A recent rainy Saturday was the perfect time for us to finally visit the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. As soon as we stepped inside I realized we should have planned this trip sooner. Aside from First Family Friday Nights every month, I wasn’t sure how kid-friendly this museum was. Let me tell ya, we took the twins who are four and they loved it!
Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs
There are two floors of history, memorabilia, and fun inside the Union Pacific Railroad Museum that calls the old Council Bluffs Carnegie Library home. Walking through the exhibits the woodwork and windows took me back to my childhood days of visiting the library. I was tempted to ask the lady at the desk whatever became of the tin statue that would greet you at the entrance. Maybe next time.
Many of the exhibits at the UP Museum are interactive, including one of my twins’ favorites, the Blow It Up Exhibit. A “tunnel” you can walk through that is also attached to “black powder explosive” the kids can activate to “blow up” the tunnel.
Another favorite was the Bison. This is the first thing they were wowed by when they stepped off the elevator.
“America Travels by Rails” is another exhibit the kids will enjoy. Some of the features include a dining car, lounge car, and coach car. You can explore the inside of each car and be taken back to the 1950’s.
If you have kids that love games, they’ll love the exclusive unique X-Box Kinect gaming experience in the “Building America” exhibit. In the game, you can build the railroad as a Union Pacific employee in 1866!
The locomotive simulator was down the day we were there and they are currently working on a bringing a new exhibit to that area as well. The “Working on the Railroad” exhibit opens on December 1st, the same day as the final Family Night of 2017 so mark your calendars! For now, there’s a train table for the kids to play with before heading home!
If you are bringing little kids to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, you can ask for a Train Pack to take along. There are fun activities inside to add to the experience for the kids. We didn’t notice these until we were leaving, but plan on using one next time.
I honestly want to go back without the kids, so I can really read and explore everything without bouncing all over the place and keeping an eye on curious fingers. There are so many different things to learn about and tons of memorabilia to look at.
Have you been to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum?
Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10AM-4PM
Admission: Free and donations are welcomed
Family Night at the UP Museum: First Friday of every month from 5PM-7PM
Upcoming Events at Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs:
- October 28th: Trick or Treat at the Museum 10AM-4PM
- November 4th: Project Reindeer at the Museum 6PM-8PM
- December 1st: Last Family Night of 2017 and “Working on the Railroad” Exhibit opens!