Name me one child who does not get excited about trains. Both of my children, boy and girl, love to point out the trains and yell “choo-choo,” and my oldest speculates about where they are headed. Despite Lake County’s many train depots and railroad crossings, there are a limited number of places for children to enjoy trains. Even fewer places exist to enjoy trains and food together. That’s why we rushed just north of the border to Kenosha when we heard about the new train-themed, child-centered restaurant called Choo-Choo Charlie’s.© J. Burris | Little Lake County.com| 2016
Choo Choo Charlie’s is located in the old Metra train depot in Kenosha, just blocks from the downtown epicenter. So it pairs well with a family day of visiting the harbor, farmers market, museums or anything else you find your family enjoying in the area.© J. Burris | Little Lake County.com| 2016
The moment you walk into the old station, you are greeted with kid-friendly fun. Measure yourself against Charlie, see your reflection in fun house mirrors, and train movies playing on every wall. When you are seating, its at a booth or table “clothed” in white drawing paper and supplied with a cup full of crayons. So entertaining the kids is easy-peasy.© J. Burris | Little Lake County.com| 2016
The menu for breakfast and lunch has a variety of options for both kids and parents. It’s not a gourmet menu, but it does list fast and easy options for families. It even surprisingly has many vegetarian friendly choices. I ordered the portabella sandwich and it was delicious. My kids ordered mac and cheese and yogurt. When your meal is ready, it comes out on a train, right by our table, and your server brings it to you. My kids got a kick out of watching the train come by each time. The prices are fair and definitely will not break the bank.
There are also trains running everywhere in the restaurant and well as models, posters, and movies displayed everywhere. On our way out, the owner invited each child to come and pull the train whistle and encouraged us to come again. Its a fun and friendly environment that I will definitely bring the kids back to for another visit.
For more train-themed restaurants check out Choo Choo! Train-Themed Restaurants in Lake County and for everything-train visit our Ultimate Train Lovers Guide for Kids in Lake County.
What is your family’s favorite train-themed excursion? Tell us about it in the comments section below.