Disclosure: My family and I were offered four tickets to A Day Out with Thomas as well as some Thomas goodies. We were thrilled to participate, as we had already planned on going and getting complimentary tickets was a bonus and an honor. As always, I don’t accept things that I’m not interested in, nor do I say things that aren’t 100% true, whether the tickets were complimentary or not.
“This may be the last year we’ll get to ride on Thomas,” Tate and I agreed, “Carson just isn’t as interested in Thomas as he used to be.” We both sighed and reminisced about all the years we’ve spent watching endless loops of Thomas movies and re-enacting great crashes and boiler busting moments with all of Carson and Ella’s favorite characters.
I didn’t really expect Carson to be very excited about our trip to Chattanooga for A Day Out with Thomas. Since Ella mimics her brother’s every move, we expected that she would also be indifferent about the trip. But Tate and I, holding onto these precious last preschool years, wanted to take them and hopefully capture the anticipation and wonder of riding Thomas the Train.
In the mail a few weeks before the big day, the kids received some complimentary Thomas conductor hats and train whistles. I let them play with them for a few days and then stealthily hid them until our trip. When I pulled them out yesterday morning, they were thrilled with the new (again) toys and hats. Carson was vibrating with excitement, so therefore, Ella was also vibrating as we headed off to Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Despite the dreary, cold weather, our Day Out With Thomas experience was excellent. The volunteers and workers were nothing but helpful and courteous, trying to make the day perfect for all who attended. There were all sorts of activities for the kids, starting with a map and a scavenger hunt, and ending with a free gift from the gift shop. In fact, there were all sorts of freebies like the Mega Bloks, mini Thomas books, and coloring pages they were given.
The kids had a blast in the Imagination Station, where Ella got a Thomas tattoo and both kids played with trains they had set up. There were plenty of photo opportunities in front of Thomas, as well as with Sir Topham Hatt. (Unfortunately there were no Lady Hatt sightings.) The kids played at the bubble station, petted goats and donkeys, played miniature golf, and watched a magic show complete with a cheesy rapping mime homeboy magician.
And of course, we got to ride on Thomas. Car Two. We pretended we were riding on Clarabel. The kids watched out the window during the 25 minute ride, forwards and backwards. I watched Carson and Ella, and all of the kids in car two, their smiles and laughs. I’m such a sucker for happy kids, considering that I feel like lately my children have done little beyond whine, complain, and cry and produce nails on the chalkboard behavior. It was nice to sit back for 25 minutes and watch their quiet, lost in thought smiles.
We ended up spending about 3 hours at the event, we could have spent even more time there, as they also were serving food on one of the stationary dining cars.
This morning, we’ve already studied our Thomas map and colored some Thomas pictures. I’m back to tripping on Douglas, Emily, and Troublesome Trucks. Apparently in September there is another Thomas movie being released on DVD, so the kids are already begging that I buy it.
So maybe we can squeeze a few more months out of Thomas yet. Perhaps we’ll even get to go to A Day Out with Thomas next year. We can hope, anyway.