on March 18, 2011
The 2 year old Grandson#1 is an up-and-coming train "nut" and will call out "All Aboard" whenever he hears a train whistle. We decided to take him to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, AZ, for a few hours. The park is easy to find - at the corner of Indian Bend Road and Scottsdale Ave.- almost within the shadow of Camelback Mountain. It is a large, stroller friendly park with several attractions for small children and also for adults. Our first stop was the ticket counter in the depot. A book of 12 tickets are $10 - or $1 each. They don't expire, so, if you don't use all of them, give them to a local friend or just give them to someone in the park...the families can use them another day. The carousel is one ticket for each rider over 3 years of age. The train and museum are two tickets for entry.The train ride is a one mile loop around the park. There is a great view of Camelback Mountain as you travel next to Scottsdale Ave. and a good overall glimpse of the park's attributes. You will quickly see the gently rolling terrain that leads to the picnic area and the stroller ready paths that invite you to wander beneath towering trees. The larger of the two play areas is on a rubberized surface and is full of climbing and sliding equipment. GS#1 loved the "rock" ladder surface that led to the largest of the bridge/slide play areas. He would climb up, slide down, and climb up again without reaching the actual play surface of the bridge. Once he actually climbed up to the bridge area, we could not get him down! We later walked over to the "pueblo" re-creation play area. This was the "walk on the wall" part of the day - at least until he found the steps and slide. The nicest thing about each of these play areas is that there is adequate seating all around for the "oldsters" and level areas for the stroller parking. The rest rooms are also equipped with changing tables for toddlers - even the men's room! The other attractions involve train cars, engines, machine shops, "Merci Train, and the model railroad building (which houses displays of HO, O and N gauge setups). On Sundays in the winter months there is also a chance to ride the miniature railroad cars that are in a garden setting. These are similar to the setup that Walt Disney was so enamoured with and had in his own garden. Food and beverages are available for purchase if you don't bring your own. Either way, picnic and enjoy the outdoors in this lovely park.
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