We recently visited the Riverside Live Steamers at Hunter Park in Riverside, CA, and had a great time. For over 50 years, they’ve offered free rides to the public on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, and their all-steam train yard makes the Riverside Live Steamers one of America’s only fully steam mini-train parks. And it’s so cool to see all the steam blowing out of their ⅛ scale engines.
See The Full Detailed Video Below
Riverside Live Steamers Visiting Information
- 1401 Iowa Ave, Riverside, CA 92507
- Dates & Hours:
- Train runs on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month from 10 am to 3 pm.
- If the train station is busy, they may close at the line gate at 2 pm to ensure all guests can board the train before they close at 3 pm.
- Dates and hours of operations may change. We recommend calling them or checking their website beforehand to confirm their business hours.
- Free but donations help keep the trains running.
- How much we spent during our visit:
- Total: $8
- $2/person in donation
- Total: $8
- Free parking at Hunter Hobby Park.
- Ride the train
- Time spent:
- 3 hours
- Places to eat:
- Lava Coal-Fired Pizza (1725 Spruce Ste 101, Riverside, CA 92507) – 1.1 miles away
- Pet allowed:
- No, but leashed dogs are welcome at Hunter Hobby Park.
- Stroller friendly:
- Yes, flushable toilets but no hand soap. We brought our Suds2go cap.
- What we observed:
- Free train rides and free park! Highly recommend this place if you’re in the area. It was such a fun day riding the trains and having the kids run around the playground without breaking the bank.
- We recommend arriving at 10 am for a shorter wait time. In the afternoon, the lines were long.
- There is no height requirement but your child must be old enough to sit up on their own.
- Young children must be accompanied by an adult.
- They ask that expected mothers refrain from riding the trains.
- The trains are live steam engines and the ride is about 15 mins long. Our girls rode it twice.
- For safety reasons, they ask that you not take photos or videos while riding the train.
- We saw a family set up on the grass having a birthday party without renting a gazebo/picnic shelter or private train rentals. A great way to celebrate if you’re on a budget.
things to bring
- Check the weather before you go. The weather can be changeable; layered clothing and closed toe shoes are recommended.
- What we packed:
- Sunscreen, lip sunscreen, insect repellant, cash if you would like to donate, @suds2go cap, picnic blanket, lunch,fruit, veggies, snacks and water.
- You can get the links to all our travel essentials here: Travel Essentials | Califoreigners
- Ways to save money:
- Pack your own food.
- Event party rentals:
- Yes, $50 per hour for a max of 2 hours.
- You can also book a gazebo/picnic shelter located near the train station.
- Other places to visit in the county:
- Riverside County Things To Do With Kids – YouTube
- Recommended itinerary:
- Riverside Live Steamers
- Hunter Hobby Park playground
- Follow us on Instagram @thecaliforeigners, Youtube @Califoreigners, TikTok @Califoreigners
What We Said In Our Riverside Live Steamers Video
We arrived shortly after opening and quickly got onto the next train. With almost 2 miles of train track, the loop takes at least 15 minutes to complete. They were taking riders around the entire park. Past fields full of kids playing team sports and back around through their train depot, where the trains sometimes stop to fill up on water before heading under a bridge back to the station.
To our surprise, we only rode the train twice on our visit. Mainly because the park also has a unique train-inspired playground right next to the station that had our kids itching to play as soon as they saw it. Having the playground so close was great, and it looks like a great spot to have a little train lover’s birthday party since Riverside Live Steamers also offer private trains for parties.
There’s something amazing about riding the steam engines at riverside live steamers. With everything nowadays being electric or gas-powered, this is great old-school ingenuity. We loved our visit and spent two hours poking around the park. To show our appreciation, we made a small donation to help keep the event free and headed out. Hunter Park is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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