Who knew trolleys could be so much fun? This place is a hidden gem! I had never heard of the National Capital Trolley Museum until a couple months ago when I saw their Holly Trolleyfest advertised. I wanted to take my girls during this event in December but the month was busy and we didn’t make it there. So, I decided to take the girls this past weekend to check it out. It was too cold to do anything outside and they were going stir crazy in the house, so it was the perfect time for a visit to the museum!
After entering the Main Hall, Clara spotted the Rock Creek Railway Co. model trolley exhibit and ran straight over. It has a control that visitors can move to operate the street car from Rock Creek Loop to Chevy Chase Lake. There is also a wheel to crank and other buttons to push on the side of the exhibit to turn on lights in the homes and businesses.
Also in the Main Hall, is the Street Cars Go to the Movies exhibit that includes a small theater.
Large panels in the Main Hall illustrate various communities in the region where street cars were in operation.
Of course, the best part of the museum for my girls was riding the street car.
The 2 mile ride lasts about 20 minutes and takes visitors through the Northwest Branch Park. We saw several deer on our ride and the girls had fun pointing them out. The driver stops halfway through to punch tickets, give a bit of a history lesson about the street car, and answer questions.
After the trolley ride, we took a tour of Street Car Hall that includes trolleys from all different eras, localities, designs, and purposes.
We spent about an hour at the museum and my girls definitely had a good time. I think any child who likes trains would enjoy this museum. It’s small and wasn’t busy the day we were there so that made it a very low key and manageable activity with two little ones.
Good to Know:
•Admission is $7 (ages 18-64), $5 (ages 2-17 & 65+) and includes unlimited rides on the trolley. Admission for the museum only (no rides) is $4 (all ages).
•Open Saturday and Sunday 12-5pm. At select times throughout the year, the museum is also open on Thursdays and Fridays. Check the operating schedule here.
•Trolley rides are offered every 40 minutes. When you arrive, check the schedule located just inside the entrance to find the next departing time.
•The museum offers birthday parties and school field trips.
•There is a gift shop that sells a variety of items for kids and adults including books, toys, t-shirts, and posters.
•Stroller friendly, although the museum is small enough you don’t need one for toddlers.
•The museum offers special events including the Holly Trolleyfest in December, where children can ride the trolley with Santa.