Thomas the Train
As you know, my boys are a little obsessed with Thomas the Train. They play with trains all day long, they sleep with a container of them in their cribs at night, and they even like to watch him on TV. They also make anything and everything into trains. For example, the sidewalk chalk morphed into a long train riding along our driveway, and those crayons you get at the restaurant? Yep. You guessed it. They lined them up on the table as the different train cars and make them chug and chuff.
Last year, instead of a birthday party, we headed a couple of hours north to meet Thomas the Train at A Day Out with Thomas. It’s an annual event where you can see all things Thomas the Train, including taking a ride on him, meeting Sir Thopham Hat, and tons of other train activities. They often take place at railroad museums, as our event did.
Since the events are coming up across the Nation, I thought I would share my review from our experience last year. This is NOT a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own. I just wanted to let you know what to expect if you planned on going, and tips to make it fun.
What to Expect
I purchased our tickets for A Day Out with Thomas well ahead of time, however, seating was still limited. When you buy tickets, you need to choose both a time, and the type of Train you want to ride in. The Train closest to Thomas was sold out, so I chose the 9:15 am Train that was a single-level. There is also a double-level car, and an open air car.
The tickets for the event advised you to arrive an hour prior to Train boarding time. I didn’t really understand why, until we went to find parking.
At our Event, which took place at the Green Bay Railroad Museum, you parked in a lot, then took a bus to the Event area. My kids were thrilled! An actual School Bus! Seriously, they loved it. Plus, it made it super easy because there was plenty of free parking. We also brought our wagon, which folds up nicely and fit in the bus perfectly.
When arrived at the Event, there was a TON of stuff for the kids to do. You can get a map, and event time information when you go through the gates. You also get a card to collect stamps for every activity you visit. You then get a souvenir at the end.
First, we stopped for free souvenir conductor hats and key chains, then got some cute pictures in Thomas/Percy cutouts.
We then headed to where they had a bunch of train tables set up for play, a motorized train set to watch, a few people applying temporary tattoos, and a few crafts to make. The boys weren’t really into the crafts, but they all loved the tattoos, and the train tables were one of their favorite parts of the day. What was not a favorite? Leaving all the trains at the table. One of the twins tried to pile them all in the wagon when we had to leave. He was NOT happy when I put them back.
Before a major meltdown occurred, we headed out to board our train. As I mentioned earlier, we were in the single-level car. Since we were the first train of the day and the windows were open, it wasn’t too warm. I would imagine as the day went on, it would get pretty hot, so I would suggest the open air car if you’re going in the afternoon.
While on the train, they play the famous Thomas the Train music, and the conductor makes periodic announcements. You do two loops around for about a half hour ride. Also, the train conductors come to punch your ticket, and then give you a souvenir certificate.
After the train ride, the kids got to get their picture in front of Thomas the Train. It was pretty hard to get them all to look, since they were so busy looking at Thomas, as you can see.
We then got a little snack, and went back in for more play time. The twins were happy to go back to the train table, and they had a singer/entertainer that my oldest really enjoyed. He got a train whistle and got to go on stage and perform too.
After that finished, we were ready to head out. The kids were happy to get one more bus ride!
Tips for your Trip
- Plan Early – Tickets for front seats sell out quickly. Also, the earlier arrival time you can get the better. Fewer lines for all the activities and cooler weather in the train car make for happier kids. Our 9:15 am arrival was one of the earliest, and we didn’t have to wait in line at all.
- Arrive Early – Plan for time to get to your event. For us, since we lived a couple of hours away, this meant staying at a hotel the night before. Also, we then had to board the bus to get to the museum. When they say arrive an hour early, do it.
- Bring Plenty of Extra money – While they give you a couple freebies (the cardboard conductor hat, train whistle, key chain,) other souvenirs are really expensive. I only bought a small Thomas flag for $5, and then went shopping in the museum gift shop, where I scored some great clearance t-shirts.
- Check about Food/Drinks – It can be a long day, so you will want drinks and snacks. It depends on your location if you can bring food or drinks in with you, so check ahead of time.
- Bring Toys – If your boys are like mine, they will want to take the trains off the tables with them. If you have a few in your purse, you can avoid the separation anxiety.
- Bring Camera – These days everyone has one on their phone, but I brought my regular one because there were tons of photo opps
- Bring Stroller/Wagon – Our event was pretty spread out, so it was nice to be able to load the kids into the wagon, and then move to the next spot. Just make sure you can fold it, if you have to take a bus to the event, like we did. Our fold-up wagon is seriously the best purchase I’ve ever made. We’ve had it almost three years, and still fit all three boys.
- Wear your best Thomas the Train Swag – All the little ones were sporting at least one Thomas piece. That way you won’t have to buy a t-shirt or hat while you’re there.
Overall, we had a great day at A Day Out with Thomas. The tickets are a little pricey, but they are worth it if you have big Thomas the Train fans in your house. You can find event locations and buy tickets HERE.
Will you be heading to A Day Out with Thomas this summer? What other fun summer activities do you have planned?