National Railway Museum York Review -Family day out with a Toddler.

March 10, 2020

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We have visited the York National Railway Museum several times as a family, including taking our youngest as a baby and a toddler.

We find that you always need to allow more time than you think to see and do everything or focus on a section such as the Station Hall and then return and see the Great Hall on a subsequent trip.

We have been 3 times over the past 18 months and we still have more to cover.  Repeat visits are also made easier by the fact that the museum is free of charge to enter.  

You can if you wish choose to make a donation to the running of the museum in the collection boxes dotted around reception. 

 A family walking along the street towards a museum Getting to the York National Railway Museum

  • Starting your Visit off at the National Railway Museum 
  • On entering the museum you will be given a what’s-on leaflet for any additional activities they run throughout the year.  We find navigating the museum easier by hall. There are two main halls to choose from; the Great Hall and the Station Hall. You can go between both halls by using the stairs or the lift system for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

    Station Hall  2 children on a luggage cart by a train

    This large hall is where you will find the vintage trains from days gone by.  Think Hogwarts, Royal trains and carriages. Nestled in the centre of the carriages is a reasonably sized cafe serving snacks and drinks.  There is plenty of space on quieter days for families with young children to let off some steam running up and down the platform areas.

    Great Hall 

    A train in the railway museum York My older ones really enjoy visiting this hall as they get to sit in the Japanese bullet train, see the Eurostar, the turntable demo and if they have extra spending money there are simulators to try out.  Mine are yet to do this, so I cannot comment on what they are like.

    2 girls sat on a train at the York Railway Museum For families visiting the museum with toddlers and young children you can make the most of the Little Play Station.  With a soft area, dress up and role play area as well as wooden train table play.

    The great hall has a pretty large cafe right in the centre, so you can allow older children a little freedom under your watchful eye.  

    York Railway Museum family review with a toddler - photo of a museum train under a bridge walkway Adjacent to the great hall is a warehouse  full of artefacts which may be of interest to any young budding train enthusiasts or young children who like to soak up all the history.  

    Flying Scotsman exhibition at the York Railway Museum

    Museum Activities York Railway Museum land train at the York Minster

  • York railway museum outside picnic area

    Additional Museum Information for families

  • If transport museums are of interest to you and your family you can read our review of the London Transport Museum here.
  • I do hope that your family like ours enjoys their visit to the York National Railway Museum to have this great attraction full of railway history and free of charge is a real highlight whilst visiting York.    
  • York National Railway Museum day out with kids

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