First, let me stress – get there an hour early. I didn’t read that part online and we planned to get there about 20-30 minutes early… having never been before, I didn’t realize parking is like two states away. No, just kidding, but it’s kinda far and you have to wait for the bus or Percy train shuttle to take you to the actual train station. This ate up all our buffer time and we were at Will Call when the “All Aboard!” sounded.
I about had a heart attack RUNNING to the boarding section (while babywearing I might add!)… but we made it safely on board. Phew! So, yeah, don’t be like me – get there plenty early!
But on to our ride! It’s a 25 minute ride, just right for smaller kids. Our toddler was mesmerized by the woodsy scenery we passed. Most fascinating to him was being on the other side of the cars that had to STOP for our train to cross the roads! He’s always gotten very excited when we have to stop the car to let a train go by… now he was riding ON the train. What a thrill for him!
Walking around the train yard after our ride ended, we met a real live train engineer and fireman and chatted with them about how the steam engines worked. Everyone on the train staff was so incredibly friendly to our son!
While you’re waiting to board your train (because you’re going to get there super early, remember??), visit Imagination Station: lots of free play areas: train tables, coloring tables, and even got a balloon “animal” artist (my son got a green train wristie like Percy!). Temporary tattoos and face painting were also available free of charge, along with a few carnival rides – just be prepared for some lines at the more popular stations!
I happily noted that the Tour is breastfeeding friendly! I didn’t need to use this area at the time of our visit, but thank you!
The Go Go Thomas Tour is still running this coming weekend (May 4-5) here in Connecticut at the Essex Steam Train, so you can get yourself a ticket and hop on board! The tour, now in its 18h year, will make stops in more than 45 US cities and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2013!!
Check out our photos from the day!
Can’t wait to get on board again with our kids someday!
(PS: where am I and the baby? I babywore him in the Ergobaby carrier and took photos all afternoon. One of these days I need to relinquish the camera for a mommy/baby shot!).