All Aboard For a Day With Thomas the Tank
When it comes to trains, our kids are the foremost authority on all things that chug along the railway. Who’s the steam-powered celebrity that is huge among the toddler set? None other than Thomas the Tank Engine. No doubt your kiddos own at least a set of bedsheets, a lunchbox, backpack, or some article of clothing that has this famous train’s face printed on it. Give your little train lovers the ultimate thrill at a meet-and-greet with their favorite locomotive at Roaring Camp Railroads’ 18th annual Day Out with Thomas.
What could be better than a life-sized train transformed to look like the famous engine himself? Boarding said train, of course. Fans (children and grownups alike) take a 25-minute ride with Thomas through the trees of Roaring Camp. Get your picture taken with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, listen to Thomas & Friends storytelling, watch the elaborate electric train set-ups and bounce in the jumpy house. Don’t forget to stop by the Thomas & Friends Imagination Station for stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, train tables, and coloring sheets. There’s plenty of kid-friendly food available for sale, too, along with a booth just for snow cones.
Tickets are on sale now and are available for July 26-28 and August 2-4. This event is a popular one, so be sure and get your tickets early. Roaring Camp asks that you arrive at least an hour before your scheduled ride, so you can park and make your way to the activities before getting in line to board the train. Be sure to bring a camera for tons of photo-ops. Tickets are $19 plus tax, and parking is $8. Tickets are available for purchase here.
- Weekdays are always your best bet to avoid the crowds. If you can’t make it down on a Friday, try to snag early morning tickets. If afternoons work best with your napping household, think about bringing a small toy or handheld game to keep the little ones entertained while you line up for the train ride, Thomas photo-op, or jumpy house. Strollers are not permitted on the train (there is stroller parking), so bring a carrier for babies.
- Once you’re on the train, you can’t actually see Thomas (the Tank Engine is actually pulling the cars) unless you’re in one of the first cars. If you can’t snag a car immediately behind Thomas (Numbers 1, 2, etc. through TicketWeb), opt for an Open-Air Car for stunning views of the surrounding Redwoods (the majority of the ride is shaded). You can always “visit” with Thomas after the ride and grab a photo.
- You can bring your own food/cooler and there is ample space on the grounds for a picnic. With the myriad kids’ activities, plan to make a day of it, rather than just the train ride experience.
Roaring Camp Railroads
5401 Graham Hill Rd.
Felton, Ca 95018
Do you have any advice to share to other parents visiting Roaring Camp? Share the love below.
– Tara Wright with Susie Foresman
Photos courtesy of Day Out with Thomas