Railroad Museum of Virginia

The Railroad Museum of Virginia is a local museum that focuses on the history of trains and their importance to Virginia's history. The museum is actually a series of train cars with displays inside. Located in Portsmouth, right on the other side of the tunnel, it is open Friday and Saturday from 10:00-4:00. Tickets are $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. Children under two are free. The best deal for larger families is to pay the family rate of $20.00. If you'd like to bring a group, they will open for special events and trips, and they also hold birthday parties. 
There are several different cars. Some points to hit... make sure you ring the bell. Also be sure to climb up inside the engine- it was actually an abandoned engine from Roanoke that they bought and redid. The car with the miniature train sets is awesome and all of the kids were super excited, but the big hit is the children's car. The first time we went to this museum it was being used for a birthday party, but my friend actually had her son's party here, so we finally got to see it. (I'd call ahead and make sure it's open for your trip!) 

So for the party, she had the room from 11-3 and was able to have a tour of the museum and bring in her own food. She also had the private use of the kid's car. They could have brought grills or things for outside, but the kids were happy to run back and forth between the toys and the miniature trains. 
The kid's car has toy trains, books about trains, tracks, a few trucks, and blocks. The kids seriously loved it. 

Both times we have been the employees were so nice and super happy to talk about trains. The big miniature display was built by one man... by himself! It took him three years and he is constantly working on it and updating it. His words were that "it is a labor of love." This museum is small, but a great spot to spend a few hours. It's important to note- there is no street address, but it's at Wythe Street and Harbor Center Way. Just park on the street and walk over!