Our recent family day out ticked all the boxes – it was educational, memory making and a great place to have fun! The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich provided us with heaps of age-appropriate activities designed to keep little (and big!) minds occupied for hours.

There was a definite focus on the past and present with children able to see the beginnings of rail travel and how it changed with the advent of technology. Not only was the future of train driving spotlighted via a ‘fancy’ computer game, but I got to create a 3D printed dress!

Walking through the museum was indeed a special place for me as it brought back many memories I could share with my kids. Most of my family worked in the ‘railways’ at that very spot, which was a booming industry in its day. My father and uncle were train drivers while another uncle was a signal box operator – a job that is totally computerised now. I still remember visiting after school and being so in awe as I sat so high above the train tracks with all the leavers and buttons laid out in front of me. Obviously, the imagery ‘play area’ at the museum tried to recreate this scene with a wonderful life-like ‘signalling’ play area. My boys spent hours playing and the science and history of the museum sparked their interest (and lots of science questions I had no idea how to answer – thank goodness for Google!). I even saw my dad’s old lunchbox on display.

So, pack a picnic lunch and head to The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich for a great day out. Or why not take your playgroup? As I walked around I saw so many great spots where playgroups could meet such as a dedicated play area for 0-three-year-olds and another two areas for kids of all ages. My boys thoroughly enjoyed all the museum had to offer, especially the play area. The older two told me they felt like they were a part of history.

It is definitely work a visit.

Gloria Sherlock
Playgroup Queensland Chair