Toot! Toot! ellaslist has a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine
Mums & Bubs
By: Sarah Stores, ellaslist explorer
Fizzling Fireboxes! We’ve just spent the whole day with Thomas the Tank Engine! And it was heaps of tooting fun.
Our little people love trains and exploring secret places and were so excited to take a trip to Trainworks in Thirlmere to enjoy one of their regular “Day Out with Thomas” weekends.
Steaming it up at Sodor Station
On arrival, our kids wide-eyed with excitement at all the fun activities to explore. We had booked the first session of the Steam Train Ride so we headed straight to Sodor Station for our steam train trip.
The Fat Controller (sorry, Sir Topham Hatt) is there to greet you and to usher you to your carriage. For train lovers, this is a real treat. Feels like you are stepping back into a piece of history with a beautifully restored train. The train huffs and puffs for a 50-minute return trip with some gorgeous scenery on the way. The kids loved spotting the horses outside and listening out for the toots of the steam train. But be prepared, there is no toilet on the train which can be tricky with the target audience of preschool aged Thomas loving kids!
Lots of Fun Train-themed Activities
On our return to Trainworks we had a bounty of options to choose from. We rode the mini train ride (several times!), climbed all over the large Thomas statue and then we were captivated by the great climbing frame at the playground. During the long playground stint my husband explored the food options and the clear stand out was the sausage sizzle. My husband is a connoisseur of the Sausage Sizzle and he rated this one above most of them.
Exploring the Museum
From there we went into explore the Trainworks museum. The jumping castle was positioned at the back of this section so you had to explore the museum to get to the jumping castles. Initially I thought this was a clever rouse by Trainworks to encourage us to explore the museum and get the reward of the jumping castle at the end. But actually the Museum section and their collection of trains was a clear standout for both me and the kids. There is lots of fun to be had including dress ups, ‘driving’ a train, a train carriage that is converted into a slippery slide and model train replicas (the prison carriage with the talking prisoners particularly captured our Master Almost 4 Max). There was also face painting, storytelling sessions and a little Thomas movie theatre.
Out the back of the museum was the promised jumping castle. You get unlimited access to the castle with your ticket but our jumping castle obsessed little man was so distracted by the four rows of old trains that he almost missed the jumping castles (almost…). The rows of trains created the perfect alley for kids to run up and down and explore. Some of the trains were open to wander in and explore and they were all beautifully maintained. My favourite was the combi van converted into a train!
Secret Train Playground
Although the day was sold out we pretty much had this train section to ourselves and it felt like a bit of a hidden playground. My kids loved discovering which of the trains were open to walk around in and which were decorated. Our 18-month old just loved running up and down the aisles and walking up and down the stairs, the 4 year old loved looking and discovering the inside of the trains and my 5 year old nephew wanted to learn all about the trains and how they worked. It was a great activity for the whole range of ages.
The only downside to the whole day was that it is a bit of a drive (about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Sydney CBD) but the positives far outweighed the drive and there was lots to see to make it a full day out.
Don’t Miss out
The next session of Day Out with Thomas at Trainworks is on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July 2017.
IMPORTANT All the steam train tickets are already sold out, but tickets without the steam train ride are still available at the venue on the day and still include a heap of fun activities:
- Meet Thomas- climb into the cab and toot his whistle
- Unlimited mini-train rides
- Unlimited jumping castle rides (and there are 3 of them to cater for different age groups)
- Face Painting
- Visit the Imagination Station – children can enter the colouring competition, play some Thomas games and listen to our Storyteller read Thomas stories
I’m Sarah. A Mum of two over-active boys and a self-confessed Sydney tragic. I love living in, exploring, discovering and experiencing all Sydney has to offer. Having lived in Sydney most of my life I have loved exploring it as a grown up but now as a Mum I’m relishing re-discovering my passion for Sydney through the eyes of my boys. I love planning and executing our regular family outings to explore new things in Sydney. As a working Mum, it is a great way for our family to stay connected and have fun together. I would love to spend all my time travelling the world but given I live in the real world of mortgages and jobs we see exploring Sydney as tourists as the next best thing. You can follow our adventures on Instagram at SarahStores