Intrigued after seeing pictures, I had to pay a visit to the Pennsylvania trolley museum to feed my son’s love of anything with wheels. Little did I know what an amazing, unique, look back into local history we would experience.
After an afternoon trip to Sarris Candies, we visited the Pennsylvania Trolley museum. The main facility looks very industrial from the curb; a metal building with minimal signage. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place! Upon entering the building, you’ll find a small ticket counter and a gift shop to the left. There was a large selection of unique, train/trolley related gifts and toys.
We strolled around the gift shop, purchased our tickets and headed out the back doors into the back yard. There were freestanding trolleys that children are welcome to climb and play upon. After a few minutes of exploring, we were warmly greeted by a volunteer who enthusiastically explained he would be our guide. We had time before the next tour, so he tour us for a tour in the trolley warehouse behind the main building… AMAZING! There were a couple dozen trolleys inside, each with a unique history and look. Each trolley had an amazing story and reason about how it came to be in the collection. The guides were very entertaining and patient with my son’s offbeat questions and catered to his fast pace and short attention span. It took about 10-15 minutes to tour the back building, however more thorough/detailed tours are available for older audiences.
Next, we hopped upon a real trolley to take a ride on the closed track. The scenic ride takes patrons a couple miles down the track to another bigger warehouse where it stops for guests to tour. The second building is absolutely enormous, housing a few dozen trolley cars. We were escorted inside and were both excited to find the variety of trolley cars- even a trolley from the 1800s that was originally pulled by horses! After the second tour in the large warehouse building, we hopped back on the trolley and headed back to the museum’s main building.
Tips on Planning a Playdate
While there’s plenty to see and do, I think the interesting anecdotes will hold the attention of older children. I recommend visiting with children ages 5+ years old. Nonetheless, there are special events throughout the year that may appeal to families with tiny travelers (including Easter Bunny and Santa trolley rides). Be sure to look for the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum on the Play Pittsburgh event calendar for upcoming events.
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum || 1 Museum Rd, Washington, PA 15301