Where to learn “The Great Train Story” at the Museum of Science and Industry has 30 model trains running over 1,400 feet of track, while the Omnimax theater there screens the dramatic Rocky Mountain Express through May 28. 5700 S Lake Shore Dr (773-684-1414). Explore an El car manufactured for the 1893 World’s Fair at the Chicago History Museum. Your commute will feel like a luxury from now on! 1601 N Clark St (312-642-4600).
Where to shop Located in the historic Route 66 district, Berwyn’s Toys & Trains dedicates an entire room to all things locomotive. 7025 Ogden Ave, Berwyn (708-484-4384). And while Lombard Hobbies caters to serious collectors, kids will get a kick watching the running models. 524 E St. Charles Pl, Lombard (630-620-1084).
Where to eat Not even the original McDonald’s opening nearby in 1955 could derail the Choo Choo, a 60-year-old diner where model trains deliver your burgers and shakes. 600 Lee St, Des Plaines (847-391-9815). Toy trains also deliver at 2Toots Grill—organic hamburgers and hot dogs. Don’t worry if your child has dietary restrictions: You bring the food, and the staff will see it gets a seat on the train. 203 S Main St, Bartlett (630-213-6700); 450 N Main St, Glen Ellyn (630-858-4300).