When your oldest is a huge fan of trains, and especially a certain blue train named Thomas, you jump at the opportunity to go to Day Out with Thomas when you find out it’s coming to town. As soon as tickets went on sale we booked our train ride, that is how excited we all were for this adventure.
I don’t know who’s bright idea (
mine) it was to go for the second ride of the day, but that is what we booked. This meant we were all up super early to drive to Squamish. We left the house right at 7am, and after one pit stop we made it to the West Coast Heritage Park around 9am. From our previous experience with the Polar Express ride we knew we wanted to get there a bit early. Parking near the event is $5, and if I remember correctly it goes towards the railway heritage park. You cannot miss it when you pull in because there are volunteers directing traffic to the event.
We were hoping for a nice sunny day, and got the complete opposite. Thankfully we had all packed rain gear, and umbrellas. They were so needed when outside, which was a good portion of the time. You do line up and wait to get on the train outside. There was also a photo opportunity that also happened outside.
Inside the heritage park there was lots to do and see. Thanks to arriving early, the first passengers of the day had already left for their ride so it was not busy at all. Evie actually got the whole bouncy castle to herself for a good portion of time. When we went back later there was a long lineup, and you only got three minutes to bounce.
Upon arrival we were given a piece of paper that was a bit like a scavenger hunt. We were to go to a couple different stations to get stamps when there. When we left at the end of the day, we were told we could show our completed sheet with all the stamps and get a prize. The prize was a Thomas noise maker.
Besides a bouncy castle, there was a mini train display set up with interactive buttons, temporary tattoos of Thomas, a puppet show, mini golf, Lego tables, and even some performs for entertainment. It kept us busy as we waited to join the line for our ride. We were told to go line up twenty minutes before our train ride. Inside was also a big gift shop with everything Thomas the Train related you can think of. My Mom got the a couple souvenirs that I love. We got one conductors hat, a squishy little Thomas train that is perfect for Addie’s little hands, and two different photo books. One just holds photos that we will be putting all out photos we took into it for the girls to flip through. The other book is a bit more special and is like a story book with spots to put photos in, and write down about our memories from the day. We liked this one much more than the scrap book that was available, it was more special, and a better price.
Outside we got to see Thomas himself, and get some photos taken with him. There are professional photographers on site that take your photo and then give you a code to access them. You do have to pay to see these, what I would recommend is taking as many photos as possible and then purchasing all the digital copies from the day. There was also a photo opportunity inside with Sir Topham Hatt. Get every single photo you can think of… the family, just the kids, funny faces, etc. You never know which will be your favourite. You can also snap a photo with your own camera or phone if you do not want to purchase from them.
Soon enough it was time to join the lineup for our ride. While waiting my mom popped over to one of the food trucks to get a flatbread pizza for all of us to share, and help us warm up. Addie took waiting in line in the carrier like a champ, Evie was on a mission to splash everyone, and we were informed while waiting that Thomas had gone the wrong way so there would be a bit of a delay for our ride. This meant we waited in the rain a bit longer than we should have.
The train ride itself was a definite highlight, we were able to board the train and pick our seats. With being a group of 7 that went we got seats on both sides of the train which made viewing both sides very easy. The ride is shorter than the Polar Express, but just as fun. There is just something special about going on an actual train.
Evie is still asking to get to go back on a rain. We will very likely go to Day Out with Thomas again if it is available next year. If Thomas is coming to your area, go! You’ll have a lot of fun and make some great family memories.