Skip to main content

Georgia State Railway Museum - Savannah Children's Museum - Savannah History Museum

This past January, before the COVID-19 mess, my family went to Disney.  On our way down, we overnighted in Savannah.  We got there early enough to check out a few places, the Savannah Children's Museum, Savannah History Museum, and the Georgia State Railway Museum.  All three locations are pretty much on the same block.  If you have kids, the museums offer a combination ticket that allows you to visit all three locations at a discount and is valid over three days.  If you do not have kids, or they are too old for the children's museum - the combination ticket may also be used at Old Fort Jackson, Pinpoint Heritage Museum, or the Harper Fowlkes House.

The former Central of Georgia Roundhouse.

The Georgia State Railway Museum and Savannah Children's Museum are located within the former Central of Georgia Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities.  The Central of Georgia began as a railway and canal company in 1833.  The Central was formed to build a rail link from Macon to Savannah and over time and through acquisitions expanded throughout Georgia and into Alabama.  One of its more famous passenger rail routes was the Nancy Hanks & Nancy Hanks II, which ran from Atlanta to Savannah.  The route lasted until 1971 with the creation of Amtrak when the line was not continued.  Today, the Central of Georgia is a paper railroad that falls under the Norfolk Southern umbrella.

The Georgia State Railway Museum is open Thursday - Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  It is home to a roundhouse with an operating turntable, vintage railcars and engines, machine shop, boiler shop, and other remaining buildings within the yard.

A steam engine display at the Georgia State Railway Museum.

There are several hands-on activities for children and adults.  Also, a few of the cars are open for you to walk through and explore.


The Savannah Children's Museum is unique as nearly all of it is outdoors.   The museum is located within the grounds of the former carpentry shop on the Savannah Shops Yard.  The museum's hours are also the same as the Railway Museum's - Thursday through Saturday - 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Savannah Children's Museums is almost entirely outdoors!

Being outdoors, the museum is subject to Savannah's weather - so before you go - check the forecast.  We were fortunate to go on a Thursday morning.  

The Savannah Children's Museum has a maze, slide and other activities built into the old Central of Georgia carpentry shop.

The outdoor layout of the museum adds a new experience for kids.  Plus, the historic architecture of the old carpentry shop makes it appealing to adults.  The museum has an outdoor maze weaved through some of the shop's brick foundation work.  

The Savannah Children's Museum is very creative incorporating this existing and historic architecture into their exhibits.

Special sensory and discovery nooks are located in some of the old kilns of the shop as well.  There are also some 'indoor' activities within an old Central of Georgia railcar.  

Finally, across the street in the former Central of Georgia Passenger Station is the Savannah History Museum.  The museum covers Savannah History from the Colonial Period to Forrest Gump.  The park bench that Tom Hanks' Forest Gump sat in during scenes in the movie is located within the museum.

The park bench used in the filming of Forest Gump.

One of the fun parts of the museum is the very interactive tour of the Battle of Savannah.  Visitors take part in a discussion of the battle.  At the end of the discussion, visitors are given wooden muskets and walk across the street to Battlefield Memorial Park to do their own re-enactment of the Battle of Savannah.  The Battle of Savannah occurred on October 9, 1779.  It was one of the bloodiest one-day battles for the American side during the American Revolution.  244 Americans were killed and nearly 600 wounded.  Conversely, British forces only lost 40 men with another 63 wounded. 

Our guide for the Battle of Savannah tour.  He was excellent!

The re-enactment is a lot of fun and gives a great first-hand experience of the battle.  It was certainly one of my favorite battlefield tours, and my kids greatly enjoyed it.  The tour guide, dressed as an American militiaman - was excellent and very engaging (not to mention very patient with kids.)

I would certainly recommend all three stops for anyone visiting Savannah with kids - either as a Florida way stop or visiting Savannah on its own.  The Savannah History and the Georgia State Railway Museums are great for adults that don't need to go to the Children's Museum.

All photos taken by post author - January 23, 2020.

Things To Know:

The combination ticket can be purchased at any museum site.  It is $20 for adults and $15 for children (2-12).  The pass is valid for three days.

Links:

How To Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley