I've mentioned before how much of a "trainiac" my son is, so of course we had to take him to the Day Out with Thomas at the Illinois Railway Museum. We bought tickets as soon as we learned they were available. Based on advice from friends, we got the first ride of the day. This was good advice, as parking filled up quickly and we could avoid some of the craziness of such a big event.
We've been to the Railway Museum before (see this post), but there was much more kids' stuff this time: bouncy houses, temporary tattoos, a chance to meet Sir Topham Hatt from the show, and much more. But we didn't bother with any of that, because Alex was much more interested in the trains themselves.
We got to the museum around 9:30 and were able to get to the Thomas train in plenty of time. I was pleased that admission to the museum was included in the cost of the tickets; I thought we'd have to pay for that too. The coaches were regular coaches from the museum, not Annie and Clarabelle. There were some pictures of Thomas, Percy, and James tacked to the inside ceiling, next to the old adds. The train ride was about 20 minutes. During the ride, clowns passed through the cars (Alex paid no attention). At the end, he got a certificate proclaiming him a junior engineer. We'll have to put that up in his room. We took some pictures of Thomas, but we didn't do the official ones. I should also mention that although Thomas led the train, there was a diesel engine in back doing the real work. I doubt a tank engine could handle all those coaches!
After the ride, we stopped by Alex's favorite engine, a gray one numbered 3007. Then we passed through a barn before meeting some friends who were on the 10:30 train. We split up for a bit so Alex could check out all the signals on display and ride a commuter train. Then we rejoined our friends for lunch. While we were at the diner, we heard an announcement about a special tour of the steam repair shed, so we joined that tour. We looked at some more trains, but by that point we'd been at the museum for over four hours. Alex was so interested in the trains he wasn't bothered by hunger, thirst, or fatigue, but we didn't want him to have a meltdown or a potty accident. So we had to skip the ride on a cable car that we'd promised him. I think stopping by the Thomas store cured any disappointment he felt. He held up well throughout our visit, but by the end he was fading. I think we left at the right time. Our little engineer fell asleep in the car, probably dreaming about all the trains he wants to drive.
Here are a few photos from the day:
A closeup of Alex in his train engineer outfit. He was quite a hit! Many of the other kids wore Thomas shirts and hats, but I saw only one other kid in a similar outfit.
The best picture I took of Thomas.