“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: