All Aboard! Amtrak Day Trip

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A couple weeks ago,  two of my girlfriends and I decided to take our little kiddos on a little train adventure for the day.   We boarded the Amtrak train in Santa Ana.  Destination: San Juan Capistrano!    It was a 30 minute ride, and the kids were just mesmerized with the fact they were getting to ride the train.    You can check the schedules and buy tickets online at  With our AAA discount, round trip price for myself and Emma (ages 2 – 10) was only $20.  Kids under 2 are free.  It is super easy to board the train, and you can take a stroller and stow it by the door.   We went on a week day morning around 9:20am and the train was virtually empty, so we got seats facing each other and could all sit together.   The looks on their little faces were priceless!  

Once we were made it to our destination, we walked down to Zoomar’s Petting Zoo.  If you haven’t taken your kids there before, that’s another fun outing in itself.   They have horses, pony rides, emus, and an entire pen of little bunnies and guinea pigs, where you can buy your kids a basket of carrots and lettuce, and they can feed the animals.   They also have a little pint size train for train rides and a new little playground area. 

After about an hour at Zoomar’s, we walked up to Ruby’s to have lunch, which is right on the corner up from the train station.   After lunch, we headed back down to wait for our train.  Only glitch in our little adventure was the returning train was 50 minutes late getting to the station.  I think that was unusual as the trains are typically right on time.    Luckily it was a beautiful, warm day, so we sat on the benches and the kids just ran around and entertained themselves. 

If you are looking for something fun and different to do with your kids, this will be a sure hit!  I think our next destination might be San Diego.  I will keep you posted!   


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  1. 1
    Dru says:

    I love this idea! My boys see trains on cartoons and books all the time and I’ve always wanted to get them to try it. But, I never looked into what to do with kids in SJC or if we could get around without a car. This is perfect…Thanks Jen!

  2. 2
    David says:

    Thanks for sharing your trip in detail. I think I’ll follow your trail and take my 7 and 9 yr old boys to SJC. Keep writing please!

    • 3
      jen says:

      I love that you found this post! I hadn’t looked at it in so long and my girl looks SO little! It is a really fun day trip. Enjoy!

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