My 9-year-old and I have been coming here for the past three years. We love it. There is constantly Groupons available, but the price is very reasonable.
There are displays inside the main building that are always rotating out. The three I remember most are a classic minature car display with the Mystery Machine, the Delorian, the Munster's vehicle and all sort of other; a minature fire vehicle display; and a circus and minature train display. This is where we pay admission so we always take a look to see what's on display. There is also a gift shop with drinks and food.
Our first stop is always a ride on the train. It is an additional cost, but goes around twice and you can ride it as many times as you like. It's well worth it. However, the train does not run year-round so check the website before you go if you really want to ride.
After the train, we climb the hill or take the bus up the hill depending on how hot it is. At the top of the hill is the automobile musuem. Last time we were there a lot of the interactive displays were not out so we were disappointed. The interactive displays are upstairs and the first floor is filled with classic vehicles. We are really not into automobiles so we usually don't stay here long.
When we move on we usually hit up the secondary building next to the other parking lot. In this building you can also purchase admission if you happen to park in this parking lot. The also have a small gift shop. But, what attracts us most to this building is the morse code transmitter which the kids can pretend they are sending messages from. There is also displays of train attire, linens and dishes.
When we leave here is when the fun really starts. We head up to the trains and walk through and around and play red light, green light with the signal light between the trains. As you continue up further, there are two train engines you can climb inside and even pull the cord for the bell.
There is sometimes a tour which runs you through one of the older trains, but it's infrequent and not a lot of fun for kids.
There is also a seasonal trolley which runs back and forth on the tracks and a platform in the very back of the grounds where you can sit and watch the actually Pacific Line trains come through.
Last time we were there, there was construction of some more tracks being done. Not sure what they are planning on running on them, but it looked like it was a pretty good expansion.
After we finish on the trolley and looking and all the various trains we sometimes go back down to the topmost parking lot and climb on the boat. It took us forever to figure out where it was (you can see it when you ride the train). It is on the other side of the parking lot. It's pretty cool as long as it hasn't rained recently. It collects puddles all over.
After we are finished on the boat, we take another train ride and head on to a late lunch. It's a great place to spend the day. Since we've been so often we are usually go through from 10-2, which ends up being perfect for us.
This is a great place, especially if your children love trains.