It was overcast but I was determined to get out of the house. Go somewhere. Do something. I found a free event at a greenhouse nearby involving ice cream. Okay, fine. Whatever. Let’s do this. Little did I know that would be the best decision I made all week. Thank goodness their event ad mentioned the ice cream!
The End of Summer Train Jamboree and Ice cCream Social
When I arrived at the Shady Lane Greenhouse, it was just starting to sprinkle (ice cream pun). A friendly woman pointed me in the right direction, though their staff had done an excellent job of putting up signs to navigate you to the right part of the greenhouse. My son and I made it into the giant tented area with the trains just in time, for we immediately heard the rain crescendo to a heavy downpour. The ice cream for which I’d come all this way was being served at a table right at the entrance, but I walked right passed it. That was intentional because, my goodness, the trains!
I don’t consider myself a train aficionado, and I’ve been rather indifferent to model trains thus far in my life. But the set-up of these model trains was astonishing.
There were giant mountains, tunnels, bridges, and imaginative scenery. Some of the trains made real smoke. There was a Coca-Cola themed train, a train with Disney charters glued to the open surface. There were trains which seemed to be models of real-life trains (which I’m sure would have thrilled Sheldon Cooper). One of the trains was labeled the “Spiderman Express” and had non-Marvel Spiderman movie scenes painted on the cars along with a miniature Spiderman sprawled on one car’s roof.
The best part of this event was how much fun my son had walking around the tracks. Of course he also tried several times to make a break for it and play with the rain puddles. In one of those attempts, I let him succeed.
I figured, Hey, he’s having fun and it’s my own fault for forgetting his shoes.
After my son seemed to get his fill of the trains, I let him play in another open area of the greenhouse. This is where I realized I needed to leave a 5-star review for Shady Lane Greenhouse.
My son became obsessed with the golf balls and mini-golf set-up. I don’t know if this is always there at this greenhouse but my son, all of one year old, played with those golf balls and walked around this little area for a good 40 minutes. FORTY MINUTES! I can’t keep him that entertained at home!
If you you’re looking for a free, family-friendly event to keep your little one occupied for a few hours, I highly recommend Shade Lane Greenhouse. My 1-year-old had more fun here than at the museum or the zoo.
Here’s their website- keep an eye on their events.
PS- the ice cream was free (donations accepted) , and it was delicious.