Disclosure: I received tickets to September’s Day Out with Thomas event at Strasburg Rail Road in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.
September is coming up, and that means one exciting thing to my kids: Day Out with Thomas.
Driving up for Day Out with Thomas at Strasburg Rail Road has been my favorite thing to do with the boys since we started going three years ago. We don’t even make it out of the parking lot before they’re asking when we’re going back. It’s an experience they talk about all year long.
Thomas the Tank Engine is making 42 stops across the U.S. and Canada during the Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017. His friend Percy only comes along to a few of those. He has the important job of delivering the mail on Sodor, after all! Strasburg Rail Road is one of the stations both Thomas and Percy make an appearance, and is the reason why we make the three hour trip from Virginia to Pennsylvania for this event.
This year, the event features an array of friendship-inspired activities, including photo opportunities, crafts, and a fun activity that invite kids to collect passport stamps throughout the day to receive a trio of Day Out With Thomas friendship bracelets. Strasburg Rail Road has several ticket options to choose from (kids under 2 ride for free):
Thomas Train – $21
- A 25-minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine
- Pictures with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
- Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, train tables and coloring sheets
- Thomas & Friends video viewing and storytelling
- Rides aboard Strasburg Rail Road’s vintage Cranky Cars, Pint-Sized Pufferbelly train, and LO&S motorcar train
Percy Package – $27
- Everything the Thomas Train package includes plus a 12 minute ride behind Percy
Combo – $29
- Everything the Thomas Train package includes plus a ride on the regular excursion train.
Sodor Deluxe – $32
- Everything included in the Percy Package plus a 45 minute ride on the regular excursion train.
Our family has always chosen the Sodor Deluxe tickets, which we feel is well worth the price since you get all three train rides. We schedule our Thomas ride for after lunch and ride Percy immediately after. Then we walk around the station to check out the fun Day Out with Thomas activities going on before the event starts packing up for the day. Our must-dos include purchasing personalized wooden train tracks for the boys, temporary tattoos, rides on the Cranky Cars, and buying extra wooden tracks and Thomas character bath toys in the gift shop.
The excursion train runs every hour until about 6pm, and you can take your ride at any point that day. We usually do the 4 or 5pm ride. The station is less crowded by then since Thomas and Percy have been put to bed in the shed. The train ride is long enough to calm (and cool) everyone down after an exciting day, making the transition back to the car for the ride home a bit easier.
All the engines pull passenger cars from the early 1900’s. It’s so easy to sit back and think about what it must have been like for people to ride a train 100+ years ago!
Photographers walk down the aisles on the trains to pictures of you and your family. You can also have them taken in front of Percy and Thomas between rides. The photographs are ready to preview about thirty minutes later and can be purchased for a fee. I usually take advantage of this because I’m the one behind the camera, not in front!
There is food on site at the station or you can bring your own. You won’t be able to bring it on board the trains, but there are places around the station you can sit and eat.
Day Out with Thomas at Strasburg Rail Road is happening two more times in 2017:
Strasburg Rail Road is one of Pennsylvania’s leading family attractions and is home to museum quality, turn-of-the century steam locomotives, freight cars, dining cars, private cars and one of the largest fleets of historic wooden passenger cars in the world. Founded in 1832, Strasburg Rail Road also holds the unique distinction as being America’s oldest short-line railroad. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
Day Out with Thomas is presented by Mattel. For more information on Mattell please visit: www.mattel.com. To learn more about Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017 and find an event near you, visit www.dayoutwiththomas.com