Our first adventure at Balboa Park found mom, Steffie and I at the Natural History Museum. However, Balboa Park has eleven museums on its grounds, and once my train-enthusiast mother and I found out about the Model Railroad Museum we knew we would be making a return visit the next day. Located in the lower level of Casa de Balboa on the Prado, this non-profit corporation has seen close to three million visitors since it opened thirty years ago. With 27,000 square feet, SDMRM is one of the largest model railroad museums in the entire world and focuses on miniature representations of California railroads. Volunteers are constantly building, restoring and expanding the displays. It is a very impressive feat and my mom and I were instantly transformed into small, bright-eyed kids marveling at the numerous displays. We were definitely the only grown-ups without kids on the day we visited!
Here are some pictures from our visit:
- They have a special room designated for hosting birthday parties.
- There is a Toy Train Gallery 3-rail live cam on the homepage of the website.
- Admission: $8 (adults) $6 (seniors) $4 (military w/ ID) $3 (students w/ ID) Kids 14 and under are free
- Remember to bring your shiny pennies and two quarters to get a commemorative smashed penny!
- Memberships are available at different price brackets. Lots of bonus points for being a member, the most obvious (and rewarding) being that you keep the museum chugging along!
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
1649 El Prado Suite 4
San Diego, CA 92101 website