Treat dad to a trolley ride this Father's Day

On Father's Day, June 19, the Fox River Trolley Museum, 365 S. LaFox St. in South Elgin, wants to give him the chance to take a ride into the past for free!

The museum is offering dad, stepdad, granddad and even great-granddad a free ride, one day only, with a paid child's fare.

Bring a picnic lunch and make it a Sunday family outing! The museum has picnic tables at the north end of its line, Castlemuir Station, steps away from its life-size exhibits, which include two generations of Chicago 'L' cars, interurban (intercity) trains that used to operate between Chicago and Milwaukee, Chicago and South Bend, and Chicago and the Fox Valley. At the south end of the line, trains terminate at Blackhawk station in the picnic grove of the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve.

Riders can hike the trails free and take a late-afternoon train back to Castlemuir and the museum parking lot.

Fares won't break the bank. They are $5 for other adults, $3 for other seniors, and $2 for children, age 3-11. Kids under 3 ride free.

Father's Day is only one of a series of upcoming special events at the museum.

The museum's 50th anniversary celebration, July 4. On July 4, 1966, the museum set up a card table under the shade of an old oak tree to take fares, and opened its doors to the public for the first time. This July 4, for one day only, it's turning back the clock to first-day fares: 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children, age 3-11. You haven't seen fares like this for decades, and you won't see them again soon.

Trolleyfest will be Aug. 13-14, and South Elgin's Riverfest Express on Aug. 11-14. It's two great celebrations, and one great time! Riverfest Express features food, music, carnival rides, fun and fireworks.

During the Pumpkin Trolley, Oct. 15-16, 22- 23, Indian summer reigns supreme at the museum, as riders get the chance to ride a Fox River Line trolley to the Pumpkin Patch at Coleman Yard and take a pumpkin home; all children receive a small treat! Pumpkin tickets are $2 extra.

In addition to those special events, there are two that require advance reservations. Reserve two seats or bring a group, but seats sell out well in advance, so place your reservation early.

"The Polar Express," the beloved book, comes to life on Nov. 20 and 27. Board at Blackhawk platform in the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve for the ride to the North Pole; children get the First Gift of Christmas, visit with Santa, sing carols and hear the Chris Van Allsberg classic read cover to cover. And who knows what the conductor will punch into your ticket? December dates are sold out, so purchase tickets online now at

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