All Aboard For Summer Reading

Make Tracks to the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum

Photos by Scott McCloskey Museum Gift Shop Manager Lynn Maguire and her son, Thomas, display the new children’s library set up on the front steps at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Elm Grove.

WHEELING — Visitors to the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Elm Grove can expect to relive some of their magical childhood memories as the museum has added a free children’s library and several additional exhibits to their already extensive collection of classic toys and model train displays.

Museum Gift Shop Manager Lynn Maguire said the free children’s library is not only part of a community outreach to encourage and inspire children to read, it is also an effort to help promote the area.

The children’s library, a miniature version of the real yellow caboose which is located on a side lot at the facility at 144 Kruger St., is temporarily positioned atop the front steps of the museum throughout the warmer months of the year, according to Maguire. She said children can return a book if they wish; however, they have the opportunity to keep it permanently if they really like it.

“You can see we have lots of children’s books. … So these are free books that they can take with them and read. This will be out here all the time,” Maguire explained. “So we’re hoping that opening this up for the summer will really inspire kids to want to read. … We really hope to help out the community as much as we can,” she added. She said the library will be stocked with both fun and educational books for different age groups.

Maguire said all of the books for the children’s library have been donated to the museum, and as more donations come in, they will continue to stock the miniature library.

“Hopefully it will be successful and we will get more (books) in and it will keep going. Whatever people give us,we put in here to be taken for free,” she added. She said they are also constructing a second miniature library that they plan to use as a “traveling” children’s library for area schools.

Now in its 21st year of operation, the museum offers visitors a nostalgic trip down memory lane as they have the opportunity to visit some of museum’s other new exhibits, which include: a new Lego display, train library and train artifact exhibit room, and a newly refurbished gift shop.

“To celebrate this, we have done seven new exhibits from January to June. If you haven’t been here in the last five months, there’s a ton of new stuff in here that we really changed around.”

Some of the older attractions include their train displays and the always popular vintage pinball machines (set up for free-play) on the first floor of the facility.

“I think a lot of times we don’t realize what we have in the Wheeling area. We have a lot of really neat things here,” she addd.

There is an admission. For more information or their hours of operation, call 877-242-8133.


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