‘Pumpkin Patch’ rail rides celebrate fall
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, October 12, 2017
“Leave the driving to us” could be the motto for three fall family jaunts, in which participants can sit back and relax as they view colorful foliage vistas from a vintage railroad car or trolley — and head to an area pumpkin patch with the kids.
At the Danbury Railway Museum, visitors are invited to ride Pumpkin Patch Trains through the historic rail yard in a 1920s passenger coach, pulled by a vintage ALCo RS-1 diesel-electric locomotive (or similar vintage locomotive) to the special pumpkin patch where each child ages 2-12 will receive a free pumpkin, says Tom McCullough, museum spokesman. Children are encouraged to come in costume.
The popular annual family event will be offered on three weekends: Oct. 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., with trains departing hourly beginning 30 minutes after opening each day; last train is at 3:30. Admission is $12; children under 24 months are free.
“Of course, the exhibits, artifacts and multiple operating model train layouts inside the restored 1903 Danbury station will be open for your education and entertainment. The kids can also enjoy the free activities such as the coloring station, temporary tattoos, cider and cookies,” the museum says.
Museum literature points out that the Danbury Railway Museum, 120 White St, Danbury, is a nonprofit organization, staffed by volunteers, dedicated to the “preservation of, and education about, railroad history.” In the collection, housed in and around Danbury’s former Union Station, are more than 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives. For info: danburyrailwaymuseum.org
Shore Line Trolley Museum/Branford Electric Railway Association also offers its Pumpkin Patch excursions for the next three weekends. Tickets are $10 per person, and may be purchased on site.
For more fall-themed events, visit ctvisit.com or visitnewengland.com
“Enjoy a trolley full of fall fun!” is the catch-phrase at the Trolley Museum, 17 River St., East Haven. It is the billed as the oldest operating trolley museum in the United States, founded to preserve the heritage of the trolley car, the museum says. The Pumpkin Patch is a “non-spooky” fall event for young children and families, it added.
While supplies last, children may select “their own little pumpkin to decorate and take home. Kids are sure to have a great day with toy trains to play with, coloring stations, face painting, and plenty of seasonal decorations. ... Don’t forget the camera!” museum staff say.
Trolleys will depart every 20-30 minutes to the Pumpkin Patch between 11 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.; no reservations are needed. For info: shorelinetrolley.org
Railroad Museum of New England, 242 E. Main St., Thomaston. A pumpkin patch jaunt and fall foliage tour also operates every Saturday and Sunday through Oct.29; rides are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.
The museum’s stated mission is “to tell the story of the region’s rich railroad heritage through our educational exhibits and operation of scenic and historical train rides on the Naugatuck Railroad.”
“During the Pumpkin Patch trains, visitors will be able to ... view much of the fall foliage south of the Station, along with making a stop at the RMNE’s very own pumpkin patch. Here, kids will be able to go out and select their very own pumpkin to bring home. This ride is very popular, especially among younger kids ... in the weeks leading up to Halloween.”
Tickets are $18; seniors and children (3-12), $16; toddlers, under 3, $1; family pack, 2 adults and 2 children, $50. Info: rmne.org
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