Arrive ten minutes early and grab a seat on the carpet—you’re in for a treat. Every Friday at 10:30 a.m., Genie Hammel and her puppet-y friend, MotorMouse Eugene (he likes to eat cheese), lead a wonderfully fun story time at the Interurban Railway Museum in downtown Plano.

The museum has hosted this unique story time for awhile now and staff members say it has grown in popularity. It’s easy to see why. A former Plano librarian, Hammel is a natural storyteller with years of experience working with young children. Though keeping the attention of such a young audience might seem like a challenge, from the moment Ms. Genie blows into her train whistle, everyone waits for story time to begin, spellbound.

The program features a lot of variety—books, songs, rhymes—and the pace is easy and smooth. “Trains” is typically the theme of the half-hour, and several of the audience members dress for the occasion in Thomas the Train T-shirts with a small toy in hand. Afterward, Harold the Motorman will often lead tours through Car 360 just outside the museum.

Whether you arrive early or stay a few minutes after, be sure to check out the museum’s model trains and hands-on exhibits, where your child can complete an electrical circuit or use a rotary crank to generate electricity. The museum staff is very friendly and happy to answer any questions about the exhibits.

interurban railway museum, downtown plano

Rail diorama at the Interurban Railway Museum, downtown Plano

If the weather is nice, be sure to pack your lunch! Haggard Park is just a few yards away, with picnic tables and playgrounds for older and younger kids.

Photos courtesy of the Interurban Railway Museum

interurban railway museum plano

Interurban Railway Museum

The Interurban Railway Museum is an interactive museum for children and adults of all ages. Visitors learn about the history of the Texas Electric Railway and the science behind how it worked. From hands-on electrical displays to a guided tour of Car 360, the museum has something for the whole family!

901 E 15th St., Plano, Texas
Monday–Friday 10am–2pm
Saturdays, 1–5pm
You can also follow MotorMouse Eugene on Twitter @MouseumEugene

Misty Jackson-Miller is a full-time mother and freelance writer. She has an MA in English and is a huge fan of the Oxford comma. Although she will always be a Sooner at heart, she and her family have made...