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There is this wonderful, park portion of a museum called Lomita Railroad Museum that is really a converted old train station. The park portion has a couple of old rail cars, a tanker and a boxcar, on tracks to look at, green grass, some trees for shade, and a couple tables for seating. There are a few dandelions around, sometimes a mushroom, but other than that it's perfectly fine to bring a blanket and have a picnic. It's a great place to go because the museum across the street has an outstanding antique collection of dime- and nickel- operated mechanical miniature-scale steam engine trains, though you do have to pay to get in as well (unless you buy one of their party packages). They have signals there and also railroad ties of differing sizes on the walls, and other rail memorabilia behind glass, like stock certificates, railway keys and pocket watches. Outside they have a working signal, a gigantic black steam engine with tender that you can climb up into the cab of, and two cool old cabooses. A gift shop makes the place ideal for a birthday party; you can pick up a gift for the birthday-person and railway-themed party gifts right there. The staff at the museum is incredibly friendly-generally, the lady there welcomes you at the gate. All around it's a great experience. Make sure you don't leave, though, if you want to get back in, as the turnstile only goes in one direction and you have to pay to get back in. I'd recommend starting your party at the park and then go across the street only once everyone's eaten. Once you get out of there, there's no going back. Oh, and the museum itself is an old train station. Great value. They kind of leave you alone, though, so I'm not sure what to put but a "1" as to their "Service" and "Responsiveness". It's kind of a Does Not Apply.
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