If you've got a Thomas the Tank Engine fan on your hands, or anyone really with a train fixation, you might want to plan to spend a few hours (and a few dollars) at Travel Town in Griffith Park.
Located near the Toluca Lake end of the park on the Valley side, Travel Town houses many an old steam engine, caboose and passenger cars underneath a mock train station.
In addition the engine cars that you can climb into (please read the signs to know which ones are safe) there are passenger cars that have been converted to party trains to rent for birthday parties. There is a small museum with early trains and train like transportation, plus a model train the kids (big and small) all gather around to stare at.
There's also a miniature train ($2.50 per rider) that you can ride around the small park in. Pack a lunch for one of the picnic tables but come early as this is a prime birthday spot so those tables get claimed fast. There are vending machines filled with cold drinks and a small (very small) hotdog cart with chips and ice cream, but that's it as far as on-site food goes. There's a gift shop as well, where you can drop a car payment on all sorts of Thomas merchandise.
While my son seems to have moved on from his Thomas love to his dinosaur phase, he still loves trains, as evidenced by our trip on a real train this past August and by the smile on his face as we all sang out "All Aboard!" for two quick laps in the Melody Ranch Special all decked out for Memorial Day.
Cheers...er All Aboard!