Okay, so I know how much my boys LOVE Thomas the Tank Engine…so much that that is the only birthday cake I’ve made and it’s still being requested, so much that it is the only toy aisle we meander through, and so much that my 20 month old’s first clear phrase may have been ‘Day of the Diesels.” But, even so, I never would have expected the reaction I got when my boys walked down that street in Alabama and saw Thomas the Tank Engine for real! They both started screaming and laughing hysterically…it was priceless!
We were so excited to see that the yearly event, “A Day Out With Thomas” was coming to the closest railroad museum in Calera, Alabama, just outside of Birmingham. We jumped at the opportunity to go, and even though it was a long 4 hour drive both ways I would do it again in a minute! It kept my 3 ½ year old and 20 month old’s attentions for more than 4 hours with endless activities.
We set out on an adventure to get our maps stamped so that we could get our “Mystery Cargo” at the end of the day. We started out at the Imagination Station which had numerous train tables and MegaBlok tables.
By the time we could drag them both away from there, it was time for our ride with Thomas. It was a refreshing, AIR CONDITIONED 25-minute ride through the woods. And even though my big boy was a bit disappointed we didn’t end up at the Sodor Steamworks or Knapford Station, he had a blast nonetheless.
After our ride, we headed to the old engines at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum. We climbed on an old caboose and rang the bell on another huge old engine.
We grabbed a bite of lunch from one of the vendors and then proceeded to the gift shop…a dream of a place for my 2 little Thomas fans. With two new engines in hand thanks to their sweet grandmother, we hung out a little in a shaded sand box…great idea on their part considering it was around 80 degrees.
Then we finally got to meet Sir Topham Hatt. Oh my goodness, the joy my boys got from giving him a high-five! That definitely got us the biggest smiles of the day!
Our last stop was then another air-conditioned train car fitted for story time and video time. I know the other parents were as glad as I was to stop in here and rest their feet for a bit, too.
After that, we had all of our stamps to finally obtain our Mystery Cargo…my boy was so proud to show them his and his brother’s completed maps. Following a swing by the petting zoo and a stop to listen to some live Thomas music, we headed out! My boys were pooped to say the least, buy my oldest hasn’t stopped talking about it since we left. If you have little Thomas fans like me and an event like this within comfortable driving distance, you won’t regret making a trip. I see more days spent with Thomas in our future!
*If you missed the event this past weekend, don’t despair! Thomas will be in Calera, AL again April 21-22 and in Silverhill, AL in May. To see a full schedule, visit http://www.ticketweb.com/promo/dowt/index.html!
Disclosure: As a “mommy reporter,” our family received tickets to the event, but the opinions shared here are completely my own!
Bill Houston says
On behalf of all the volunteers at the Heart of Dixie Railraod Museum I want to say we’re so glad you enjoyed your day with Thomas. Thanks for sharing your story with others. As an all volunteer, non profit organization positive feedback makes us feel good!
I’m the conductor you show in the picture working hard for Sir Topham.
Remember we have train rides every Saturday throughout the summer as well as other special events like Pumpkin Patch and North Pole Express. Visit us at our website HODRRM.org or find us on facebook.