Location: Balboa Park (3 Miles Northeast of Downtown San Diego)
Hours: Open Daily During Summer 11AM – 6:30PM. Otherwise, Only Open on Weekends and School Holidays from 11AM – 4:30PM.
Features: Miniature Replica of a Real Train takes you on a 1/2 mile ride and includes a Tunnel.
Balboa Park Miniature Railroad Ride Highlights: Kids and Parents will love this ride on a miniature train that is a replica of a real diesel locomotive. It navigates through the scenery of Balboa Park, goes through a tunnel, and passes near another kid favorite – the Balboa Park Historic Carousel. It is located right between the Carousel and the San Diego Zoo. Rides are less than 5 minutes long so the line is usually small. If your kids are quick enough, they can sit with one of the stuffed animals that ride the train.
Food – There is no food available at the Miniature Railroad. However, The Village Grill is about 100 yards directly south of the railroad. It provides fast food and outdoor seating just on the other side of the Spanish Village Art Center. There are additional cafes near the entrances of some of the other museums in Balboa Park. If you are looking for something more than what is offered in a cafe, Balboa Park’s Prado Restaurant is more of an upscale full service restaurant. You can read more about the food options on the Balboa Park web site.
No Smoking is allowed in or around the Miniature Train Ride.
Information on Visiting the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad
Admission Prices: (Costs are Approximate)
- Parking is Free
- Standard Fee is $2
Directions from Google Maps to 1800 Zoo Place in San Diego, CA 92101. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad and the San Diego Zoo share the same main entrance from Park Boulevard. When you turn onto Zoo Place, the Miniature Railroad parking lot will be on your left (shared with the Balboa Park Historic Carousel) and the Zoo’s parking lot will be on your right.
Traffic – Unless there is a major event at Balboa Park, which occurs a few times during the year, getting in and out of the Balboa Park is relatively easy using Park Boulevard. If you approach Balboa Park using southbound SR-163, traffic occasionally backs up a little over a mile before reaching the Park Boulevard Exit, which is the same exit for the I-5 northbound. However, the delay will only take a few extra minutes. Likewise, if you are planning to get on SR-163 northbound after leaving the Miniature Railroad, plan on a short delay during the mid and late afternoon hours as a few entrance ramps merge together before reaching the highway. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)
Transit - Buses serving the San Diego Zoo and Miniature Railroad drop passengers off on Park Boulevard at Zoo Place. It is about a 75 yard walk to the Miniature Railroad. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map, which includes Balboa Park, and information for the online Transit Planner.)
Balboa Park Map – The map shows a listing of all Balboa Park Museums, attractions, bus and tram stops, and places to eat. You should also print out the Balboa Park Tram Map from the City of San Diego. It is not as detailed but is helpful because it includes names on each of the buildings. With the other map, you need to use a map key to find the name of a building.