Climbing up “A” Mountain at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Wilshire Matute made it to Arizona in March. We traveled to Scottsdale, AZ to stay with friends. Amongst the highlights: Spending time with our friends’ dogs, Annie and Tesla; seeing abandoned bus shelters; and going to visit the McCormick-Stillman Train Park.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

If you’ve got a kid into trains and live anywhere near Arizona, let me tell you about the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. It’s not just any park: It’s a 30-acre holyland for train aficionados of all ages located in Scottsdale, Arizona, about 10 miles outside of Phoenix. And let me tell you why it’s amazing.

1. There is a train ride! Tickets to ride the Paradise & Pacific Railroads are just $2 a piece. The wait is reasonable. And it didn’t terrify my child.

2. The “Model Railroad” exhibit…which is a 10,000 square foot building with four model train exhibits, apparently managed by separate railroad clubs. onus: This space is air-conditioned – a must in the desert heat.

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3. Train-centric playground.
We didn’t have time to play in it, though many kids looked like they were having a good time.

4. Good food.  The food was decent, kid-centric and affordable. We got the chili, mac ‘n’ cheese, a small carton of milk, and a packaged salad for $13. I was excited to have this as an option, as it was far better than trying to dart across the eight lane road the park was on to access the closest dining establishment. (That’s Scottsdale for you.)

Menu for the Snack Stop Caboose. Click to make large.


Scottsdale Railroad Museum at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Phone: 480-312-2312

Tip: Bring your own food or study that Snack Shop Caboose menu above to see if you can eat anything on it. Pass on it if you are gluten-free or have a nut allergy. There is a restaurant nearby but that necessitates either moving your car (read: putting your kid in a carseat and being that person who drives across the street) or dashing across an 8-lane road and hoping everyone stops in time. There. I said it.

Until next time,
Sirinya