Once again, we decided to drive up to Pennsylvania because Percy was joining Thomas at the Strasburg Rail Road for Day Out with Thomas 2016. We left the overcast skies of Hurricaine Hermine a little later than I wanted, but 3.5 hours later we were in beautiful Strasburg, PA under sunny skies. We made it with minimal fighting, one pit stop — and no DVD player.
Just like the previous years, we opted to purchase the Sodor Deluxe package. This package included a ride on Thomas (~30 minutes), a ride on Percy (~20 minutes), and a ride on the regular train (~60 minutes). There were also options to only ride on Thomas or just Thomas and Percy. To us, the hour long ride on the regular steam train makes the trip really worth it. You see a little more of Amish Country and learn about the oldest American short line railroad. At $32 a person, not having any kids young enough to ride free made me want to cry a little, but I knew the experience would be worth it. Especially now that L is old enough to know we’re riding on the trains he has fallen in love with this year.
We arrived about 5 minutes before our scheduled ride on Thomas left the station. My anxiety was running high when we got stuck at the rail crossing to get to the platform.
One of the things I love about Day Out with Thomas is that he and Percy are coupled to historic passenger cars.
It’s such a neat experience to experience travel the way people did in the 1900’s – even if it’s only 20-30 minutes.
Once our 30 minute ride on Thomas ended, we decided to take a ride on Percy. He doesn’t run quite as long as Thomas does and we got on his last ride of the day.
The last steam engine ride was at 6:30, and we decided to take the 5:30 train. We had a couple of hours to kill – long enough to walk around the train station, but not quite long enough to visit any of the nearby museums. Mr Boots took the boys to have their pictures taken with Thomas and look through the toy store while I bought personalized wooden train tracks for the boys (a tradition now). Our trip ended with the hour-long ride on one of the early 20th century steam trains.
This year I noticed that there was a nursing mother’s station — IN A RAIL CAR! We took the boys to their first Day Out with Thomas when L was a little over 6 months old. I was still nursing and, because of my empowering photo shoot experience, I didn’t mind feeding L on our train rides. However, I wouldn’t have felt this way if we had gone when G was a baby. Despite having more confidence with L, I still preferred a quieter place to nurse. This nursing mothers station would have been perfect (seriously, a rail car!).
Someone was sitting outside the car manning it, so I have no idea if this was set up because of the Thomas event or if this is a daily thing at the Strasburg Railroad. Either way, I give mad kudos to the station for doing this for moms. I did find myself wishing I was there with a baby so I could check out the inside though 😉
I managed to snap a few pictures of the other trains in the rail yard this year. I think that’s because the boys wanted nothing to do with posing for pictures.
When we first visited Strasburg, I didn’t think there was much more than the railroad and farms. However, I’ve been learning through friends that have also attended the event that there are quite a few things to do and explore. One day, one day I hope to make this a weekend-long excursion so that we can explore the historic town and railroad museums. The hour-long train ride takes you past Cherry Crest Adventure Farm which looks like a blast. It even stops to let people on and off for it!
Day Out With Thomas is held at various railroads throughout the country (find one near you). You can read about our past adventures with Thomas and the Strasburg Railroad here:
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