Gulfport Kids’ Train Museum Two-Fer
Of all the adventures Melissa’s and my kids had over early summer break, the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum was the surprise favorite. Sure, when we told the kids we were headed to the beach or the Pensacola Children’s Museum, or the Airplane Museum, they knew to expect a good time. When I told my kids we were headed to “the Gulfport Train Museum” though, I think they were anticipating a very dry and boring museum. Then, when we pulled up, my eight year old exclaimed, “Is this it? It’s sooo small!” Melissa and her kids had visited before though, and they knew – this place is a hidden gem!
When we entered the museum, my kids’ eyes widened. The first room is filled with Lego models of all sizes and themes. There are trains running in display cases as well as on tracks suspended from the ceiling. My doubting oldest child could hardly be pried from this first room (the Star Wars Legos section in particular!), but there’s so much more! The original building houses a gift shop and two large rooms filled with train displays. A boardwalk connects it to the other two buildings in the complex, which are also filled with train displays, ride-on toys, and train tables that the kids can play with.
There’s a lot to do outdoors as well, so plan your visit for a sunny day! There are hand-pedal train cars for the kids to enjoy and a ride-on train for kids and adults that loops the outside play area (and goes through a spooky tunnel 😉 ). Our kids loved the pirate ship play structure and enjoyed seeing the themed trainscapes throughout the outdoor area. My favorite has Jurassic Park theme with dinosaurs (tied to train chassis) zipping through the flowerbed!
If you have any questions about the displays, the museum is filled with enthusiastic volunteers running the outdoor rides, answering the kids’ questions, and updating displays. As far as amenities, there are picnic areas outside to enjoy a snack or lunch, and each building has bathrooms available. With so much to see and to explore, we could hardly tear our kids away when it was time to leave!
504 Pass Rd, Gulfport, MS 39507
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 and closed Sunday & Monday
Cost: Donations appreciated
Parking: In front of the museum, but if it’s full we found some nearby on the corner of A Ave. & 33rd St.
But wait, wasn’t this billed as a two-fer? That’s right! Anticipating the amount of energy necessary to chase our (combined) eight kids through the train museum, Melissa and I made a stop beforehand at Coast Roast. You should too! Only seven minutes away, Coast Roast is a great stop on your way to or from the Gulfport kids’ train museum. We sampled a latte and a hazelnut iced coffee and both were delicious! While their seating areas looked inviting, we made good use of the drive-through (parent win!) and headed for the museum.
Coast Roast (Gulfport location)
1601 25th Ave., Gulfport, MS
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6:30am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 7:00pm