His smiling face and shiny blue engine are loved by little ones
everywhere. And this weekend, your train-crazy tot can have the
chance to meet Thomas the Tank Engine in person at the Day Out with
Thomas event at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Day Out with Thomas is a nationwide tour with whistle stops in
45 cities. The highlights of the Illinois visit include a ride on a
real Thomas train and photo ops with the beloved controller of the
railway, Sir Topham Hatt himself.
"Thomas has very high values (like) fair play, honesty," says
IRW's marketing director Ed Rosengren. "He's someone to be looked
up to. Kids really, really love Thomas. … It's good to see
Although Rosengren says the Thomas-oriented portion of the day
primarily appeals to little conductors 8 and under, the event also
includes train-related storytelling, videos, crafts, clowns, puppet
shows and live music the whole family can enjoy.
Tickets to Day Out with Thomas also include admission to the
Illinois Railway Museum, where families can ride other trains and
street cars and view the museum's regular exhibits. Rosengren says
many families stay for the whole day.
This is the 12th year for Day Out with Thomas to chug by the
museum, and Rosengren says the reaction has been extremely
positive. In fact, he sees kids who were once Thomas fans become
true railroad enthusiasts as they get older.
He says the chance for families to spend time together is
something that shouldn't be missed.
"It's good, wholesome family entertainment," Rosengren says.
"It's a good time to share something that your children watch on TV
and watch it come into reality."
So if you feel like Thomas, Percy & Co. are already members
of your family, a Day Out with Thomas might be the ideal choice for
these dog days of summer.
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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