My son LOVES trains. Specifically, he loves Thomas and his friends. So, when I heard that Thomas was going to be in our neck of the woods this summer for Day Out with Thomas, I had to get tickets. It’s a good thing I did because tickets for our chosen date went quickly!
I had heard mixed reviews from people who had been to Day Out with Thomas in past years, so I made sure my expectations were in check. I told my son Owen that we were going to meet Thomas in the Summer and he reminded me all Spring that “Owen see Thomas in Summer.” When the time finally came, he couldn’t contain his excitement!
Once we were cleared to cross the street, we headed to the entrance where we got our wristbands and a sheet to collect stamps for a prize. The wristbands allowed us to re-enter at any point during the day. This was very helpful as my husband ended up going back in while we were waiting for lunch at a restaurant across the street to check out the gift shop.
We met up with a friend and her son and we headed straight for the train tables. The tracks and buildings were attached to the table, which was really helpful. Our kids could have spent the entire event just playing with trains and they would have had a great time! Next door, they had temporary tattoos, which Owen loved!
We got in line for our train about 15 minutes before its scheduled departure. There are two lines. If you go into the one on the right, you will be closer to Thomas. There was a clown handing out stickers right as we boarded. We saw many of these stickers on windows and chairs of the trains.
The train ride was a lot of fun! It’s a short, 25 minute ride just to Snoqualmie Falls and back. The return trip is much quicker. On board, a volunteer takes your ticket and another volunteer in a top hat will present your child with a Junior Engineer certificate. Owen told us he wanted to color it.
After we departed the train, we immediately got in line to get photos with Thomas. They have two photographers stationed. One is directly in front of Thomas and the other one is slightly to the left (so you get a photo with more of the train body.) The line moves pretty quickly, but can get quite long. You have to purchase these photos or quickly try to take one while the photographer is taking photos. Our photographer took 4 photos and they were just okay. It’s $40 for digital downloads, which felt really high to me.
Next, we got in line for a yellow cart that runs the length of the train station. This line moved really quickly and the ride was pretty fun for the kids. You can ride it as many times as you like.
We got in line to meet Sir Topham Hat, but Owen told us he was all done with photos. So, we just brought him closer so he could see him and then we decided to head across the street to find lunch.
10 Tips for Day Out with Thomas
- Don’t bring a stroller. It’s a small event space and you’ll need to park your stroller for the train ride. They have stroller parking at the event entrance.
- Bring a camera! There are lots of fun photo ops at this event. They charge money for photos they take of you, but you can have someone behind you in line snap some pics of you and your family.
- Wear comfortable shoes. The ground has a lot of rocks and you will be crossing the railroad tracks several times, which have lots of rocks and semi-wobbly boards. And you’ll be doing more walking around than you might anticipate.
- Arrive at least an hour early. There are a ton of activities to do and you may want to save your train ride for the end. Better yet, get tickets for the first train of the morning and you should be able to get unlimited selfies with Thomas, as he won’t be leaving before your train!
- Get in the Right lane for your train ride. The line to the right gets you closer to Thomas and is much quieter since the actual engine is in the back. Extra tip: sit on the side of the train closest to the street because you’ll get a great view of Snoqualmie Falls.
- Get Thomas photos. Get in line to take photos with Thomas right before he is scheduled to pull into the station. The line seems to get really long after he has pulled in. You can also get in line immediately after your train ride.
- Ride the yellow cart. Next to the Thomas photos is a little yellow cart that you can ride up and down the tracks in front of the station. It’s a quick ride, but lots of fun. Extra tip: get in line right before Thomas departs and you’ll get to follow Thomas the whole way to the end of the station! Great for extra photos!
- Fill out stamp sheet, or not. If you fill out the stamp sheet, the prize is a Thomas clapper toy. If this sounds annoying, don’t do the stamp sheet 🙂
- Bring snacks. They do offer pizza, popcorn and ice cream at the event, but it’s always good to have snacks available when waiting in line with toddlers is involved. Extra tip: bring a sack lunch and sit outside the fence and you can watch Thomas come and go with minimal crowds!
- Bathrooms available in the station. If you are potty-training or have kids who need assistance and you don’t want to deal with ports-potties, there are actual bathrooms inside the station.