My son is a Thomas the Train fanatic. He loves everything Thomas. His interest in trains started around 18 months when he called any toy with wheels he played with a choo-choo. But somewhere around 2.5 he discovered there was a difference between Thomas and all other types of trains. The rest was history.
Somewhere close to his second birthday a family member mentioned that every year there is a Thomas the Train event in Santa Cruz in December. And that’s how we discovered the mother of all Thomas activities, Day Out With Thomas.
Day Out With Thomas is a road show for Thomas. It goes around to different heritage railroads in the US and Canada and sets up day long Thomas events. The events have train tables, Thomas arts and crafts, pictures with Sir Topham Hat and in some cases jumpy houses. But the main attraction is Thomas. They have a steam engine that looks just like Thomas that is hooked up to the heritage railway’s coaches. For the price of the ticket you get a 20 minute train ride with Thomas and access to all the activities.
Living in the Bay Area we have always lucked out in having access to two Day Out With Thomas events. Every year Thomas has comes in the summer to Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, CA, and to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk train in December.
While we have done both, the December event is by far my favorite. Dubbed “Holiday Out With Thomas” the event is Christmas themed. The crafts include making your own ornament and decorating sugar cookies. The train is decorated with holiday lights. Santa rides along and you sing Christmas carols. My son loved jingling the bells and seeing Santa.
But its not just the train ride. The kids love playing on the train tables (they usually have at least 3 if not more) and my son even got into the arts and crafts a bit last year.
Each Day Out with Thomas event wouldn’t be complete without a store. The Roaring Camp event had a particularly large one with lots of train options as well as other items and Day Out With Thomas shirts. That was where were we got my son his first Trackmasters train, Percy, that he still adores.
Sadly, this year the planners decided not to do a Holiday event. I was incredibly disappointed and hope they bring it back next year. For now we will have to plan for the summer event and relive our memories of Holiday Out with Thomas of years past.
Click Here for information about locations and prices for the 2014 Day Out With Thomas Events
* All photos taken by Atma Photography