1. Discover how the railroad changed Brownwood.
The railroad has changed Brownwood immensely over the past 100+ years; bringing in passengers from all over, serving the military, and delivering today’s freight. The museum covers all of this history and more.
2. Open the “unopen able” safe.
One of our most popular hands-on activities is trying to “crack” open the “unopen able” safe. Visitors of all ages have attempted and few have succeeded. It can be opened, but only with patience and a gumption for safe “cracking”.
*NOTE: No torches, picks, or other utensils can be used in “cracking” the safe.
3. Communicate like a hobo.
Did you know hobos have their own special language? That’s right! When “Hitchin’ a Ride on the Rails” they’d leave special characters behind for other hobos letting them know what’s going on in the area. You too can leave a message on our hands-on hobo exhibit.
4. “Buy” a ticket and win a prize.
Are you curious how passengers would buy train tickets? Our ticket counter is a great way to test your knowledge and skills. Choose a ticket, answer the trivia question, check your mileage, punch your ticket, collect the money, and return to our service desk for your prize.
*NOTE: Teachers this is a great T.E.K.S activity – math and geography.
5. Imagine how the “rich” used to eat
The museum has an extensive display of railroad china. Proper meals were served on trains during the passenger train boom. Railroad companies would have china designed for certain railways, special events, and even significant people. Our collection spans decades of creativity.
6. Go to war on an Iron Horse.
Trains replaced actual horses during war time and later became known as Iron Horses. The “Iron Horse Goes to War” exhibit covers the importance railroad systems played in wars as far back as the Civil War and up to World War II. The exhibit focuses on Brownwood’s railroad system during these times and how Brownwood was effected during war time.
7. Build a fort out of giant building blocks.
Parents, enjoy some downtime while you let the kiddos build forts with our giant building blocks and have fun in our play area. We even have benches setup for your convenience.
8. The Big Red Caboose.
Take a walk through our Santa Fe Caboose. Built in 1931, the caboose stands in its enormity next to the museum. One can imagine how the head brakeman or flagman would work in this confined space for hours at a time.
9. Do you have business to take care of? “Take” the Pullman Business Car.
The Pullman Business Car was the way to travel. People would buy tickets to ride in this luxurious car; which included small living quarters, a tiny kitchen, dining room, and a lounge area for guests to relax. You can’t ride this Pullman Business Car anymore, but it definitely can take you back to a time when it was special to ride the rails.
10. Discover how tickets were purchased 100+ years ago in Kress, TX.
The Lehnis Railroad Museum is happy to be the caretaker of the original Kress Depot. The 100+ year old depot will take you back in time. See where passengers bought tickets and waited for trains. Discover how ticket masters worked. Explore how baggage was handled.
11. Look for Monarch Butterflies.
- Did you know that the monarch butterfly population is dwindling? In order to help support the monarch butterflies, the museum has established a butterfly garden. You can learn about the monarch life cycle, the importance of milkweed and other plants, and their migration path.
12. Feel the wind in your hair, as you take a Ride on the Mini Train.
The mini train (7.5 inch gauge) runs every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $2 per person and kids of ALL ages are encouraged to ride – that means you, MOM and DAD!
13. Party like it’s your birthday.
Is it your big day? You should host a party at the museum! We have a room that fits up to 60 people. We offer two party packages that include our meeting room, museum admission, and mini train rides. Great for ANY age!
14. Join the club & watch model trains go round and round.
Did you know we have a local Model Railroad Club? The Lehnis Heart of Texas Model Railroad Club meets once a month to work on the museum’s model railroad layouts and to discuss new skills to be learned. The club is open to all who are interested – the more the merrier!
15. Your Crew’s Day!
The first Saturday of every month is Family Day! Children 4 and under are FREE (as always); 5 and older are only $2 all day! Most Family Days include additional activities, depending on holidays or special activities going on that month. There’s fun to be had by the entire family!