The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Yesterday the weather was having a cold front and the high was in the low 90s. So I jumped at the chance to go to this railroad park out in Scottsdale, Arizona. I haven’t been there for like 10 years and had forgotten how pretty it is. I could live in that city.

Anyway, I drove up the the railroad park and museum with low expectations after the Natural History Museum. The natural history museum was a lot of fun for the kids but personally I’m not into dinosaurs or the history of Arizona. haha!
Trains? I’m not really into trains either, honestly, but I ended up LOVING this place. I was really interested and read as much as I could in the museum part. The kids were interested in running around so I didn’t get to see nearly as much as I wanted but such is the life of a mom.
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I have been balancing picture taking really, really well in my life lately. I take a LOT of pictures at once and then put the camera away and enjoy myself the rest of the time. Or if I really want to pull my camera out to snap a picture during the stuff we’re doing I leave it on autofocus and basically point and shoot so that it takes like two seconds to take a picture.
All that to say, every time I did bring my camera out to snap pictures Ember would smile! haha, she was loving the camera. And Payson, because my camera hasn’t been in his face very much lately, was loving pictures, too!
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We got a pack of 12 tickets for $10. We ended up having two left over at the end.
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Waiting for our turn to ride the little train around the park.
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All aboard.
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I didn’t take any pictures during the ride. I love these ones of them waiting. They were so excited!
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I knew Payson would like the train and I figured Ember would but I didn’t expect her darling reaction. She was oohing and aahing (truly) and smiling and waving at everyone and giggling… it was THE CUTEST. Payson was looking around at everything taking it all in. His favorite part (and mine) was going through the tunnel. I quoted to him from his book, “Freight Train” (a favorite of his) while we road for a few seconds. He LOVED that.
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Next up was the carousel!
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It was a really great one, too. One with horses that went waaay up and waaay down low. I only took pictures before the ride started, of course. During the ride Payson had fun but got scared if I touched him at all. I think he thought I’d cause him to fall or something? haha
Ember was smiling so big and just being the cutest thing ever. People around us were watching her and smiling and waving to her. Everywhere we go everyone fawns over her. She’s just so cute. And so super sweet. She has a genuine, intense love for life.
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I love how you can tell that Payson was holding on so tight! haha. He had the time of his life all day. He was on his best behavior and being SO sweet and funny. My heart was pretty much bursting for love for him ♥
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For memory’s sake I took some pictures of them after the ride by the horses they’d ridden on. Both the white ones shown, Ember’s was in the back, Payson’s in front.
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Next we went to the museum part. It was on an actual train. The train was built and used in the 1900s (if I’m remembering right!! lol) and was SO FUN to explore. They had everything perserved as if you would ride it. It was really, really interesting to see the rooms and the bathroom and kitchen and everything. It’s all so much smaller than I thought it would be!
This picture is of Payson by a display- he was really scared of that mannequin! That’s why he’s on the outside of the stroller from it! haha
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About to go in the train.
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There was a button you could push that made this small train run on a track by the ceiling. Both kids thought that was the best thing ever.
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They pushed the button and ran back and forth following the train while I looked at pictures and read the information in that room 🙂
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This was the second car we went into, where all the rooms were.
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I won’t bother posting the pictures of inside the rooms. I doubt the pictures are interesting. They don’t show well the scale and what it was really like. So I was too lazy to edit and resize them to share. haha
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They had these little mirrors in each cabin to show you what you couldn’t see from the hall. You weren’t allowed in the rooms, they were gated off, so this way you could see the other side of the rooms.
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The kids loved all the mirrors. haha. So did I 😉
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Payson was mildly interested in this part. He WAS interested and looked in each room and talked about it a bit but then quickly ran on. I wanted to linger observing the details.
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I love the kids’ expressions in this one. haha
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Ember took off towards the entrance. I called her back.
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She stopped to see a few of the rooms again on her way back. It was adorable because she really did stop and look in every single room. Cutie patutie.
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The end of the museum part of the park. The kids outside the train.
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They ran down the ramp towards the exit.
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Next we bought frozen yogurt and an icee and went to sit in the grass with our treats and some snacks I’d brought from home. While we were there eating the train came by with other people on it and Ember waved and waved and waved and said, “hiiiiiiiiii!”
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All of the people on the train pointed her out to each other and were laughing and smiling at her and of course waving back.
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She waved at them as they went alllll the way around the park, until they were out of sight.
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I wanted to get a wide view of the tree we’d eaten under.
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The last place we went to at the railroad park was a huge exhibit of model trains. The entire building was full of this giant landscape of towns and railroad tracks. I didn’t bother taking a picture because there’s one on the website (and I was busy coralling children) but it was neat if you’re into model trains. I am if they’re for little kids. Seeing a bunch of grown men so into them was interesting 😉 haha
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This was just a small scene along one of the back walls.
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Payson had to go potty, of course.
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There was this little electric trolley on display near the front. I let the little kids play on it (after asking if that was ok) before we left.
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A couple of snaps at the entrance to the place before heading home.
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