5 Awesome Reasons to Visit the National Capital Trolley Museum

Step back in time when trolleys ruled the road around the Nation’s Capital and cars hadn’t taken over Washington, D.C. yet. At the National Capital Trolley Museum you can ride an antique trolley car, poke through transit artifacts and see how far we have come in public transportation as a country.

In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Washington, D.C, we spoke with Wesley Paulson, Director of Development at the National Capital Trolley Museum, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.

National Capital Trolley Museum
credit Wesley Paulson

Where is the museum located?

  • National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Rd, Colesville, MD 20905 (Northwest Branch Park, Montgomery County Maryland)

What topics does the museum cover?

The National Capital Trolley Museum covers the general public transit history in the Nation’s Capital from 1862-present, community development, as well as local history as it relates to streetcars and transportation.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Aerial View • credit Wesley Paulson

What is your museum’s claim to fame?

Visitors get to take a ride on an antique trolley car. You do not want to miss this experience!

What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?

My favorite artifact is the “boat tram” from Blackpool, England. The “boat” is an open air trolley, operated in the summer time. My favorite exhibit is the operating scale model of the trolley line to Chevy Chase, MD.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Santa • credit Wesley Paulson

What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?

We host birthday parties, an open house in spring and fall, Holly Trolleyfest with Santa, and other special events with a transit theme throughout the year.

Find more Christmas Events in D.C. and Beyond.

Are there guided tours available?

The Museum offers scheduled tours of historic streetcars on display in streetcar hall.

How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?

Two hours, minimum.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Arriving • credit Wesley Paulson

What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?

Food and beverages are not allowed in the Museum. Pets are not allowed on park property.

Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?

Non-commercial photography is permitted.

What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?

Parents of young children should check out “Streetcars Go To The Movies”, a video compilation of silent films featuring Harold Lloyd.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Street Car Communities • credit Wesley Paulson

What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?

Books about trolleys and assorted souvenirs, including a small soccer ball with trolley photos.

Is there a museum cafe or restaurant?

There is no food service on site.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Story Time • credit Wesley Paulson

What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?

We offer a variety of field trip programs based on ages and school grades. Please ask for a free curriculum guide when scheduling your group.

What else should a visitor know before visiting?

Our museum staff is made up of helpful, friendly volunteers.

National Capital Trolley Museum
Uniform • credit Wesley Paulson

Is the museum accessible?

The Museum is accessible, the antique streetcars are not.

Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?

No.

Is there parking available?

There is ample free parking!

Is there an admission fee?

There is an admission fee of $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and student.

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