Maybe your child is obsessed with Thomas the Train or maybe your just looking for something fun to do as a family on the weekend – find out what makes Day Out with Thomas at Crossroads Village a day that the whole family will enjoy (not just the kiddo’s). Plus, find out what you need to know before heading out.
Who’s excited about seeing Thomas the Train? My children broke out into an outroar – MMeeee!!! It’s not very often that we get a chance to go somewhere that both the kids and adults are excited about and by the look of my kids barely being able to control their jumps and leaps as we walked towards to entrance, I could tell that they were really looking forward to today.
Day Out with Thomas is an interactive adventure that creates a home at Crossroads Village for only two weekends a year – so getting your tickets early is key (however, sometimes tickets can still be found at the last minute). This adventure includes a walk through historic Crossroads Village – a dirt road village built to emulate the day to day living of the past, meet and greet stations along the village path, crafts, bounce houses, a map for kids to fill out as they visit each exhibit and a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad pulled by none other than Thomas the Train.
We decided to leave our train ride for last because frankly, my kids always fall asleep on train rides and I didn’t want them to be cranky or miss the rest of the park. So instead we arrived three hours before our train was scheduled to depart – this way we could first enjoy all of the other park offerings first. As soon as we walked in to the park we found ourselves in a historic downtown – complete with a bank, dentist, store and more. Like any other visiting day, these were all open so we could browse around inside.
This main downtown area is also where you will find shopping, ice-cream and things you may want to save for the end of your trip (without having to carry around all day). However, if you go left instead of straight after crossing over the railroad tracks you can follow the streets around in a circle to visit some of the houses and architecture that the parent’s might enjoy more first. This park is full of not only real life learning opportunities in the blacksmith shop, but also amazing sights of vintage America.
Along the path we also found a spot to sit down and rest while we listened to old fashioned kids folk songs played. Again, DOWT and Crossroads Village made this interactive by providing instruments for the children to play along with.
At the back of the park we were all delighted to find a beautiful 1912 fully operational carousel, ferris wheel and temporary tattoo station. While the tattoo’s were included in the price – taking a ride one one of the vintage amusement park rides does cost extra, but totally worth it because it was the fastest spinning carousel I’ve ever been on.
If you find yourself lost at any point – just look for the signs! They are throughout the park to help you find your way to what you want to do. Also, a helpful tip for parent’s with young children – there are signs to point you to baby changing stations too! These are houses or areas within houses that are set up entirely for baby changing needs. How awesome is that?
After following the village around and enjoying everything it had to offer we found ourselves at an opening filled with kids crafts and entertainment opportunities – this was a great way to allow them to let loose for a few before we headed back into downtown to finish our day.
My kids had a great time coloring their own hats to wear while riding on the train and it helped them to get excited about meeting Thomas all over again.
Before heading to board the train, we first stopped to meet Sir Topham Hat. It is important to note the times of the meet and greets at the beginning of your day – as these are only at scheduled times and locations. There are also professional photographers on site to snap a picture of the whole family and have these photos available for purchase before you go home.
After visiting every spot on our map, we headed into the gift shop to claim our prize and then wore our hats, blew our “whistles” and “patiently” waited for Thomas the Train to meet us at the station.
If you need to bring a stroller with you to the park, no worries – there are stroller parking stations everywhere, even right by the train.
The ride on the train was about 45 minutes long and bumped and rattled along the most beautiful natural scenic locations. While my kids fell asleep (told you so) I relaxed, enjoyed the fresh breeze and watched the lovely sights pass me by. It was the perfect ending to the perfect day.
Tickets to visit Thomas the Train at Crossroad may be purchased on their website. But hurry, this event only runs August 21-23 & August 28-30th.
But don’t forget – Crossroad Village also has other fun family outing opportunities throughout the year, like trick or treating in the park for Halloween! Keep your eyes open for that one coming up soon!