Railway Museum Offers Toy Train Christmas

In Toppenish, model railroading is not a thing of the past. And during every Christmas season, parents from around our region have been introducing a new generation of kids to the magic of toy trains.

The Toy Train Christmas attracts thousands of people each year to the Northern Pacific Railway Museum in Toppenish. This year’s 18th annual event is open for visitors on Nov. 25 and 26 and will continue on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Toy Train Christmas is intended to bring back the days when model trains were common around the tree on Christmas morning. From its beginning with nine toy trains in 2004, it has grown to include dozens of operating layouts of model electric trains of all kinds, for all ages and sizes.

And speaking of sizes, the event also features a full-size caboose to take the kids to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and have photos taken with the children.

There’s also a children’s craft area where kids can create a holiday decoration to take home. There are decorated trees, free hot chocolate and cookies, and several model trains that the children can operate themselves. You’ll feel the nostalgia of Christmas the minute you walk through the door, as the entire depot museum is transformed with Christmas décor.

The Northern Pacific Railway Museum is in the old Toppenish railroad depot. The depot was built in 1911 and served as a transportation center for 50 years. When it was no longer in use, a group of railroading enthusiasts formed the Yakima Valley Rail and Steam Museum Association, leased the depot and opened it as a museum in 1992.

The Toy Train Christmas is not just for kids. Some of the train sets that are demonstrated are rare collectors’ items, and the event is a nostalgia trip for adults who have never lost their fascination with trains. It’s basically for kids, but the grandparents bring their grandkids in and have just as much fun as the children.

The museum gift shop will be open with all kinds of gifts including shirts, hats, books, toy trains and jewelry — perfect gifts for the holiday season. Toy Train Christmas is the railway museum’s only fundraiser, and it helps keep the museum open to the public from May through October.

Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. For more information, visit nprymuseum.org or call (509)-865-1911.