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Best things to do at Grand Central's Parade of Trains Weekend

View historic rail cars, listen to train-themed stories and take a ride on a vintage IRT subway train in honor of Grand Central's 100th birthday.

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend at Grand Central


Grand Central is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, and it's marking the milestone with tons of events and exhibitions throughout 2013. One of the most exciting and kid-friendly is the Grand Centennial Parade of Trains weekend on Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12. The celebration features tons of free family activities for tiny train lovers—and proves that even after all these years, the famed terminal, which we named one of our favorite family attractions, still knows how to party. Here are some of the highlights:

See train cars from across the ages
Kids can explore 16 rail cars (on display at Tracks 34, 35, 36, and 37) dating from 1929 to 1959, including an observation car from “the most famous train in the world,” the 20th Century Limited. They’ll also take a look at 12 newer Metro-North cars, like the M8 commuter car, which was introduced in 2011. Families can even step into the shoes of a turn-of-the-century commuter with a ride on a vintage IRT subway train—it'll be running on the Times Square Shuttle track throughout the weekend. Click through our slide show, above, to get a peek inside some of the cars.

Get hands-on at Kid Junction
Don’t miss the Kid Junction activity area in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall, where little ones can participate in creative activities led by the New York Transit Museum and New York Botanical Garden, view demonstrations from a Legoland Discovery Master Builder (Sat May 11 2:35–2:55pm; Sun May 12 10:40–11:10am, 1:20–1:50pm), and enjoy musical performances and games from Radio Disney (Sat May 11 11am–2pm) and Music Under New York (Sat May 11, Sun May 12 10–10:30am, 3:35–4pm). Also on tap are activity stations and exhibitions hosted by the Disney Junior series Chuggington and train-themed storytimes.

Witness a world record being set
Watch a team of master builders construct a giant toy railroad track in an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for “World’s Tallest Railroad Track.” Using the Chuggington StackTrack Railway system, they’ll have to build a track that breaks the current record of nine feet eight inches high, then send a toy train chugging from the top of the track all the way to the bottom (Sat May 11: building 10am–1pm, presentation and judging 12:30–1:15pm). If the creation is a success, a Guinness World Record adjudicator will authenticate the event and present a certificate to the new world record holders.

Check out model trains and collectibles
Kids are sure to ooh and ahh at the lineup of cool miniature rail cars at the model train show; they can also scope out tons of train-related collectibles at the “Railroadiana” antiques event. There will be sales and appraisals of railroad antiques for collectors and train enthusiasts in Vanderbilt Hall from 10am to 4pm all weekend.

Catch a tour or presentation
Young visitors can meet Metro Man, the robot mascot of Metro-North, as he teaches them about railway safety (Sat May 11 10:40–11am, 2:10–2:30pm; Sun May 12 12:10–12:30pm, 2:40–3pm). They can also take an MTA Arts for Transit Tour, in which they’ll explore the works of art on display throughout Grand Central (Sat May 11, Sun May 12 11:30am–12:30pm, 1–2pm; meet at NYTM annex). Animal lovers will even get to meet cute police dogs and learn about law enforcement at an MTA Police K-9 Presentation (Sat May 11 3–3:15pm; Sun May 12 noon–12:15pm, 3–3:35pm).

Grand Centennial Parade of Trains Weekend takes place on May 11 and 12 at Grand Central Terminal.


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