Can anyone tell me if there is a toddler who doesn’t love Thomas?
(Not me, but you never know.)
That’s right folks, we are huge fans of Thomas the Tank Engine. Last month, we were fortunate to attend a Day Out With Thomas event at Greenfield Village in Michigan. We were planning to make a trip to see the usual black steam locomotive around Greenfield Village because little Linus is a infatuated with planes, trains, and automobiles. On the morning of our drive, Prof checked Greenfield Village’s website and found that they had a special exhibit of Thomas. After a quick phone call, we were able to secure the 4:30 pm spot for a train ride with Thomas on the last ride and last weekend of the Thomas exhibit.
We arrived just in time to see Thomas make his way to greet visitors. You could hear Thomas blowing his signature whistle around the bend, and children stopped and searched for him in every direction. Clearly, we were off to a good start on our Thomas the Train excursion.
Glancy Modular Railroad Club Trains
A Thomas and Friends train set up encouraged young minds to visualize life on the Island of Sodor.
This sign, “Any child left behind will receive an espresso and a puppy,” caused me to chuckle.
We watched Thomas, Percy, James, and Gordon go round and round the track, eating popcorn and snacking away, until we finally enticed Linus to meet Sir Topham Hatt.
Meet Sir Topham Hatt
Visitors waited in lines to take a photo with Sir Thomas Hatt. At designated times (9:45, 10:30, 11:15, 12:30, 1:15, 2:00, 2:45, 3:45, 4:30 and 5:00), you can have a Greenfield Village staff person take a photo for you or you can use your personal camera to take a photo with Sir Topham Hatt. Linus even high-fived Sir Topham Hatt, which was a total shocker!
Imagination Station Tent
Rather than watching Thomas go by, we walked into the Imagination Station Tent Station, where children could imagine and play with more Thomas the Train sets. As you can tell in the photo, more boys than girls were playing with Thomas the Train sets.
A huge Thomas the Tank Engine made of Mega Bloks encouraged young train fans to ride the sculpture. However, most parents pulled their children off to play with handheld version of Mega Bloks Thomas.
Linus and Piano Man received a tattoo of their favorite Thomas and Friends train characters.
They offered an iPad station as well, but thankfully, children were not interested in playing any electronic games.
Donald F. Kosch Village Playground
Children could ride a carousel for a nominal fee or play for free at the outdoor water splash pad and playground. It was such a large playground and full of fun play sets to get their bodies active.
I love how Piano Man took rock climbing lessons in Cyprus over a year ago, and he’s still using his skills to climb. Major thanks to Mr. Marios at Get Out Climbing for teaching some great skills to young people, instilling a heart and passion for the great outdoors.
Thomas and Friends Gift Shop
If children picked up a map and stopped by several stations around Greenfield Village, they could visit the gift shop check out lane and receive a free goody bag of prizes – a Mega Blok of Thomas and a Thomas and Friends character poster wheel.
Train Ride with Thomas
You can purchase tickets to ride a special locomotive Thomas around Greenfield Village. The train ride departs every 1/2 hour, and people line up pretty much as soon as the previous group departs from Smiths Creek Depot. We purchased tickets for the last train ride of the day at 4:30 pm. When we arrived at 4 pm, the 4 pm group was ready to depart. Parents from the 4 pm ride were quite upset that they missed their scheduled departure but were given the chance to ride with the next group. So have no worries if you missed your time slot.
We departed a bit after our 4:30 pm time slot, but it didn’t matter. Linus watched with excitement and exhaustion of the beautiful sites around Greenfield Village.
Families ended their day with a paid or free photography session with Thomas the Train.
It couldn’t have been more enjoyable and fun under the blue skies and breezy weather, surrounded by Thomas and his beloved Tank Engine Friends. If you’re ever interested in attending a Day Out with Thomas Event, you’ll have to visit Pennsylvania or Michigan, as I learned from one of the Greenfield Village staff personnel that these are the only two locations that hold annual Thomas events. It’s a pricey visit, but worth it for you have a major Thomas fan in your household.