As far as childhood fascinations go, Thomas the Train ranks up there as one of the few characters that has truly stood the test of time. The little blue train and his faithful crew of friends have been delighting kids since the original stories were first published in 1945.

As captivating as the series’ books, shows and toys are, there’s nothing like watching the look of awe that lights up a child’s face when they have their first encounter with a life-size train. Why not make tracks this summer for some real-life train time? Here are seven fun suggestions that train fans of all ages will adore.

 

 

  • 1

    Halton County Radial Railway

    The Halton County Radial Railway (HCRR) is Ontario’s first and largest electric railway museum.

    Its collection features historic electric railcars including streetcars, locomotives, freight trains, passenger trains and more. Admission includes unlimited historic streetcar rides on two kilometers of scenic track with a stop at the museum’s famous ice cream shop, as well as access to the grounds, display barns and the historic Rockwood Station. There’s also an on-site gift shop stocked with unique railway-inspired finds and tasty treats.

  • 2

    Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology Golden Horseshoe Live Steamer Days

    Train fans will get a true sense of the power of steam at this National Historic Site. Housed in a historic waterworks, Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology has lovingly preserved two 70-ton steam engines that are believed to be the oldest surviving Canadian-built engines. While the guided tours, exhibits and various special events are interesting, the museum’s Golden Horseshoe Live Steamer Days held from May through October are a definite can’t-miss for train lovers of all stripes. These special days feature miniature steam engines that visitors can actually catch a ride behind and free guided tours of the museum.

  • 3

    Hamilton Waterfront Trolley Tour

    Head to the Hamilton Waterfront for a fun and educational trolley ride that will take you along 12 kilometres of scenic shoreline past active marine and rail operations, marinas, and historic bridges. Forty-seven Discovery Drive is a great starting and ending point for the ride, which lasts just under an hour. When you’re done, stop by Williams Fresh Café or Waterfront Scoops Ice Cream Parlour for a treat.

  • 4

    Puddicombe Farm and Estate Winery

    For a more rural ride, stop in at Puddicombe Farm in Winona, where you can hop on board and enjoy a train ride through fruit fields. Leave time to pick your own fresh in-season fruit, including sweet and sour cherries, blueberries, apples, pears and pumpkins. Thrill your tried-and-true train lovers with an overnight stay in the farm’s very own caboose! The air-conditioned Country Caboose sleeps three and has a fully equipped kitchen and three-piece bathroom.

  • 5

    African Lion Safari

    For a train ride that will make you think you’re in the African Savannah, don’t miss African Lion Safari‘s Nature Boy Scenic Railway. The historic train is pulled throughout the 16-hectare reserve by a miniature replica of an 1863 C.P. Huntington Steam engine, past exotic species from around the world, wild animals and birds native to southern Ontario. The 15-minute ride is included with park admission.

  • 6

    Westfield Heritage Village

    Treat train lovers to some time travel with a visit to Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton. Step inside the historic Jerseyville Railway Station, which was built in 1896 when ten trains a day ran between Hamilton and Brantford. It’s also the same station that was featured in the Anne of Green Gables movie and the Road to Avonlea television series. Be sure to get some pictures with the TH&B 103 Locomotive that’s also on display in the Village. This steam locomotive was originally built in Montreal for the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway and is one of only two that has been preserved.

  • 7

    Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail

    If you’d like to retrace the route that the old locomotive from Westfield Heritage Village used to cover on the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway, load up your bikes and spend a few hours riding the Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail. The former rail line is now a scenic 32-km trail surfaced with stone dust.

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Now thru September 20

Lazy River Tubing Paris to Brant Park

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Raft - Personal Kayak-Raft Reg $/person $36.96 + HST; Various times available; Starting point at...

Now thru December 31

AGH at Home

Art Gallery of Hamilton

123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4S8

Some activities are free while others have a cost attached to the link.

Now thru August 30

Learn to Stand Up Paddleboard

Staycation Beach and Boat Rentals Inc.

1094 Lakeshore Rd Burlington, Ontario

$78.95 + HST book online & waiver required

Now thru October 12

SIX SPOT TOURS – WESTFIELD VILLAGE

Westfield Heritage Village

1049 Kirkwall Rd, Rockton, ON L0R 1X0

Tickets must be pre-booked by phone. Admission prices:  $15.00 per vehicle to visit the conservation...

Now thru November 1

Self-Guided Grand River Group Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Various times available; Starting point at 113 Grand River St North This trip can launch...

Now thru November 1

Hamilton Architecture Crawl

Tourism Hamilton

28 James Street North, Hamilton, ON, L8R 2K1

August 15 - 16

Adult/Teen Summer Art Classes – Watercolour & Mixed Media

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant

20 Ava Road, Brantford

10 am – 4 pm each day; Location is at the Coach House; Fees: $120...

Now thru September 15

Learn to Kayak

Staycation Beach and Boat Rentals Inc.

Binbrook Conservation Area, 5050 Harrison Road, Hamilton, Ontario

Price: $100-$145 Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. - 2 to 1.5 hr sessions July 7 & 14...

Now thru October 2

BATTING CAGES

Adventure Village

580 Van Wagners Beach Road Hamilton, Ontario L8E 3L8

Mon - Thurs 10 am - 9pm, Friday 12 - 10pm; Saturday 10am - 10pm;...

Now thru December 31

Virtual Tour – Griffin House

Griffin House – National Historic Site

733 Mineral Springs Road, Ancaster, ON, L9H 1A1

Now thru October 15

Overnight Grand River Canoe Camping Trip

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

113 Grand River St N Paris, ON N3L 2M4

Starting at 113 Grand River Street North, Paris.

Now thru August 30

Sunday Music in the Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens

680 Plains Road West Burlington, L7T 4H4

Admission-Adult $18; Youth/Student $15; Senior $15; Child age 4 to 12-$10; Child under age 4...

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