Is “A Day Out with Thomas the Train” worth it? What age is good for A Day Out with Thomas? Is it just a train ride? I have had all these questions for the past several years when I heard about the Day Out with Thomas the Train event. Honestly, I thought it would be an overpriced, quick gimmick type of event. That was before I had any experience with the impressive quality of programs through the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and before I actually had any experience going to A Day Out with Thomas.
I’m here to set the record straight and to encourage you to not miss the chance to experience A Day Out with Thomas!
*Updated with 4/2018 information*
A Day Out with Thomas the Train Review
There is a reason that A Day Out with Thomas has been running strong for 16 years across the country and Canada. It is a remarkable experience to see and experience riding the rails with the 15-ton replica of the friendly Thomas the Train. This may be what drives people to the event but it is the full day of activities that are FREE that makes this an event well worth the price!
Join us first as we get on board Thomas the Train
All heads turn and the excitement builds as Thomas the Train pulls into the Boston Mills Train Depot! We arrived 1 hour early, as they recommend and when we first saw Thomas, the kids wanted to head straight for him! It is such a beautiful, vividly bright blue engine that can’t be mistaken for anything but Thomas the Train. I took my 4 year old daughter, 6 year old son, and 9 year old nephew with me to experience A Day Out with Thomas.
They recommend you getting to the train depot 1 hour before your scheduled train departure and lining up 1/2 hour before. When we got there 1/2 hour beforehand, everyone else had already boarded. I recommend getting in line 45 minutes early as they will board early and you can get the seat you want. That being said, we didn’t miss out on anything by arriving just 1/2 hour early, the tickets are pre-sold so there will be a seat for you! We had a great seat, as there are no “bad seats” on the train. Each has a great view.
Each train is decorated like a party with streamers, balloons, and pictures of Thomas and all his friends on the walls. It was real festive, so although you don’t actually ride Thomas, he is pulling the CVSRR trains that your riding.
Once on board Thomas the Train, it was time for our tickets to be punched. My kids loved getting their tickets punched and held on to their own tickets for the entire train ride. They now reside on their cork boards in their bedrooms, they were so proud of them.
Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt are your tour guides throughout the 25 minute ride from Boston Mills Depot to Peninsula Depot and back. They talk about life as Thomas the Train, his friends, playing, and having fun. There are segments with music and interactive times to toot like Thomas. My kids were smiling, dancing, and enjoying the scenery the entire time.
My kids have been on the CVSRR train before and had a great time, so I knew they would like riding Thomas the Train. And they did! My nephew has never been on a train before. It was such a delight to see him so excited and happy, I was so happy to see him experience this “first” in his life. He really had a fabulous time.
We each had our own seats, but I was happy to get this group shot of the 4 of us on the train. The staff was super friendly and offered to take our photo below.
What age is good for A Day Out with Thomas?
Will my young kids like it? Will my older kids like it? So, what age is A Day Out with Thomas for? You will find many preschoolers at A Day Out with Thomas wearing their Thomas shirts and gear. This is the age that little boys and girls really get into Thomas. I figured my kids would have a great time being ages 4 & 6, although neither die hard Thomas fans.
My nephew is 9 and has always loved Thomas the Train. I wasn’t sure if he was “too old” to enjoy A Day Out with Thomas now. Let me just tell you now, my 9 year old nephew had the biggest smile on his face the entire time we were there and had a super fun time. I saw other “older” kids there having fun too. With all the activities, kids of all ages can enjoy A Day Out with Thomas.
Thomas Themed Activities at A Day Out with Thomas
When I read that there would be “Thomas-themed activities”, I didn’t expect anything remotely like what they had at A Day Out with Thomas! Upon arrival, I knew that A Day Out with Thomas was going to be MUCH bigger than I had anticipated. I would have worn better shoes had I known it was such a large event. Expect to spend at least 2-1/2 – 3 hours at A Day Out with Thomas.
First, we entered the Thomas the Train Gift Shop that has absolutely everything imaginable that is Thomas the Train. Do some Birthday and Christmas shopping here for your Thomas fans! Clothing, books, trains, blocks, balloons, puzzles, games, toys, and more, all Thomas theme.
Your kids will receive a guide that they will take with them throughout the event to get stamped. If they get all 4 stamps, they receive a goody bag in the end with paper games and coupons, we especially liked the FREE Child Train Ride Ticket and $5 off MegaBloks Coupon!
The next tent has all kinds of model trains of all sizes. Kids and adults can enjoy and appreciate this set up. There are not many places for kids to see such a set up of model trains, they had a great time. There were even antique items from the railroad and CVSR train depot model to check out.
Another tent held a giant screen TV to watch Thomas videos, learn about train safety, and other educational theme talks. 2 other tens allowed kids to get Thomas and Friends tattoos, play with Thomas and Friends stamps, play with Thomas the Train sets, make crafts, and so much more.
Other live events includes meeting Sir Topham Hatt, taking pictures with various Thomas backgrounds, Live & Interactive Music Shows, Magic Shows, Inflatable bounces, farm equipment displays, storytime, and more.
There were 3 inflatable bounces that were a huge hit with my kids. What is more fun than unlimited bounces?!
If you haven’t been able to gather what my answer to the post title question is, let me tell you. Is A Day Out with Thomas the Train worth it? YES! For kids of all ages, A Day Out with Thomas is a family-fun event that has a lot of exciting things to do in addition to the amazing train ride!
A Day Out with Thomas 2018 Dates
Plan to spend A Day Out with Thomas on May 19-20 and May 25-27, 2018 at the Boston Mills Train Depot, rain or shine, with departure times at 9:30 am through 4:30 pm daily.
Where to Buy Day Out with Thomas Tickets and Pricing
Tickets are $18-22 for ages 2 and up, depending on the day. You can buy tickets now by calling toll-free 866.468.7630 or logging onto www.ticketweb.com/dowt. For more information and directions contact Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at 866-468-7630 or visit www.CVSR.com.
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad who provided the tickets for review.
4 thoughts on “Is A Day Out with Thomas the Train worth it?”
I worked as on Thomas for 4 days and I agree with everything you said. A lot of happy memories came out of this years Thomas for me. The kids were amazing. Glad you had such a great time. Maybe see you next year.
We decided against it this year with Bella being 2, but I think next summer will be fun for her!
Thanks, Jayne. There was no “chaos” at all, but to be sure, there was plenty of people and plenty to do! It was more festive and more to do than I had expected.
Loved the pictures. What I like about your perspective is that there did not seem to be a lot of chaos. The Barney show at Universal Orlando was one of my favorite because it was so calming for Alec after much hectic park touring.