What? Day Out with Thomas (2017 DATES: March 31 – April 2 and April 7 – April 9, 2017)
Where? Grapevine Vintage Railroad
Cost? Tickets are $21, ages 2 and up. NEW THIS YEAR – Individuals without tickets for the Day Out With Thomas excursions may still partake in the fun on-site activities. Park entry fees are $10 per person (ages 13 months and up).
Growing up, trains were not really a fascination of mine. I’m sure I would have had fun riding one but I never had any interest in playing or talking about trains.
Enter my son.
My life interests have changed dramatically. Now I live in a world that is all about trains (and cars…and sports…and…well—poop. Can I get an Amen?) I’ve spent a pretty penny on the Thomas & Friends train table, train cars, books, bath toys, and everything in between for our train lover. My son just can’t get enough, even though he won’t sit through a single episode of Thomas & Friends. We have been to a Day out with Thomas for the past two years and my son has thoroughly enjoyed it both times, despite his very young age. I think this year he (now age 3.5) will appreciate it the most.
If you’ve never visited the Grapevine Vintage Railroad you’re in for a treat. “Puffy”, the steam locomotive, is a Texas legend boasting the title of being the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the South. “Vinny,” a 1953 GP-7 diesel locomotive, is the other train car that might be running the day you visit. Either way, Thomas’ big blue car will be leading the train. The look on my son’s face when we crossed the street (beware: parking can fill quickly and you might have to park across the busy Main Street) was priceless.
Once you are into the exhibit there are many Thomas related activities to partake in before, or after, your 25 minute train ride (on a real train pulled by Thomas!). Get ready for Thomas Power Wheels and other ride-on toys, live music, a Mega Bloks® station, arts and crafts and the biggest gift shop for Thomas & Friends products you’ve ever seen. Make sure you get to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor. Snag a selfie and post it on our Facebook page! I bought these conductor hats for our family last time we went and it made for some adorable pictures.
A couple of quick notes: One, the experience of riding a real steam locomotive is fun, but the scenery on the train isn’t awe-inspiring. Two, this is the first year that you’re able to visit the grounds and all the Sodor related activities without being a train ticket holder. This is such a great option if you miss buying tickets, or just want to skip the train! You will, however, need to pay $10 per person (13 months and up) at the gate to partake in the fun. Thirdly, there is stroller parking if you bring a stroller, but you can’t bring it on the actual train ride (or in the long line before you enter). Since you will probably be away from your stroller for quite some time, consider bringing a baby carrier (how adorable is this Navigator design from Tula?!) for the real little babies. Lastly, parking can be tough because spots are limited in busy downtown Grapevine. Make sure you add in some cushion time for parking/walking.
If you can’t make it to this but would love another chance on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, check out the other events they host during the year, including our family favorite, North Pole Express.
Your Out and About Friend,
Time and day we visited? Friday 3PM, 2016
Level of crowds? High
Changing Table? Yes
Cleanliness of Bathroom? Good
Recommended age? Infant-8 years
Food Options? Yes
Allowed to bring in food and beverages? No
Stroller friendly? No (no strollers allowed on the train but ok for the surrounding areas inside the exhibit)
Wheelchair accessible? Yes
Safety concerns? No
Coupons? Use the code “K7RA” to receive $3 off each ticket purchase online or by phone presented by KERA TV