Take the kids on fun pint-sized train rides near Milpitas, in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Beloved tiny train gives rides in San Mateo’s Central Park. According to the sign, it runs weekends only except from Jun 15-Aug 15, when it runs weekdays from 10 to noon, otherwise Sat and Sun from 11 to 1. Also, the train does not run in bad weather (cloudy/raining). The city park website does not list the correct hours, but does list a number to call in advance to confirm hours of operation: (650) 340-1520
Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad
Vasona Park, Los Gatos. There are two locomotives, the primary one, Number 2, is a 1905 vintage steam engine of the 2-6-2 prairie type, weighing approximately four tons. Runs year ’round, unless it’s raining too hard. 233 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
Casa de Choo Choo
Casa de Fruta’s Narrow Gauge Railroad is fun for children of all ages. The two-mile long track meanders through the complex, passing along scenic Pacheco Creek, past the zoo and the enclosure that is home to peacocks and rare white deer that originated from William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon menagerie. For the train rides’ schedule, call 408-842-9316.
The 30-minute train ride (more or less… it seems to depend on how actively the passengers interact with the engineer!) starts at the “station” atop a couple flights of stairs behind the gift-shop/ticket office. Piercy, Mendocino County, 75001 N. Hwy. 101.
Golden Gate Live Steamers
Located in Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, California, the Golden Gate Live Steamers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit museum whose mission is to operate a miniature live steam railroad, to teach, inform & promote model engineering craftsmanship for the benefit of our members and to educate the public on what live steaming & model engineering is all about.
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Rides
Ride the “Danny the Dragon” train. Happy Hollow has new rides that will be sure to delight all ages. Please be aware of the height requirements and other restrictions for each ride. In some case an adult will be required to ride with a child that doesn’t meet the minimum height requirements.
Outback Express Adventure Train
Like the Little Puffer, this train is located at the zoo—the Oakland Zoo, in fact. But, you can access it without buying zoo admission. You will still get a little glimpse of the wildlife: the train travels through the Australian exhibit (hence the name) and emus occasionally try to make a break for it when the gates open to let the train through. The ride is affordable at $3/person over the age of 2, however, you will still have to pay to park at the zoo. 9777 Golf Links Rd. Oakland, CA 510-632-9525.
Redwood Valley Railway
Train rides along a scenic ridge on a scaled-down steam train. For information, including hours and ticket prices, call (510) 548-6100. 2501 Grizzly Peak Blvd & Lomas Cantadas, Orinda, CA 94563
Sonoma Train Town
Train Town is located on 10 acres with one and a quarter miles of track. Scale is 3″ to a foot. Upon arrival at Lakeview you can stretch your legs and visit the petting zoo.
SPCRR Train Rides & Museum at Ardenwood
The Railroad Museum operates scheduled train rides on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from April 1st until the weekend before Thanksgiving. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd, Fremont, CA 94555