The Naples Train Museum

The Naples Train Museum

by George Turczyn

Editor’s Note:

The Naples Train Museum is a true hidden gem in the heart of Naples!  We’ve lived in Naples since 2014, but only recently visited for the first time with two of our grandchildren. We had a blast!  The kids were mesmerized as they immersed themselves in the massive hands-on and interactive train displays.

My favorite part was getting to take a ride on the miniature outdoor steam train. 

We had no idea what we had been missing! 

 

Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum

A world-class collection of model trains

The Naples Train Museum hosts a world class collection of model trains including some rare models as well as operating a large layout running 10 trains.

Over 30 buttons surrounding the display table operate everything from sawing logs, loading coal, setting hot air balloons in flight to watching the fire station answer a call.

You can even see yourself on the Drive-In Movie screen. 

Naples Train Museum

History of the Naples Train Museum

The Naples Depot building was constructed by the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and opened in 1927. 

The museum was founded in 2000 because of a gift from the William von Liebig Foundation.

Visiting the Naples Train Museum

The Naples Train Museum is located at the historic Naples Depot at 401 10th St South.  

 It is open to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM from mid-October to the end of April.  

Naples Train Museum

Hands-on and Interactive

The community and countryside include popular Naples landmarks and takes you back into the glory days of railroading.

A push of the buttons puts the scenes into action. Dimming the lights provides a night view of well-lit pas­senger trains, buildings, and streets.  

The entire visit is interactive and young visitors are amazed and the older ones are lost in memories.

Naples Train Museum

Take a train ride

Then there is the train ride outside around the Depot adjacent to US41 and 10th St.  

The 7 ½ inch gauge railroad features open air passenger cars pulled by either a Live Steam Locomotive, like the original Orange Blossom Special, complete with a steam whistle, or a period correct Diesel Locomotive.

Bringing up the end of the train is a WW2 era Atlantic Coast Line Red Caboose.

At the end of the run, the young and young at heart are invited up to either blow the whistle or sound the horn.  

Although the train is a much smaller scale, a little imagination makes the train ride exciting for adults and children.

Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum
Naples Train Museum

How much does the Naples Train Museum cost?

Tickets include unlimited train rides and the interactive train museum.

The ticket is $8 for adults and $4 for children 3 to 13, first responders, and veterans, military and medical.

Children under 3 are admitted free.

The Naples Train Museum is Looking for Volunteers

The museum is operated by a staff of volunteers that are rewarded by Smiles and Laughter.

All the Trains, Buildings and Displays require constant maintenance.  Many of the needed parts are no longer available and the volunteers have often gotten parts custom manufactured.

The museum is always looking for volunteers to carry on the wonderful future for this unique community resource for many generations to come.

Interested in trains, interacting with children, making friends, learning new skills?

Got 4 hours on a Friday or Saturday?

The Naples Train Museum has a spot for you.

How was the Naples Train Museum impacted by Hurricane Ian?

Hurricane Ian destroyed a good part of the outdoor Railroad.

The Engine House was filled with 26 inches of seawater and covered all our equipment.  It delayed our Autumn Opening Day.

It took the volunteers nearly 800 hours to rebuild all of it.

Our Diesel Locomotives required many new parts, including a new motor, complete rewiring, and restoration.

The Steam Locomotive had its boiler, flues, tender flushed of saltwater.

All the equipment was desalinated, cleaned and some cars were even repainted.

The tracks have been repaired.

The Trains are running.

We’re back and better than ever!

All of this became an unexpected financial drain.

Naples Train Museum

If you'd like to support the Naples Train Museum

Donations and Fundraising are critical to the success of the museum.   Donors play an essential role in keeping the Train Museum open, running, maintaining, and improving.  The museum is also seeking support to help us recover from Hurricane Ian.

You can support the museum through our Buy-A Brick program. Our donor website allows you to design and purchase a custom-made brick for our Outside Train Boarding Area.  You can add one of the many clipart images to the brick which you can choose on the website at http://www.naplestrainmuseum.org/

Simply click on the “Buy a Brick” icon. The cost is $60.00 for a 4”x8" concrete brick without clipart and $70.00 with clipart.

Cash donations are always welcome.

Naples Train Museum donation bricks

For more information on the Naples Train Museum

To learn more about our museum, email us at Naplestrainmuseum@comcast.net or go to naplestrainmuseum.org.

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park (& Its Awesome Humongous Playground!)

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park (& Its Awesome Humongous Playground!)

I had heard rumors floating around for a while about a possible new park and playground in Naples for those of us who live waaay out in the Estates, but it seemed too good to be true.
 
There really wasn't anything for kids like that out in Golden Gate Estates, so if you had kids or grandkids, you had to drive into town or just hang out and play in your big 'ol rural estates yard. 

But what was once a dream is now reality! We now have our very own neighborhood park that is not only close by, but AWESOME! 

I mean, it is HUGE! As in the largest park in all of Collier County! 

But not only huge, but it has a big castle that is simply too cool for words!

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Castle review

The huge impressive castle, along with all of the other playground features, is hand-built! Inside the castle are multiple levels with lots of fun staircases with twists and turns that are fun for chasing, hide-and-seek, or make-believe.

Big Corkscrew castle steps

At each level of the castle, there are different types of slides. The spiral one that descended several floors was my grandkids' favorite. I'm not sure if they liked going down or up better!

Big Corkscrew slide playground

Along with the massive castle, the Big Corkscrew Island playground features all sorts of fun slides, cable bridges, zip lines, monkey bars, climbing stations, ramps, and therapeutic, tire and strap swings.  There is also a separate play area for toddlers.

There are even solar-powered charging stations and lots of shade, which is a must-have here in SW Florida!

The nautical  theme is super-fun! And so many areas to play and hide.

Big Corkscrew ship

What kid can resist a dinosaur fossil dig?  The "Dino Dig" is fun shaded sand play area with lots of hidden dinosaur bones to unearth like a real archaeologist!

Dino Dig Big Corkscrew
dino dig bones

Big Corkscrew Regional Park Aquatic Complex

Another awesome feature of Big Corkscrew Regional Park is their fun Aquatic Complex opening soon!

It has a 25-yard by 25-meter heated pool, a children’s activity pool, a wading pool, a 177-foot open slide, a 122-foot closed slide, one 1-meter springboards and one 3-meter springboard.

Even better? The price. You can spend a day at this waterpark for just a dollar or two! You can't beat that.  You can get an even better deal with seasonal or annual passes.

Pool Entrance Fees

Under 3 Free
Youth 3-17 $1.50
Adults 18 + $2.00
Seniors 60+ $1.50
Veterans $1.00

What Amenities does Big Corkscrew Regional Park have?

Phase I
Community Center
Aquatic Complex
Event Lawn With Stage
4 Multipurpose Athletic Fields
2 Concession Pavilions
Playground
2 Basketball Courts
2 Tennis Courts
6 Pickleball Courts
National Fitness Campaign Court
Walking Paths

Phase II
4 Baseball Fields
Concession Pavilion
Fitness Center/Gymnasium
Kayak/Canoe Launch
Walking Paths

Is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Open?

The castle playground and several other amenities in phase 1 opened on December 16, 2022. More amenities are in the works, with the Grand Opening of Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park being planned for May, 2023.

How big is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park?

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park in Naples is 150 acres. 

Where is Big Corkscrew Regional Park Located?

Big Corkscrew Regional Park by the located near the Collier County Fairgrounds at
810 39th Avenue, N.E.
Naples, FL 34120

What Hours is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Open?

  • Park Hours:  Mon-Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m. 
  • Playground area  closes at sunset

How do I get more info?

For more info on the awesome new Collier County park, check out their website HERE or call them at (239) 252-4900.

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Review

If you live in or near Golden Gate Estates, then I highly recommend that you visit the Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park. The playground and other activities are awesome for kids, and the community center, Aquatics complex, sports fields and other amenities are great for teens and adults. 

There truly is something for everyone!

SW Florida Hurricane Relief

Naples is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought SW Florida.

We wanted a way to help those in our own beautiful hometown who were impacted by Hurricane Ian, to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to create wonderful lifelong memories here in this little slice of paradise.

$5 of every shirt purchased will go towards SW Florida relief efforts at: Destiny United Relief and Meals of Hope. These are both reputable organizations that we personally know, have worked with, and highly recommend. Thank you! 💗

Naples strong shirt