Rest of the Best: 10 Best Places to Take a Kid on a Train in Houston

CC-BY-SA-3.0" target="_blank">Photo by Brian Reading
Our version of the El

Back when Houston decided it no longer really wanted to be the Space City anymore (The reasoning behind which still escapes me to this day), we rechristened ourselves the Bayou City and also got really into trains. When Enron Field opened the old Union Station location they went in for a distinctly train station homage, and the engine along the stadium walls celebrating the frequent home runs has become a beloved fixture.

My daughter loves trains. Most kids do. And the good news is that if you want spend a couple of days chugging along on choo choos with your kids there are some really first rate ways to do it.

10. Memorial City Mall Train
Let's start off with the "that's not a real train" entries to get them out of the way. There are two really good mall trains in Houston. The lesser of them is in the Memorial City Mall, with depots near the ice rink. The $4 ride through the mall is quite pleasant, though a bit cramped for adults. Sometimes the train stops by the gourmet popcorn stand for free samples, which is a plus.

9. Katy Mills Mall Train
For all intents and purposes the train ride at Katy Mills is identical to Memorial City, though I do believe it is slightly longer and therefore the better deal. I also kind of feel bad how often I rank Memorial City of Katy Mills in terms of attractions and the like, so here you go, Katy Mills. This one's on me.

8. Kemah Boardwalk Train
This ride is the closest that you can get to recreating the old AstroWorld train ride, as it weaves in and out of the roller coasters and other amusements on the Kemah Boardwalk. It also has a fantastic ocean view, but my favorite part is honestly olfactory. You pass tons of stands and restaurants selling fried deliciousness.

7. Old MacDonald's Farm Train
I can't say enough good things about Old MacDonald's Farm as an affordable day out for kids. For a very reasonable price you can pet plenty of animals, play in a great playground, swim, and yes, even ride a train around the property. It's not a visually exciting as the Kemah train, but as part of the overall fun of the place at rates that don't bust your wallet I think it's a better time.

6. The Quebec:
Though it doesn't actually go anywhere, try to find a free moment to head out to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and climb aboard the luxury car "Quebec". Built in 1879, the opulent and beautiful three-bedroom business car was used by the Canadian government to conduct high level mobile meetings between prime ministers and other dignitaries. It's a shame you can't actually ride anywhere in the 'Quebec", but it's a rare look into the high class rail travel of the 19th century. The rest of the museum is definitely worth the drive out.

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Location Info


Memorial City Mall

900 N. Gessner Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Katy Mills Mall

5000 Katy Mills Circle, Katy, TX

Category: General

Kemah Boardwalk

501 Bradford Ave., Kemah, TX

Category: General

Hermann Park

6001 Fannin St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Landry's Downtown Aquarium

410 Bagby, Houston, TX

Category: General

Galveston Railroad Museum

2602 Santa Fe Pl., Galveston, TX

Category: General

Houston Area Live Steamers

17400 Roberts Rd., Hockley, TX

Category: General

Houston Historical Tours

510 Walker St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Old MacDonald's Farm

3203 FM 1960 East, Humble, TX

Category: General

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You didn't mention Metro's light-rail (recently expanded) system or the Amtrak line that runs through Houston. For a day trip the Metro trains could be fun for kids. For an overnight trip take the kids on Amtrak to San Antonio or New Orleans. Mall trains shouldn't even be on this list - and certainly not above Metro or Amtrak. 

Stephanie Pina
Stephanie Pina

Michael Ferguson i think you will like this. I know you dad would have. :)

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