Urban Muse

Editor’s Note: This was meant to be an article in a series of “Places to Go in Enid This Summer.” I failed my writer by putting it on the shelf waiting for other input. My extreme and whole-hearted apologies to Mrs. Houston. She’s a wonderful writer, we are lucky to have her, and I should have printed this long ago.

“I’ve Been Working on the Raaailroad…!”

Not really. Pretty sure I didn’t fool anyone there, right? But I was the ridiculous mother who sang that song to my boys while we played on the railroad tracks at the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma. Right here in Enid, America. Yes, folks, if you didn’t know it, we have a really cool Railroad Museum. It’s a hidden treasure, modestly tucked away on the corner of West Walnut and Washington.

If you’re looking for something to do with your kids during the summer, give the Railroad Museum a try. And don’t be fooled: What it lacks in glamour it makes up for in tangible charm and authentic history.

I took my two boys here recently for the first time, and while my five-year-old was instantly bored with the signs and tableware inside the museum, the largest, shiniest black train engine he’d ever seen caught his attention in the rail yard. Perhaps it evoked scenes from one of his favorite movies, The Polar Express. Or maybe the trains we saw while on tour in England just didn’t compare in magnitude. Either way, he was in awe. For exactly six minutes. It wasn’t long after a very quick self-guided tour into the engine’s control room that he simply said, “Cool. Can we go home now?” It turns out he was slightly more interested in playing Super Mario on the Wii that day.

We took another quick tour through a dining car, which agreed was also pretty cool. And after he took a few snapshots from the Fisher Price Discovery Camera, he reminded me that he wanted to go home. Over and over again.

The trip wasn’t a total fail. Both kids enjoyed playing on the tracks. And even I felt a little insubordinate, as if someone was going to yell at me to get off the tracks like they did when I was a child. I balanced on top of the metal rails and hopped in and out of the wooden beams, remembering when playing on the tracks was a common, yet rebellious act.

I’ll be going back to the museum one day without the kids, so that I have time to read the historical signs and really get a feel for the railroad’s history in Enid. For now, I’ll leave you with a warning: There is nothing for two-year-olds here.  In fact, it’s probably the most evil place to take a two-year-old. There are toy “choo-choos” everywhere, and they can’t touch ANY of them.  Older kids are likely to enjoy it, though. And, if nothing else, it’s a great photo op!

Photo gallery from the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma:

 

Sarina Houston: Sarina comes to Enid after spending four years in the UK eating crumpets and jet-setting to Europe’s best vacation destinations. She has lived in 12 homes in six different states and two different countries. Somewhere along the way, she picked up a handsome military husband, two equally handsome little boys, a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science, and a knack for writing. When she isn’t writing articles or flying airplanes, she can be found battling ninja warriors, racing Hot Wheels, or picking bits of dried Play-Doh out of the carpet. She can’t stop drinking coffee and will sleep any chance she gets. Sarina is chasing careers in both aviation and journalism, and like everyone else, continues to seek the ultimate life balance.