We recently made a family trip to Phoenix, Arizona and one of our favorite outings was a visit to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The park offers a unique blend of history, entertainment, and outdoor activities. It is so much fun for adults and kids alike and is an excellent family-friendly activity in the area.
History of the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
The park was established in 1975 on land donated by the McCormick family and named in honor of Anne McCormick and the Stillman family. This 30-acre site was once part of the famous McCormick Ranch and was transformed into a tribute to the area’s rich railroad history. Today, the park stands as a testament to the legacy of the people who contributed to its creation and serves as a living museum preserving the railroad heritage of Arizona.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park offers a wide range of family-friendly attractions that are perfect for kids of all ages. Here are some of the must-visit features:
1. Train Rides: This will likely be your kids’ favorite part of the park. You can hop aboard one of the meticulously restored antique trains and take a journey around the park. Kids (and adults!) will be thrilled as they chug through the beautiful landscape, passing by historic buildings and lush greenery. We went during Halloween season and there were Halloween decorations all along the railway. They also decorate for Christmas!
2. Antique Carousel: Adjacent to the train depot, the antique carousel is a delight for young and old alike. With beautifully crafted animals to ride, it’s a nostalgic experience that brings smiles to everyone’s faces. My kids of course loved this too.
3. Model Railroad Exhibit: Marvel at the incredible model railroad exhibit featuring miniature towns, landscapes, and trains that run through intricate layouts. This exhibit provides an educational experience on the evolution of railroads in Arizona.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is not just a source of entertainment; it’s also an educational resource. Families can learn about the history of railroads in Arizona through various exhibits, including:
1. Roald Amundsen Pullman Car: Step inside the beautifully restored Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, which was once used by American presidents. Learn about its history and the role it played in shaping the nation.
2. Scottsdale Railroad Museum: The park is home to the Scottsdale Railroad Museum, which showcases a vast collection of railroad artifacts and memorabilia, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the region’s railway history.
Plan Your Visit
The park is open year-round, and admission is free. Train and carousel rides are available for a reasonable fee, with discounts for children and seniors. Picnic areas, a playground, and beautiful gardens make this a perfect spot for a family outing or a leisurely afternoon.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a wonderful family activity that contains history, entertainment, and education. Whether you’re riding a vintage train, exploring the Scottsdale Railroad Museum, or taking a spin on the antique carousel, this park offers something for everyone. I am so glad that we made it part of our trip, and I would recommend it to other parents looking for something fun to do with their kiddos!