This past weekend my mom and I took my daughter (7), twins (2), and nephew (5) to ride Thomas the Train and enjoy the fun day organized at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City. It was a great time, and all ages really enjoyed it. Having never been before, I wanted to share a few tips with you on how to best enjoy your day. There is one more weekend left for the Day Out with Thomas: The Go-Go Thomas Tour 2013.
- Buy your tickets in advance. Try on-line first because the time slots do sell out.
- Get there at least 45-minutes to an hour early. The website suggests an hour before train departure time. You need to give yourself enough time to park, pick up or buy tickets, gather the troops and line up for the train ride.
- Parking is a bit of a challenge. There is a handicapped lot available right near the entrance. Everyone else will need to park down the street, and up a rather large hill. A shuttle is provided for transportation, so plan accordingly.
- Boulder City is a small town with a main highway that drives right through the middle, so expect some traffic, especially on the weekend. There are not many places to make U-turns, so be on the look out for Yucca Street. There is not a light there, but it is the main street before reaching the A&W.
- If you want to sit in an outdoor train car, be sure to line up as early as possible.
- Make sure to plan time to enjoy all the exhibits, activities and the Imagination Station provided.
The kids had a great time. They were definitely the perfect age for this event, though a bit testy during the actual train ride. We tried to grab a seat on one of the outdoor cars, but they filled up quickly. Instead, we ended up inside one of the restored train cars, with two bench seats facing each other. This actually worked out better for us in hindsight.
Bring some snacks or something to keep the little ones busy while you wait on the train for the ride to start. During the train ride, a conductor will come by to bring the kids a packet to gain their Jr. Engineer certificate. Take the papers around to get stamped at each “station” and the kids will get a Thomas the Train souvenir.
My daughter, 7, was a tad too old to really enjoy much. She did have fun on the obstacle course, and she participated in the Imagination Station doing arts and crafts. Mostly, she was a great help with the little guys who wanted to be everywhere at the same time!
My biggest complaint was the visit with Sir Topham Hatt. My twins waited anxiously in line for their turn, and as luck would have it, when they were next, Sir Topham had to take a 15-minute break. As an adult, I completely understand and empathize with Sir Topham wanting his 15-minute break, however, try explaining that to 2 two-year olds who couldn’t wait to meet him. I didn’t have 15-minutes to wait for him to come back, and my boys had a total meltdown that only a Popsicle from the ice cream truck could cure. As a suggestion, if the person moderating Sir Topham’s breaks would just announce it like 5-7 minutes prior to his actual break time, or cut off the line at a certain point, that would give parents or care takers the opportunity to plan so time is not wasted and melt downs do not occur. Just something to be aware of if a photo with Sir Topham Hatt is high on your priority list.
Other than that, the trip was successful and the Day Out with Thomas was a fun memory for all of us! It is worth the trip for some family fun this weekend.