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The Smith Family Adventures: California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento

June 16th, 2011 by bsmith | Filed under Sacramento Adventures, Sacramento Family Travel.

Destiny and Jared Show off their Label Creations@ California State Railroad Museum

Yesterday the Smith Family visited the California  State Railroad Museum in Sacramento California.  I have fond memories of visiting this museum with my four year old train fan Justin.  The little engineers cap we bought him was worn by three Smith kids before being passed on to a friend of ours.  At the time, Justin was fascinated by the Thomas Trains upstairs, but also enjoyed the full sized train exhibits.

Jared, Jr. Thomas the Tank Engine Engineer 2011, California State Railroad Museum

Eight years later Justin returned with his  brother and sister in tow.  The Thomas the Train play area was still a big hit with every Smith kid.  We spent about half of our time in that area.

Twelve Year Old Justin's View, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento

Twelve Year Old Justin's View, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento

This Sacramento Road Trip is focused on our family’s rich history.  My Dad’s grandfather,  Frank McGarrity was a train engineer as was my Mom’s Uncle Frank. (Ironic,  isn’t it? Two engineers named Frank on two different sides of the continent)  This engine was the same kind driven by my Great Grandfather Frank at the turn of the century.

Great Grandfather Frank's Engine, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento

One of the most kid friendly activities at the museum was about those beautiful labels that they put on the side of fruit crates.  Tucked away in a corner, this exhibit covers the fruit growing and packing industries which played an important role in our family’s history.  My mom worked as a peach packer one summer,  Destiny’s great grandma works for a Watsonville fruit cannery, and my Dad’s cousin Jack was an orange rancher.  The kids enjoyed learning important role that trains play in moving California fruit across the country.  They also had a chance to use a magnet board to make their own colorful fruit crate labels.  What an ingenious activity!

Destiny's Fruit Variety Label, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento.

Jared Prouldly Displays His Fruit Label, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento

The kids enjoyed walking through a variety of real train cars from different periods of history.  The mail car and the train kitchen was particularly impressive.

Mail Car, California State Railroad Museum Sacramento

Kitchen Car, California Train Museum Sacramento

The California State Railroad Museum is a must visit Sacramento attraction for kids of all ages.  Be sure it has a spot on your family’s itinerary.

Happy Trails,


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