Disclaimer: We received free tickets to this event in exchange for one announcement post and this honest review. All opinions are my own.
This year, Mango and I got the pleasure of once again riding the rails with Thomas (and Sarah & V from The House of Boys...& a Girl) at the NC Transportation Museum. The weather was pretty yucky, but everyone was excited. Three-year-olds are infinitely more wrangleable in these types of situations than two-year-olds, so it seemed a little more laid back this year too. I will admit, I had so much fun that I didn't think to pull out my camera all that often.
V remembered to take out her camera!
We got there just in time to see Percy (or was it James? Y'all. I don't know the difference. The green one?) chug by. It was an exciting greeting, for sure! Then we got in line, and the man of the hour, Thomas himself whooshed up next to us. The kids were positively giddy as we boarded the train. There, we were met by Thomas and Friends songs and decorations to set the mood. Mango chatted and smiled and hung his head out the window for the whole ride. This, he told me, was his favorite part of the day. Before we exited the train, he was presented with his Junior Engineer certificate and a big Thomas sticker.
Riding on Thomas selfie!
LOVING the train ride
Other than the train ride, there were lots of other activities. Bounce houses, mini golf, food trucks, and Sir Topham Hatt all awaited us after the ride. Because of the weather, we skipped most of that and spent some time inside the museum, checking out the cars and the model trains that were set up.
There was an amazing moment when Mango played with a model log loading train that had a working conveyor belt and chatted with the person who built it. Mango had a gleam in his eye, and I could see the realization on his face: this was built by a person. I am a person. I can build things, too. We had a very upbeat conversation about how he would also like to build things one day. You never know what little thing is going to spark the imagination and creative passion in your child that will lead to lifelong pursuits, but I'm absolutely certain that if he decides to continue building things, as he already does, we can point to this moment as a formative one in that journey.
He scored one of the few trains there for playing
Next, we decided to take a ride on the turntable and check out the roundhouse, where there were model trains, train tables - again, not nearly enough trains on the tables to head off the disagreements and tears that happened every other minute or so - and free 4-packs of a new product from a sponsor, Buddy Fruits.
After a trip to the gift shop, where Mango chose an expensive train neither of us had ever heard of (Scrap Monster. What is that even?), we headed out for lunch. Mango really enjoyed his first trip to "Pizza Roof," as he called it. Clever child.
If you are lucky enough to find a Day Out With Thomas event near you, and you have a child in the age two-to-ten age range, GO! I can't recommend this event highly enough. It was such an awesomely fun day.