A Gift Your Kids Will Remember… Engineer for a Day at Hermann Park

My son counted down the days until he was 7 years old and could be Engineer for a Day at Hermann Park.  Now 8 years old, he asked to drive the train again as his Christmas gift.

Watch the short video below… or go HERE to see it!

Engineer for a Day is a pretty cool experience.  So cool, that my 6 year old girl is now counting down the days until she turns 7 and can be the Engineer.

Kids arrive in the morning and help open up the train barn, perform safety checks, wash the train and get the railroad ready for the day.  After about an hour of preparations, they sit right next to the conductor and help take the train around to Kinder Station.

Hermann Park Train Barn with Holiday Train
The kids get an official badge, conductor’s hat and certificate, and help with everything along the track.

Kids get to sound the whistle, ring the bell, count the tickets, help passengers off the train and load up new ones.

Hermann Park Train Conductor for a Day1
Kids must be 7 years old (and adults can be Engineers too). The cost is $150 (and add $50 to bring along a parent or grandparent). Conservancy members get a discount.  Get all the details at Hermann Park!

Joe Hermann Park Conductor for a Day


Party at the Train Station… Get VIP Access All Year Long… Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hermann Park Train in the Trees
This Saturday, bring your little conductors to the Hermann Park Holiday Party for free face painting, crafts and activities… AND, you can have the opportunity to ride the train for free, as many times as you want, without waiting in line, on THIS Saturday, and EVERY Saturday for a year.

On Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 10:00-2:00pm, join me at the Holiday Party.  No reservations are required… just stop by for some fun!  While you are there, you can purchase train tickets for the family ($3.25 each)… or you can purchase an Annual Membership for $50.

A family membership is $50 and pays for itself in less than 2 months.  Membership includes:

  • 4 Free Train Tickets ($13.00 Value)
  • 1 Pedal Boat Ticket ($10 Value)
  • Free Monthly Train Rides ($156 for a family of 4.  Bigger savings for bigger families!)

This is a value of $179 and it doesn’t even capture the value of being able to skip to the front of the line and select the seats you want!  You get to ride for free once a month, and have this fast pass every singe busy day, including summer, holidays and weekends!

More membership benefits include:

  • Access to the Member Express Line for the train at Kinder Station
  • 10% off merchandise in the Conservancy Gift Shop
  • 10% off orders in Pinewood Cafe

AND your membership supports a fine Houston park.  Your $50 keeps the park running smoothly (and keeps it clean and fixes what’s broken and provides the perfect urban oasis for Houston).

If you get your family membership at the December 13 (or online), you will get to:

  • Skip the line on December 13 and every busy day of the week
  • Ride all day for free on December 13 and every Second Saturday of the month.

Join me at the park on December 13.  The activities are free for the kids and I’d love to meet you.  Be sure to come see me to say “hello” and grab a little treat for the kids!


Hermann Park Kinder Station Free Train Rides for Members – $50 Gets You a Famly Membership

January 12th is the second Saturday of the month and Hermann Park Conservancy has decided to expanded the free member rides for the entire day!

The Hermann Park Railroad will be open from 10am – 5pm.  HPC members can show their membership cards at the podium in Kinder Station for their complimentary ride.  If you are not a member, sign up Saturday to take advantage of this benefit or join online.

If you get an annual membership, starting at just $50, you get access to the Member Express Line to board the Train at Kinder Station, complimentary unlimited train rides on Second Saturdays and free train and pedal boat tickets to use during regular operating hours. I think the unlimited, free, members only, monthly train rides sounds awesome.  Now, when we walk out of the zoo and the kids beg for $12 in train tickets, I can remind them of the monthly rides.

Go HERE to learn more.  From the Hermann Park Conservancy website, here are the membership levels.  This would make a great gift!

train530 300x216 Hermann Park Conservancy Membership   Includes Monthly Free Train Rides for Members Only & Members Only Express Line   Great Gift for Houston Families!$50 Bronze
Four (4) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
One (1) complimentary pedal boat ride (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program

$100 Silver
Six (6) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Two (2) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

PedalBoatScale2 300x225 Hermann Park Conservancy Membership   Includes Monthly Free Train Rides for Members Only & Members Only Express Line   Great Gift for Houston Families!$250 Gold
Ten (10) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Three (3) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

$500 Platinum
Sixteen (16) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Four (4) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

$2,500 Conductor’s Circle
Hermann Park Railroad Annual Pass good for unlimited rides for one + a guest
Hermann Park Pedal Boat Annual Pass good for unlimited rides for one + up to three guests
20% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$30 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

Members at all levels receive…
Access to Member Express Line to board the Train at Kinder Station
Complimentary unlimited Train rides from 9-10am on Second Saturdays
10% off merchandise in the Conservancy Gift Shop
Subscription to Parkside newsletter
Invitations to special events
Window sticker
Membership ID card


Hermann Park Conservancy Membership – Includes Monthly Free Train Rides for Members Only & Members Only Express Line – Great Gift for Houston Families!

I know you’ve heard of having a zoo or museum membership, but did you know you could be a member of the Hermann Park Conservancy?

Have you ever waited and waited in that Kinder Station line or have you had take the kids the long way around the park so they did not insist on train tickets at $3 a pop?

If you get an annual membership, starting at just $50, you get access to the Member Express Line to board the Train at Kinder Station, complimentary unlimited train rides from 9-10am on Second Saturdays free train and pedal boat tickets to use during regular operating hours. I think the unlimited, free, members only, monthly train rides sounds awesome.  Now, when we walk out of the zoo and the kids beg for $12 in train tickets, I can remind them of the monthly rides.

Go HERE to learn more.  From the Hermann Park Conservancy website, here are the membership levels.  This would make a great gift!

$50 Bronze
Four (4) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
One (1) complimentary pedal boat ride (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program

$100 Silver
Six (6) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Two (2) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

$250 Gold
Ten (10) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Three (3) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

$500 Platinum
Sixteen (16) complimentary Hermann Park Train tickets
Four (4) complimentary pedal boat rides (for up to four people)
10% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$15 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

$2,500 Conductor’s Circle
Hermann Park Railroad Annual Pass good for unlimited rides for one + a guest
Hermann Park Pedal Boat Annual Pass good for unlimited rides for one + up to three guests
20% off a private Hermann Park Train rental
$30 discount on the Engineer for a Day program
Name listed in newsletter and annual report

Members at all levels receive…
Access to Member Express Line to board the Train at Kinder Station
Complimentary unlimited Train rides from 9-10am on Second Saturdays
10% off merchandise in the Conservancy Gift Shop
Subscription to Parkside newsletter
Invitations to special events
Window sticker
Membership ID card


Hermann Park

 

Map
Hours: 6am to 11pm. The Japanese Garden is open from 9am to 6pm (spring/summer hours).
Cost: Free (for the park)
Appropriate Age:  All ages
Our Review:
We love Hermann Park. It’s right in the middle of the museums and medical center and close to downtown. The park is free and there is a lot to keep us entertained. Families are everywhere, picnicing, feeding the ducks, playing on the playground, hosting birthday parties in the pavillions or just enjoying the green. There are also two splash areas where kids can run through the water. Check out the map  for all the places to see.

Playground

If you don’t have time to pack a lunch, or you need some air conditioning, the Houston Museum of Natural Science  is right across the street. The grand hall does not require a ticket and has a McDonald’s.   Note that the menu at McDonald’s  does not show this, but you can order just a hamburger for about $1.
Parking is free at the park, and usually easy, unless there is an event or it is a holiday. For those days, I suggest arriving early or riding the METRORail.  There are three stops near the park:
• Hermann Park/Rice University stop at Fannin and Sunset
• Memorial Hermann Hospital/Houston Zoo stop at Cambridge and Fannin
• Museum District stop between Ewing and Binz
There is also a for-pay parking garage is available at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. On weekends, visitors may park in the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza Garage at the corner of Cambridge and Fannin across from the Park for $6 per day (subject to change).

What is your favorite thing to do at the park?


Hermann Park – Train

Hermann Park Train

Hermann Park Railroad

Map, Railroad Website

Hours: 10am – 5:30pm M-F and 10am – 6pm Sat-Sun

Cost:$3 per person, adults and children 1 year and older, All day pass (weekdays only; excludes holidays) – $6

Our Review:  When my 4 year old is not busy being a firefighter, he is a train conductor.  He  always asks to ride the train at the park.

Conductor Joe

Most of the time we skip it for a variety of reasons.  First, there is often a line and it takes around 10 minutes for the train to get back to the station.  By then my kids are going crazy.  Second, I don’t like having to pay $3 per head (over one year), even if one can’t walk and is not interested in the ride.   Third, parking my double stroller at the train station has always made me nervous.  (Note that nothing has ever happened to the stroller there.  I credit the good people of Houston and the unappealing drink and snacks smeared everywhere by my kids.)

That said, whenever we are at the park and there is no line and we have not been on the train in a while, we rush over an get on board.  I do recommend everyone take it around the park at least once (or even once a month).  Once on board, the train ride is a lot of fun and there is a lot to see.

Buddy Carruth Playground For All Children

The track goes around the park and you can get a glimpse of the Miller Outdoor Theater, the Japanese Garden and large playground.  There is also a small tunnel and bridge that the kids love.

View from the train

If you find yourself on the far side of the park, you can go to one of the remote train stops and catch the train.  When the train arrives, it will stop and let you jump on.  When you arrive at the main station (Kinder Station), you can buy a ticket.  This ticket will allow you to return to your original train stop if you like.  Details are here.

My kids are not old enough, but for his 7th birthday, I may consider letting my son be Engineer for the Day.  With this program, children and adults can work on the train from 8:30 to 12:30.  The price starts at $135 can details can be found on the Hermann Park website.

Have you tried the Engineer for the Day program?  What do you think of the train?

 


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