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By Peggy Chenoweth, Jill Mollard & Jodi Shollenberger, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour is a fun family event that provides children the opportunity to take a real train ride with Thomas and participate in other Thomas-themed activities! This is a traveling event that visits various heritage railroad museums across the U.S. and Canada each year. This year's tour runs through November 2019; the 2020 tour will begin in March.
Get $2 off EACH TICKET to a Day Out With Thomas Event near you! Click HERE and use code CERTIFIKID2019.
All Day Out With Thomas events include a family train ride behind a life-size Thomas the Tank Engine where children receive their Junior Engineer Certificate. Each museum puts its own unique spin on the event, offering complementary activities like bounce houses, activities and entertainment. Some events also feature a life-size Percy engine train ride, meet and greet with Sir Topham Hatt (the Controller of the Railway), storytelling, coloring stations and toy play areas, exclusive Thomas toys in the gift shop and more.
We sent three of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to experience the Day Out With Thomas event at Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania. They received free tickets in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Day Out With Thomas at Strasburg Rail Road is happening this Fall Sep 14-22, as well as a Halloween Spooktacular event Oct 25-27! Tickets on sale now at www.dayoutwiththomas.com. Use code CERTIFIKID2019 to get $2 OFF EACH TICKET. Learn discount exclusions here: https://www.certifikid.com/deal/43100/day-out-with-thomas_the-steam-team-tour
Peggy: A Day Out with Thomas is every young engineer's dream come true. The railroad was transformed into the Island of Sodor with activity tents set up throughout the complex. From opportunities to meet your favorite Thomas characters, including Sir Topham Hatt and our favorite engines, to arts and crafts, the Day Out With Thomas offers something for everybody in the family.
Jill: My kids are 3 and 6, and we had kept our outing a surprise and just told them we were going on an adventure for the day. They were really excited when we got there and they saw Thomas and Percy right away!
Jodi: We were given a map and set out to enjoy our day. We did swing by to pick up our passports so my son could stamp off the activities as we completed them. This was like a treasure hunt for him and the thrill of getting stamps just added to the fun of his day.
Peggy: Once they visit all four tents, the filled passport can be redeemed for a special prize.
Jodi: We arrived a couple of hours before our train ride so we could do several activities before it was time to ride. This was a wise choice as there was so much to do and the building anticipation of riding Thomas made the activities even more enjoyable.
Jill: They had a ride called the pint sized puffer belly. It's a mini steam engine ride that is a regular feature of their railroad, and was included as part of the event with Thomas. We all got to ride it, and it was really cute!
Jodi: We started our day at the cranky cars. My son was thrilled to be able to operate a crank-train by himself and wanted to get in line again after his turn around the track. Not only did he get in line once again but he got in line 8 more times!
Jill: We then got our pictures taken with Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas, and Percy! Professional photographs were available for purchase but you could also take your own photos, which was really nice!
Peggy: We loved the music stage, where all of the kids were invited to join the performers on stage with a variety of instruments and fun songs. My 5-year old loved playing the drum with his new engineer friends, and watching him on stage was a lot of fun.
Jodi: We then followed the map and made our way to the Sir Topham Hatt tent to have our photo taken. My son loved getting to meet Sir Topham Hatt! The photographers were kind and patient. I didn't feel rushed and they took the time to engage my son.
When the photo shoot was complete the children were given a certificate from Topham Hatt, which my son has proudly displayed on his dresser.
We then went to the Tattoo Station Tent. This was actually the longest line of the day but worth the wait. My son was given several tattoos to choose from and he wore that tattoo with pride!
We then decided to get in line to ride Percy as it was close to noon and we wanted to ride Percy before Thomas. The conductors allowed each family to choose which car they wanted to ride in and that made it more memorable. My son wanted to be in a back coach so we went all the way to the back. He loved the comfy seats and the fact that he could put his hand out the window.
Jill: When it was our turn to ride Thomas, we chose one of the open air cars and got enjoy the perfect weather during our ride.
Jodi: One thing that I really liked about the Thomas train was your option of choosing between a closed coach or an open style coach (with open windows...not individual...and wooden seats compared to plush). After several moments of intense inner turmoil my little guy chose the closed coach and we settled on a coach near the front.
Peggy: The ride with Thomas was longer than we anticipated, lasting about 25 minutes. We loved the open windows on our car and waving to everybody in the community as Thomas chugged down the tracks. A photographer was on board to capture the trip for us, which we appreciated.
Jill: After Thomas, we decided to do all of the activities provided at the event. And there were a lot! In the first tent, we visited the gift shop to browse all things Thomas the Tank Engine. Afterwards, we visited the imagination station/storytelling tent. Inside were various tables set up with tracks and toys to play with.
There was also a color station, video viewing and a digital play station.
Jodi: We then made our way to the lunch tent. We settled on a table near the music stage and enjoyed our lunch. The live music was a bonus to our lunch time. The kids were invited to play some instruments and this was so fun to watch.
Jill: Before we left, we went back to the gift shop tent to turn in the kids' completed passports. In exchange, they received a cute chart to help them learn all the characters names.
What Did Your Family Enjoy Most?
Jill: We really loved our experience at Day Out With Thomas. After we left, we just kept talking about how much fun we had! The train rides were so fun and the activities were great for the kids. Everyone on staff at the event was very friendly and helped us navigate through all the activities, especially in the picture taking areas and on and off boarding the trains. There were lots of people there, but it never felt too crowded or that lines were moving through the activities. The staff also worked hard to keep everyone safe, especially at the train crossings where people were walking or driving.
Jodi: I honestly believe that the workers made this day the most enjoyable. Every activity was fun but the smiles and laughter and questions from the employees made it a top notch day.
Peggy: We loved the music stage and just spending the day together. Although it was crowded, the activities were spread out enough that we never felt congested. The ride on Thomas was definitely the pinnacle for my little train lover!
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
Jill: I would recommend at least 3-4 hours. We were there from about 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Jodi: We completed the day in 5 hours but we could have stayed longer if my son had been older. It was a busy 5 hours filled with activity.
Peggy: I would plan a minimum of 3 hours for the Day Out With Thomas.
Recommended Age Range
Jill: My kids are 3 and 6. We saw kids of all ages at the event. It's a great time for any train enthusiast!
Jodi: My son is 4 and I would recommend this for children who are walking all the way up to 10.
Peggy: My son is 5-years old. My mom, who is in her 70's, joined us on our adventure.
Tips for Families
Jill: There was a car specifically designated for nursing mothers to go to have a comfortable area to feed or care for their children as needed. The event is stroller friendly with clearly marked areas for stroller parking for those times that strollers are not able to be used (no strollers on the trains).
Jodi: I would definitely recommend not rushing. Let your little ones enjoy all the activities. There was plenty to do but not so much that you had to rush to do everything.
Peggy: You definitely want to arrive with ample time to retrieve your ride tickets and to board the train. The line for the train begins 15 minutes before departure, and it can be quite long. Although they have photographers available to take photos with all of the characters, you are allowed to take your own pictures.
Would You Visit Again?
Jill: We would definitely visit Strasburg again. Not only for their regular attractions, but also for the Day Out With Thomas event.
Peggy: We had a great day at the Strasburg Railroad and the Day Out With Thomas. We will definitely return to visit our favorite useful engine. In October the event is Halloween themed, which sounds like a lot of fun. The only thing better than spending the day on the Island of Sodor would be doing it in costume with Halloween activities!
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