Day Out With Thomas 2015

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[social_warfare]Thomas and Percy visited the Strasburg Rail Road again in September for Day Out With Thomas so we picked a day and drove up to Pennsylvania to see them and have a much-needed family day.
Day Out with Thomas 2015 via MuddyBootsandDiamonds.comWe learned from our Day Out with Thomas trip last year that we didn’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn to drive up there, so we picked a later time to ride Thomas (1:45pm) and left after breakfast.

By the time we switched car seats from my car to Mr Boots’ truck and got gas, it was close to L’s nap time. He was in the phase where sometimes he needed two naps and sometimes he could take one and be (mostly) okay, but he was consistently taking a morning nap around 10am. I really thought he’d sleep for part of the trip to Strasburg, but no luck. Mr Boots brought his portable DVD player to keep the boys occupied during the three-hour car ride and L’s eyes were glued to the small TV screen until I insisted it get turned off 30 minutes from the station. L slept a grand total of 15 minutes.

We also learned last year that it was better to bring our own food than purchase it at the station’s restaurant. We stopped at a Subway in Maryland (I think? Or maybe it was in Pennsylvania just past the PA/MD border?). I packed extra snacks for while we were there so we wouldn’t get stuck spending money on those.

I chose the latest time Thomas had available, which was 1:45. We went on a Sunday, the last day of the Day Out With Thomas event, so this was actually the last time for the Thomas ride before he moved on to a different location. We arrived at the parking location around 12:30 and after a potty break and bus ride to the station we arrived around 1:00. This gave us enough time to eat, take another potty break if needed (luckily it wasn’t!) and get in line to board Thomas’ train.

Red Caboose Motel along Strasburg Railroad ©

The ride on Thomas was about 20 minutes then we immediately got in line to ride Percy. While we waited L kept insisting on crossing the yellow rope to get near the train tracks. He was not pleased when we pulled him back. If I realized anything on this trip, it was that a child restraint wouldn’t be a bad idea with him. The child has no fear and just runs off without knowing what he’s getting into.

Day Out With Thomas Percy ©

The ride on Percy was about another 20 minutes. We did have to stop to let Thomas chug past us to the engine shed. We all said “Goodnight Thomas!” as he passed us by and watched him get put away for a much needed rest before heading off to the next Day Out With Thomas location.

Not long after we exited Percy’s train, he was put away in the engine shed too. We had about an hour to kill before boarding the last train so Mr Boots took the boys to find the tent that had Thomas the Tank Engine temporary tattoos. G remembered that he got a Rosie tattoo and James tattoo on his arm last year and he insisted on getting the same this year. Unfortunately, everything was being disassembled by the time our ride on Percy was over. A volunteer let G pick some tattoos out of a bucket for Mr Boots to put on his arm later. Mr Boots was able to get a few extra so L could get his first tattoo too.

While the boys were in search of tats, I went to the toy store to get the boys a wooden “Day Out With Thomas 2015” train track each. While I was waiting for the tracks to be engraved, I picked up some extra train tracks we always seem to be short on and two little wooden cabooses with “Strasburg RR” stamped on them that they could use with the other wooden trains we have.

When I got out of the toy store the station seemed deserted. Nearly everyone had left! I couldn’t complain though. It was nice being able to let the boys run around and not worry about them bumping into someone or getting lost in the crowd.

The cars that each train pulled were slightly different from last year. Or maybe we just sat in different ones. The open car was great. There were no windows for the boys to mess with and it let a really nice, cool breeze through. This one of the cars from Thomas’ train we sat in:

Strasburg Rail Road Day Out With Thomas ©

Percy’s train had neat light fixtures and pretty ceiling:

Strauburg Railroad ©

On each train we got a history of the cars we rode in, the Strasburg railway, and the area surrounding it: Amish country. It’s actually pretty neat to sit in a train car being pulled by an engine that are both about 100 years old. It’s even neater to ride them through a part of the country where people are still living very close to the way they did 100 years ago.

Both boys had trouble sleeping on the way back, but they were in decent spirits until about 7:30 when snacks weren’t enough to keep them happy. We stopped for dinner at a McDonald’s so we could stretch out our legs and we were home around 9:30. The boys were beyond exhausted and I couldn’t get them to bed fast enough. However, considering how little they slept that day, they behaved VERY well.

I think L developed a few new words while we were up there. He loved waiving hi and bye to everyone from the train, and I picked up that he has a different wave for each word. He’s just starting to get into the Train Phase and I think this trip sparked even more excitement in him. It’s crazy to think this time last year we took the same trip and he was held or carried through nearly all of it. He didn’t know what a train was, nor do I think he cared. But this year? This year we may have blown his mind a little.

And G still loves his trains. Mr Boots really thought G’s Thomas phase would be short-lived; he mentioned he thought G wouldn’t care about what we saw on this trip. But G proved him wrong. And I know from living with a Thomas fanatic (my brother) that we might get a few more good years. Even if G isn’t into the TV shows or movies as much as he used to, he loves playing with his wooden trains and the train set and still insists on going to the Train Store (AC Moore) to buy more every time he knows we’re close to it (we usually just end up looking).


Since we went on a Sunday, a lot of businesses were closed. I noticed a store I hadn’t last year, but it wasn’t open by the time we left the Thomas event. There is also a large farm on the Strasburg line that you can stop at on certain days of the week. It was probably just as well that it was closed because it was getting late and we had to try to make it home so Mr Boots could get a decent night’s sleep (poor guy had to work a long day before). The Amish also weren’t selling their goods at the station like they were last year. This disappointed G; he was hoping to get a car to go with the wooden train we bought from one of them last year. (And he blew our minds when he described the other wooden toys the girl was selling and that a girl was selling them.)

Other things I wish we could have done but didn’t have the time:

  • Across the street from the Strasburg Station, there is a train museum. Our GPS took us a different way this year so we drove past it coming into town. They’ve got a few full size locomotives inside and out that you can look at.
  • Eat at the Red Caboose Motel Restaurant. It’s part of a motel made up of old cabooses.
  • Actually, I’d really like to spend the night in the Caboose Motel one day. Just to say I did.
  • Visit the farm.

Like I probably said last year, if you have any Thomas the Tank Engine or just plain ol’ train fanatics in your family, the Day Out With Thomas event is a must! Check out where they’ll be next here!

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