Discover Madison’s Trains On Main
- Free scavenger hunt in downtown Madison, Alabama
- Download your clue card & start hunting!
In the spirit of fun and free, my six year-old and I decided to give the train-spotting scavenger hunt in downtown Madison a try. We took the page of clues, our walking shoes and sunglasses and hit the pavement! Trains On Main is a free, fun, and family-friendly activity to do outside. Once train spotters find all eight trains, they bring their completed clue cards to the Madison Chamber office to collect a prize.
How Train On Main Works
Before you get started you’ll need to download the Clue Card or swing by the Madison Chamber office to pick one up.
I was a little worried that Dax would be too young for this activity, but the questions were easy enough for him to figure out with just a little help from me. I first read each question as it’s written and then I asked one or two more questions to help him figure out what we were looking for. He caught on quickly and had so much fun.
This would be great for older kiddos as well. I let Dax write our answers on the worksheet, and we took a picture at each of the trains. He had the most fun trying to spot the train at each location, and he found each of them all by himself (some are kind of tricky!). Then, I let him turn in the worksheet at the Chamber office; he got his picture taken there and chose his prize.
This year, there are eight bronze trains to find. Find all eight, take your worksheet to the Madison Chamber of Commerce, and claim your prize. They have a variety of prizes to choose from, all train-themed.
Trains on Main is a collaborative effort with the Madison Chamber of Commerce, City of Madison, Madison Station Preservation Historical Society and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
We’ve got a few tips to consider before you head out to do Trains On Main!
Go mid-day when the shops are open. I made the mistake of assuming this would take a long time, but it didn’t. We went too early and some of the stores weren’t open yet. This activity is available to do any time, seven days a week, but it’s much more enjoyable if you take time to go into the shops and browse around.
Instead of completing the worksheet in 20 minutes, take an hour or so and enjoy the downtown area. You and your kids will enjoy the eclectic stores and restaurants, and the shop owners greeted us and gave us encouragement with our search. Stop and have lunch or a snack – I recommend the gelato at Zion Gourmet Popcorn on Main Street!
Go as a group & be prepared to walk. This activity would be much for fun if done in a group! Let the kids work together to figure out the clues and see who can spot each train first. And if you have little ones, bring a stroller or wagon. You’ll have to cross the street at least twice, and you’ll have to walk all the way down Main Street and all the way down Front Street if you want to find all the trains. It actually isn’t a far walk, distance-wise, but if I had toddlers with me, it would easier with a stroller or wagon, especially with the cars coming and going.
One train isn’t located near the others. If you want to find all eight, you’ll probably need to drive up the road a short distance. I’m told there are plans to add more trains in the years to come!
Visit the website first. You’ll see what the trains look like and even how they are made, and you can download your worksheet of clues and print it off before you set out on this adventure.
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated with the most current information.
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Heather Phillips and her husband are high school sweethearts originally from Kentucky. Heather worked in the fields of public relations and marketing for over 13 years before becoming a stay at home mom to their two boys. Heather has enjoyed volunteer work her whole life and is active in the animal rescue community here in Madison County.
This is such a fun activity! We did it this weekend with our kids (ages 4-9) and we all had a blast. We’re now making plans to do the Lucky Duck hunt in downtown HSV. 🙂
My family has done the Lucky Duck scavenger hunt in Huntsville and we highly enjoyed it. We want to do Madison’s Trains on Main. I have printed off the clue sheet but we are unfamiliar with the area. I have searched online to try to find ‘answers’ to the clues but have only been able to figure out the one about the clock and the Clay House. I think we will be able to find the sculpture and look for the train in the mulch that is in one of the clues. I am totally lost on the other clues.
Would anyone be willing to let me know the locations of the trains? I will then be able to give clues to my four children. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Kerri, the trains can be found along the two streets in downtown Madison (with the train tracks in the middle). There is also one down the alley. Once you get there, it’s pretty obvious, and the store owners are glad to help!!
Thanks Heather. : )