"Day Out With Thomas" Train Rides In California (2024)

Last revised: December 4, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Day Out With Thomas is a popular train ride experience that takes place at various locations around the world. This family-friendly event offers children and their families the chance to ride on a real-life Thomas the Tank Engine train, meet their favorite characters from the show, and take part in fun activities and games.

There are two locations in California hosting this event for the kids; the Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton and the Southern California Railway Museum in Perris.

The Day Out With Thomas train rides are typically offered on weekends and during school holidays, and they often sell out quickly. Families are encouraged to book their tickets in advance to ensure that they can secure a spot on the train.

Once families arrive at the train station, they are greeted by Thomas the Tank Engine himself, along with other characters from the show like Percy, James, and Sir Topham Hatt. Children can take photos with the characters, and there are usually merchandise booths set up where families can purchase souvenirs like t-shirts, hats, and toy trains.

After the meet-and-greet, families board the train for their ride with Thomas. The train cars are decorated with Thomas and Friends artwork, and families can choose to sit in either open-air or enclosed cars. The train ride usually lasts around 25 minutes, during which time families can enjoy the scenery and snap photos of their children's delighted faces.

After the train ride, families can take part in a variety of activities and games. There may be bounce houses, face painting, and carnival games, as well as opportunities to take photos with other characters from the show. There may also be storytelling sessions and live music performances.

One of the highlights of the Day Out With Thomas experience is the opportunity to participate in a variety of Thomas-themed activities. Children can build with Mega Bloks or Duplo sets, play with wooden train sets, or engage in arts and crafts activities like coloring and painting.

Food and drink options are typically available as well, with vendors selling snacks like popcorn, cotton candy, and hot dogs. Families can also pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it on the grounds.

Overall, the Day Out With Thomas train ride experience is a fun and exciting event that children and their families are sure to enjoy.

From meeting their favorite characters to riding on a real-life Thomas the Tank Engine train, there's something for everyone at this popular event. So if you're a fan of the show or just looking for a fun day out with your family, be sure to book your tickets for Day Out With Thomas.

Roaring Camp Railroads

(Felton): Owned and operated by the same organization which runs the Skunk Train the Roaring Camp hosts a number of different trains throughout the year including a beach train and forest train.

They also feature other specials including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates in 2024:

  • October 12-13
  • October 19-20
  • October 26-27

Roaring Camp Railroads is a historic tourist railroad located in Felton, California, in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Founded in 1963, Roaring Camp has been offering visitors a unique and immersive experience of California's rich railroad heritage for over half a century.

Visitors to Roaring Camp can ride on one of two historic steam trains: the Redwood Forest Steam Train or the Santa Cruz Beach Train. The Redwood Forest Steam Train takes passengers on a scenic ride through the towering redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, while the Santa Cruz Beach Train travels along the coast to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Both trains are pulled by vintage steam locomotives that were originally used in the logging industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Redwood Forest Steam Train features open-air cars that allow passengers to fully experience the beauty of the redwoods, while the Santa Cruz Beach Train offers both open-air and enclosed cars.

Along with the train rides, Roaring Camp also offers a variety of other activities and attractions. Visitors can explore the Roaring Camp Mining Company, where they can try their hand at gold panning and learn about the area's rich mining history. The camp also features a general store and a picnic area where visitors can enjoy a meal or a snack.

One of the highlights of Roaring Camp is the special events that take place throughout the year. During the holiday season, visitors can ride on the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train, which takes them on a festive ride through the woods adorned with holiday lights and decorations. In the spring and summer, the camp hosts a variety of music and arts festivals, as well as a Civil War reenactment.

Roaring Camp is also home to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, which features over 4,000 acres of ancient redwoods and other native trees, as well as hiking and biking trails. Visitors to the park can explore the towering trees and marvel at the beauty of this ancient forest.

Overall, Roaring Camp Railroads offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience of California's rich railroad heritage. With its historic steam trains, mining attractions, and natural beauty, Roaring Camp is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and natural wonders of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Southern California Railway Museum

(Perris): This railroad museum offers several excursion trains to choose from including steam powered trains and trolleys, which operate along their 1.5 mile system.

They also boast a large collection of historic railroad equipment. During select dates in the fall they host "A Day Out With Thomas." Also featuring Percy!

2024 Dates

  • November 2-3
  • November 9-11

The Southern California Railway Museum is a fascinating and educational museum located in Perris, California. Formerly known as the Orange Empire Railway Museum, this non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving the history of Southern California's railroads and electric railways.

The museum features an extensive collection of historic locomotives, railcars, and trolleys, many of which have been lovingly restored to their original condition. Visitors to the museum can explore the indoor and outdoor exhibits, ride on vintage trains and trolleys, and learn about the rich history of rail transportation in Southern California.

One of the highlights of the Southern California Railway Museum is the opportunity to ride on a variety of vintage trains and trolleys. The museum operates a number of different train rides, including the Heritage Valley Tour, which takes visitors on a scenic ride through the beautiful countryside of the San Jacinto Valley. There is also a streetcar ride, which offers a tour of the museum's collection of historic trolleys.

In addition to the train and trolley rides, the Southern California Railway Museum features a variety of exhibits that showcase the history of rail transportation in the region. The museum's indoor exhibits include displays of vintage locomotives, railcars, and other artifacts, as well as interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it was like to work on a steam locomotive or operate a trolley.

Outdoors, visitors can explore the museum's extensive collection of historic railway equipment, including cabooses, boxcars, and steam locomotives. The museum's restoration shop is also open to visitors, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the process of restoring vintage rail equipment.

The Southern California Railway Museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including train and trolley rides, concerts, and holiday events. The museum's annual "Pumpkin Train" is a particularly popular event, offering families the chance to ride on a vintage train and pick out a pumpkin from the museum's pumpkin patch.

Overall, the Southern California Railway Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of rail transportation in Southern California. With its impressive collection of vintage trains and trolleys, interactive exhibits, and scenic train and trolley rides, the museum offers a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

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