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March 23, 2012
My kids love Thomas the Train! Especially Bryce. In fact, when he first learned that his middle name was Thomas, he always said his name was "Bryce Thomas the Choo Choo Train". So I'm sure you can imagine how excited he was last weekend when we pulled up at the Day Out With Thomas event and he saw this...
How cool! Right? When you attend a Day Out With Thomas, your family will get to take a ride on the True Blue Engine himself!
When we walked through the event gates and handed the attendants our tickets, Rylie and Bryce were given maps that had the different activity stations on them. We were supposed to visit each station to get a stamp, and to look for the mystery on the train, and once they had all of their stamps, the kids could exchange their maps for a prize.
The event is set up almost like a county fair. All of the different stations were housed under tents, and there were refreshments stands, a bounce house, a huge inflatable slide, and plenty of dirt. My advice to you would be to wear sneakers instead of flip flops, like most of my family did.
The Temporary Tattoo station wasn't one on the map, but it was a definite must-visit station for Rylie!
There was so much to do that the kids didn't know what to do next. They were running from activity to activity and it was hard to keep up. Rylie spotted the big inflatable slide and was up at the top before I knew it.
We then headed over to the Imagination Station, which was on the map. There were train tables, coloring tables, and other craft activities set up for the kids. Rylie and Bryce spent some time under the tent making pasta necklaces.
It was almost time for our train ride (you have to purchase tickets for the train rides by time) so we headed over and got in line. My mom and brother joined us for the event, and Bryce had so much fun goofing off with Uncle Danny while we waited in line. (Notice how long the train is in the background.)
We were close to the front of the line, so we were able to get in the first car right behind Thomas. The kids had some fresh squeezed lemonade to quench their thirst since it was a particularly warm day, and we all got ready for our ride. There were several open cars on the train, along with a refreshment car that you could walk to during the ride.
The train went backward for about 10 minutes, and then forward for another 10 minutes. For parents, it wasn't much more than a chance to sit down and relax for a bit, but for the kids, it was an awesome ride on THE Thomas the Train! During the ride, the attendants walked by and showed everyone the "mystery item", which was a diamond, and then gave the kids a diamond sticker for their maps. When the ride was over, they all received Jr. Engineer Certificates.
After the ride, we had an opportunity for photos in front of Thomas. There were photographers there taking photos that you could purchase in different sizes, and in frames and keychains, and I snapped a few of my own. It was a good thing, too, because Bryce wasn't even looking at the camera in the pictures they took.
We headed over to the gift shop next to peruse the Thomas the Train merchandise. I thought that everything seemed way overpriced, not to mention dirty, so I had to tell the kids no to everything they thought they "needed". We did buy them each a Day Out With Thomas shirt to have as a souvenir. While we were in the gift shop, my mom was out checking out the different "fair food" available and came back with a bag full of deep fried Oreos. I didn't know whether to think "yum" or "yuck" at first, but they were quite delicious! Just ask Rylie...
The kids took their powdered sugar covered balls of deliciousness over to the Video Viewing station, where they watched Thomas on TV. By this time, they needed a little rest too.
The last station we needed to visit to get their final map stamp was a photo opportunity with Sir Topham Hatt. Since Rylie and Bryce had no desire to stand in line for that, my mom went over and got their stamps while they jumped in the bounce house for a bit.
By this time everyone was hot and sweaty and ready to go, so we headed over to turn their maps in and collect their prizes. They each received a Mega Bloks Thomas the Train, a find-it game poster, and a Mega Bloks coupon.
When we got out to the parking area, the kids spotted the old train that was sitting on the tracks, and thought it was pretty cool. This event was held at the Florida Railroad Museum, and this train was part of that.
All in all, we had a really fun day! The kids thought it was super cool to take a ride on Thomas the Train, and they loved all of the activities available. The ticket price was $18 per person, which can get a little pricey if you have a large family, but it is worth it to go at least once if you have kids who love Thomas, or are just train enthusiasts in general. I hope the event comes a little closer to us next year, because it was a two hour drive for us. If you ask Bryce if it was worth it, I think he would definitely say yes!
Check out the Day Out With Thomas Schedule to see if Thomas is coming to your city. Thomas is on track to visit several cities between now and November. You, too, can spend a day with Thomas the Train!
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received complimentary event passes in order to check out the Day Out With Thomas event and tell you all about it. No other compensation was received.