There’s two, there’s four, there’s six, there’s eight… If you’re a mama of a Thomas enthusiast, you can finish that song in a heartbeat! And if you’re like me, you’ll dance along with it! All three of my kids are head over heels about Thomas, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Thomas And Friends Day Out With Thomas The Steam Team Tour was coming to Tweetsie Railroad.
If you’re planning a Day Out With Thomas trip for your family or wondering if the event is worth the hype, this post is for you! I’m going to share lots of useful tips from our recent Day Out With Thomas so you can prepare for and make the best of your day.
What Is Day Out With Thomas?
Day Out With Thomas™ is a family event that offers children and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the No. 1 blue engine, Thomas the Tank Engine™, at heritage railroads across the country. Our day was held at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Check here to find an event near you. If you’re lucky Percy may even be there!
What To Expect At Day Out With Thomas?
Your admission to Day Out With Thomas will be jam-packed with lots of fun, including a train ride with Thomas, Thomas & Friends themed entertainment, Storytelling, Video Viewing, Temporary Tattoos, an Imagination Station with Arts & Crafts and the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor.
Upon arrival, you will receive a United Kingdom of Sodor Passport which is a like a treasure activity map to find four different stations around the park filled with Thomas & Friends activities and to collect stamps to receive a prize when you’ve found them all.
Imagination Station: Here the kids can get a temporary tattoo, color Thomas & Friends pictures, play with an iPad with games, play with a wooden train set, and Mega Bloks!
Video Viewing Area: Here the kids can watch Thomas & Friends video clips or have story time. The kids didn’t get any picture here because we were headed to eat lunch!
Sir Topham Hatt: Here the kids can meet Sir Topham Hatt and take a picture with him. My kids wanted nothing to do with getting close to Sir Topham Hatt and I don’t blame them, I was the same way as a kid. I didn’t like things dressed up in costume. So, just a photo of the Railway Controller will do!
Gift Shop: Here is where the kids collect their final stamp and receive their prize! The prize was a cute little spin wheel with all of the Island of Sodor engines and their names. It’s also where the Thomas & Friends gift shop is located which is full of amazing toys! Some of these toys I’ve not seen in stores so it was pretty cool! My kids were somewhat overwhelmed with the number of things to choose from but it was fun seeing their little faces check out all the merchandise.
Depending on what time your train ride is, you can either do these activities before or after you hop on the train with Thomas.
Riding With Thomas:
On to what we’ve all been waiting for, the main attraction, riding on Thomas! Our train ride was shortly after we arrived. We picked our spot and waited for about 20 minutes before we boarded the train. The kids were so anxious to see Thomas and ride the train. They wanted to give the man the tickets themselves. So cute!
When Thomas pulled up to the station, the kid’s faces were priceless! His tooting horn was loud but it was ever so exciting!
Once everyone was seated on the train, we pulled off for a fun little ride. There was even a stop in the middle of the ride for a show out on the field with Cowboys and Indians.
The train ride was about 20 minutes long. It was the perfect amount of time, not too long and not too short. Afterward, we did a photo opp with Engine #1, Thomas himself! Getting my kids to stand still for a photo is nearly impossible but hey, it’s still so cute!
What To Expect At Tweetsie Railroad?
Because this event is located at various locations around the country, activities that are not Thomas and Friends related will vary. Tweetsie Railroad is full of extra fun and surprises if you’ve never been there before.
Be prepared of hills, and lots of them! We had no idea how steep some of those walking treks would be. Imagine pushing a double stroller packed with two kids, a diaper bag and a lunch bag up a steep hill. Man, it was WORK! We didn’t expect to get a full body workout on this adventure.
Tip: Be sure to use the bus to avoid walking up those steep hills. They have a spot on the back of the bus for strollers while you’re riding. We didn’t catch on until the last half of our day. Lesson learned.
There are so many things to do at Tweetsie! From live entertainment shows, Deer Park petting zoo, rides, playgrounds, face painting, and more!
10 Useful Tips For A Fun Day Out With Thomas
Buy Tickets Beforehand:
Day Out With Thomas is a very popular event! You want to make sure you don’t miss your train ride with Thomas. I highly recommend that you purchase your tickets online prior to your visit to ensure that the time you want to ride the train is not sold out. I’d hate for your little engine to be disappointed about missing the train. Click Here to purchase your tickets in advance!
Another tip: Don’t go opening weekend, I hear that it’s a madhouse! Go the second weekend, or during the week to avoid big crowds!
Dress For The Occasion:
Every Thomas fan needs their Thomas gear! Be sure to comfortably dress your cute little engines in their favorite Thomas apparel and make sure comfortable shoes are worn because there will be lots of walking. Check the weather and bring a light sweater or umbrella just in case you need it.
Bring A Hat And Sunglasses:
We remembered to bring a hat but failed to remember to bring sunglasses for the kiddos. Sunglasses would have been very helpful with protecting the kids’ eyes because we didn’t anticipate the number of ashes that would be flying around when Thomas was near or when we were on the train. Unfortunately, our oldest got a tiny bit of ash in her eye and we had to take her to the first aid station for them to get it out. God bless the man who helped us because she was terrified, but he was patient and amazing with her!
This is another thing we forgot to bring! Luckily, the kids and I didn’t get sunburned, but my poor husband’s forehead was bright red by the end of the day. Poor guy!
Pack A Lunch And Extra Water:
Save some money and opt to pack lunch instead. My husband made the most delicious sub sandwiches for everyone and packed them in the lunch bag with chips and cookies. We also made sure to pack plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Bring Hand Sanitizer:
The kids will be touching a lot of things with goopity gop on it. Just nasty! So, to avoid spreading all the cooties, bring hand sanitizer and properly sanitize their hands after each station! You’ll also want to wipe down whatever table you choose to eat at just because, well, it’s probably nasty. (I may be a bit of a germaphobe!)
Bring A Stroller And Baby Carrier:
Even with the deathly hills at Tweetsie Railroad, the stroller was much needed. With three kids under 5, their little legs will get tired of walking. I also brought my Ergo carrier for my 22-month old for when she was ready to take a nap or when my 5-year-old was ready to sit in the stroller to rest her legs.
Take Lots Of Pictures:
There are so many photo ops at Day Out With Thomas! I recommend taking your own pictures and not buying the photos the park takes because they are super expensive. You can get all your pictures from the day printed and developed and put it in a Thomas scrapbook. That way, you’ll have a super cool, much less expensive keepsake of the entire day!
Bring The Grandparents:
I invited Nana and Pappaw to join us and I was so excited that they were free to come with us! They had so much fun with the kids! I actually was glad they were with us because my 22-month old wasn’t old enough for all of the rides and they stayed with her while Steven and I took our older two to ride. So, it was a blessing to have them there, otherwise, it would have taken twice as long to get on rides with the kids because we would have had to do double trips.
Continue Thomas Activities At Home:
My kids have been playing with trains every single day since Day Out With Thomas. I love it! They also finished up their passport activities and colored some Thomas & Friends pictures from the event.
I am so happy we got to visit Day Out With Thomas! Everyone had a blast, even us adults! I think it’s safe to say that this will become an annual event for us and we highly recommend Thomas And Friends Day Out With Thomas The Steam Team Tour and Tweetsie Railroad.
**Huge thanks to Tweetsie Railroad for sponsoring this post. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.**