It’s not a secret that Capitol Hill is an excellent neighborhood to raise and entertain children. The oft-repeated comment in my house is “what are we going to do today?” With the metro, a bike or regular wheels you’re within easy reach of tons of great ways to keep your young ones entertained, learning — all while wearing them out. Which brings us to trains!
My son’s obsession with all things ‘locomotive’ started before he turned one year old. It’s been a non-stop passion since then. Perhaps it was the freight train horn we heard about 3 a.m. far too regularly in his first eight months, or the early rides on the metro. “Train, train” is our rally call.
So, if you have a similarly-inclined young one there are several places to get his or her fix. I just discovered the best one behind Union Station where you have an amazing view of the train yard. It’s noisy and seems to be quite active and you can even grab a coffee at XXX and enjoy the view from on the patio behind the office building on the north side of the block between I and K Streets, NE.
Other stops on your train journey is the underpass by Marion Park but that will soon be in the demolition stage of the tunnel project. Inside Union Station is the obvious spots though you really have to scout around to find a good vantage point — especially important to the kiddos that barely reach 3 feet tall. There’s usually a train exhibit in the Great Hall over the holidays. The National Postal Museum has an antique train car filled with mail-related gear that’s fun to explore. Beware: your kid may want to spend an hour climbing in and out of the tractor-trailer cab. Just saying.
If you have any other favorite spots, please do pass them along in the comments. I may have a train boy that turns into a train man, so there may be many years of sightings ahead.