On June 25th, I took my son and daughter to spend some time at Strasburg Railroad, having a special Day Out With Thomas! This is an event that they offer a few special times thoughout the year. I was given 3 tickets to ride Thomas and enjoy the many fun activites planned. When I arrived, I purchased tickets so we could also ride Percy, who is there also!
When we arrived the parking was pretty easy to get to. We went straight to the tent to pick up our tickets. The people working that I encountered were so super friendly and very knowledgeable with any questions I had about the trains. We got our tickets and headed straight to Thomas first! My son had the biggest smile on his face when we saw Thomas pulling up. Now this isn’t some dinky toy train, it is a real size Thomas Train. And, what was even more amazing, He talks! Getting on to the train went smoothly and we sat down to take our ride. One thing I thought was amazing, we had my elderly Aunt with us who is not able to climb stairs well. The wonderful people that work at the event were able to bring a handicap lift up to the train for us. My Aunt just steps in, they secure the sides up and than raise it or lower it, so she was able to get on the trains without any problem. This is such a great thing that they do! The ride lasts about 15 minutes and was perfect for my son with his sensory issues. After Thomas, we headed down to ride Percy. He was just as amazing to see and talked also.
After the train rides we stopped to grab a quick picture with Percy. This was the only time during our day that I was a little disappointed about. While the workers are super friendly, the train is only docked for a few minutes for pictures. So the photographer has to rush you in and out of there in order to get everyone in line. Unfortunely, with a child with special needs, you can’t get a good picture rushing. You need some time, a little patience to help them to sit and the ability to get their attention in order for a good or even decent photo. This would be the only thing that I feel needs to change at this event. Maybe have special tickets for any parents with kids, like my son, to come back after the train rides are all done and get pictures. I would have paid a bit extra if needed to have that option.
After taking his picture with Percy, we headed to some of the fun activities. There was a station to get Thomas and Friend tattoos, some wooden play tables, Cranky Cars, Pint Sized Puffer Belly and many more. There was so much to do and enjoy. Everything ran smoothly, there were people all over to help and answer questions. My son didn’t have one meltdown the whole time we were there. To read about all they have to offer during this event, check out this activities link: http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/train-schedule/events/day-out-with-thomas/activities/
Once we were done playing and exploring, we had to shop inside the big tent and the store. When I tell you it is a Thomas lovers paradise there, it really is! They had almost everything Thomas you could ever imagine and want. My son spent an hour just exploring all the toys to buy. They really had a great variety and alot of merchandise for everyone who attended.
The event ended at 3pm and I left with two very happy and exhausted kids. My son had such an amazing time. With his autism and sensory issues, I was worried it would be tough with everything there. But, everything was run so professionally and smoothly, that he was able to enjoy the day and experience so many new and exciting things. When we got in the car, with his new letter train that he choose, he was smiling and tired. As he played with his new toy, he said “TRAIN” for the very first time. Right than and there, I knew that spending the day at Strasburg was worth every moment.
I can honestly say that we will be going back very soon to spend another Day Out With Thomas. He is going to be back at Strasburg Railroad again in September and November! We will be making our trip this September to see him again! I can not begin to say what a great event Strasburg Railroad puts on for everyone and how everything is so autism and sensory friendly. I highly recommend this experience to any families who have a child with autism, sensory issues or any other special needs. They really go out of their way to make sure that everything is run smoothly and to help in any way needed to make sure your trip is a perfect one.
If you would like to read more about a Day Out With Thomas and purchase tickets for the event coming September 12-20, please check out this link: http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/train-schedule/events/day-out-with-thomas/
Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my sons experiences there! And, come join us in September when we go to see Thomas and have fun once more!
** I was given 3 tickets to spend a Day Out With Thomas and review them. All the opinions expressed are of my own and not in any way influenced by Strasburg Railroad or anyone else.**