to tear the kids away from the play area so you can see the actual museum! 😉

Boys playing with trains in the gift shop at Mad River and NPK Railroad Museum

Inside the Mad River and NKP Railroad Museum

This museum is very hands on! It has an indoor and an outdoor area. You can walk through train cars, climb into the cabs and see historical artifacts.

boys posing for a pictures in Engineer outfits at the Railroad Museum in Bellevue Ohio

old railroad equipment at the Mad River NKP Railroad Museum

things to do in Bellevue: See a train car at the railroad museum

inside a train car at the NKP Railroad Museum

The outdoor portion of the museum is across the street and there are many trains to climb into. Many of the trains have displays for viewing inside.

Trains in the yard at the railroad museum in Bellevue, Ohio

boy looking at a model train at the museum

boy pressing the button to make the train go at the NKP Railroad Museum

the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum outdoor area

boy walking through the outdoor portion of the train museum

boy looking out the door of the train car

Admission (as of May, 2017) is as follows:

  • $10.00 Adults
  • $9.00 Senior (60+)
  • $5.00 Children (5-12)
  • Under 5 FREE

We played at Jungle Junction in the morning, had lunch and then headed over to the Railroad Museum for the afternoon. With kids under 5 (at the time), we didn’t even have to spend that much money! It was a full day, and as you can imagine, the boys looked like this on the way back to where we were staying:

boys asleep in the car after a long day of fun in Bellevue, Ohio

We love to spend time around Lake Erie! Do you have a favorite place to visit there?

Here are some other fun things our family has done in the Lake Erie area:

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