Tim has been wanting to check it out for months and for some reason we designated it as a 'special' outing for their birthday. Our plan was to head over for a day trip to the park, but the morning was filled by their Open House preschool event (I will hold off and rave about that later).
So, we headed out more towards the noon hour, directions in hand. I have to laugh because this was my first trip to Griffith park and in my mind it seems miles and miles away, as if we had to plan to get there. In reality it is a thirty five minute drive (sans traffic) and we ended up stopping to eat in Pasadena to let the boys get a little more nap time in their seats.
There are so many things I loved about the place we visited (there are two train parks and we went to the northern one).
It is FREE to enter and use. The only pay part is the tiny train ride that circles the park. The trains are old and huge and accessible for the most part. There is a sense of Time there, walking through all the tracks and rusty parts and slightly smelly old cabs. The passenger car we walked through had real moulding and glass etched windows and hard wood floors.
It had the boys running full tilt back and forth until Owen tried to put his mouth on the window sill and I had to draw the line. History aside, that is just gross.
We took a ride on the tiny train and I think both boys like it, we just had to work a bit on keeping them in their seats. They finally settled in for a bit next to their Daddy and proceeded to point out all the trains we were passing.
The added bonus was once we got off, watching the train from the inside of the park seemed just as fun to them. I loved how all the families riding made a point to wave back at us as they passed, at least the first time round.
Tim pointed out that the conductor of the train was wearing a hat quite similar to Owen's, we did not find Mace's in time but he was not too fond of wearing it anyway, preferring his sun hat instead.
If you are close enough to make the trip, I think it is one of the best places we have been for small children. There is grass to run in, exhibits to see, it is fenced in and safe for the most part (because, really, what can be called safe to any two year old). There is a model train set up with tunnels and mountains, the glass low enough for even our smallish kids.
Okay, one weird thing. When we made our way into the indoor area, I noted twin girls about 3 or so with their parents. They were just getting ready to go, so we just waved. Then I turned to a small train and saw a set of boy/girls twins toddling about, we had a minute to talk to the parents. 17 monthers. Only a minute to talk because theirs discovered the stairs. Which made me remember those months when stairs were scary. Glad those are over. Then at the train window, I noticed two taller boys with the same profile and their Dad and I laughed because that meant 4 sets of twins all in one spot at one time, and not a Twin Club in site. Great minds must think alike?
All in all, it was a fun and pretty quick trip.
We stayed about 2 hours, were home by 430 in time for dinner and opening my sister's amazing gift to the boys with plenty of time for them to play with it. But, that is another post topic, one that deserves it's own spot light. More on that soon.
Here is a good link, like I said, we did the Northern park but have plans to hit up the Southern one soon. That is the one with a mile of track to wind through. Yay.
And we will not be saving a return trip for a special occasion, or maybe we will be making Wednesday a special occasion just to get out there again.