Train time at The Depot!

Rhys is a man of few words, but one of them happens to be "choo choo!" and it is adorable. So any chance we get to show him some trains, we take it. It was a beautiful (BRIGHT!) day and The Depot was hosting their free trick or treat event, Spooktacular, so we thought we'd give it a try.

Only a few miles away from our house, and tucked behind a few restaurants on Old Henderson road is The Depot Event Center. It is literally a train depot from the 1880's that was moved from its original location in Brice, Ohio and brought to Upper Arlington in 2003. 

The Depot is made up of a few different parts, all settled around a miniature 1/3 scale railroad track with an actual train you can ride. Larkyn was not a fan of the loud whistle, so she passed on the train ride, but my little man would have ridden it all day long. Because I had to hold onto my child, I didn't take pictures while I was riding (priorities, people!), but this shows the scale of the train. 

Car 100 is the fancy executive car that belonged to Ringling Bros. Circus. As we walked through there, I kept imagining scenes from Water for Elephants!  There is a little kitchen, bedrooms, and a beautiful dining area. The boys just wanted to look out the window at the bouncy house...

From here, we had our own tour guide (Bill) through the dining car and conference center. I wondered why he was so excited about showing us the dining car. Then he opened the door. The pictures do not do it justice. It is a sight, and it breaks my heart that my dad missed seeing this by 3 months. We totally would have had his last birthday here, and I actually did begin to plan it for this venue. Anyway, Dan told us all about the original car having Pinto skin upholstery and Native American tilework. Don't even get me started on the bar. So cool.

The unique feature to this car (or any train car) is that is seamlessly attached to the conference center. The word "conference center" makes me think of fluorescent lights and generic 6 foot tables, which is not the case. I was impressed by the beautiful wood and how comfortable it all felt. They had the Charlie Brown Pumpkin movie and coloring sheets out for the kids. It was a good place to stop for a restroom break. I noticed a nice kitchen in the back as well, separate from the conference room. 

 crayons...a favorite snack

For Spooktacular, they had local vendors handing out candy, a bouncy house (always a hit in our family), holiday decorations everywhere, and s'mores.  There is some greenspace and a nice patio with a locomotive (PS- that little green car in front of the locomotive is a grill!) We experienced all of these and then headed to the last car, the caboose. 

 "choo choo!" he says in the tiniest voice every time it goes by

I had no idea there was so much to know about a caboose.  They had the lights off and made it "creepy" inside, so please look at the linked photos to see it for yourself. What a beautiful backdrop for family photos!

The Depot would be the perfect birthday party venue, but also a fun bachelor party, a change of scenery for a business meeting, and I see a few baby showers on the event calendar as well. As I mentioned, if you have a special grandpa or older man in your life, they would especially love it.  There are several packages available, and some even include catering.
Call for tour times and tour availability. The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for kids 4-13 and 3 and under are free. A train ride is included in the tour of weather permits.

I was most impressed with the authenticity and cleanliness, where it could easily turn tacky.  We hope to go back soon!

The Depot Event Center
921 Old Henderson Road 
Columbus, Ohio 43220
(614) 324-5945

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