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Michigan Magic: Experience Day Out With Thomas Train Rides!

Last revised: December 4, 2023

By: Adam Burns

"Day Out With Thomas" is a popular family-friendly event that takes place in various locations around the world, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  In Michigan, he makes an appearance at the Huckleberry Railroad and Henry Ford Museum.

The event is centered around the beloved character Thomas the Tank Engine from the popular children's television show "Thomas & Friends." Here's a look at what a typical "Day Out With Thomas" train ride event might offer.  Each host location's event is slightly different but generally includes the following.

The Train Ride

The highlight of the "Day Out With Thomas" event is undoubtedly the train ride itself. The train is typically a full-size locomotive that has been decorated to look like Thomas the Tank Engine. Passengers are able to board the train and ride in carriages pulled by Thomas as he chugs along the tracks.  Sometimes Percy or Bob The Builder will make an appearance!

During the train ride, passengers are treated to a variety of sights and sounds. The train usually travels through scenic areas, such as countryside or forests, and may make stops at various points of interest along the way. Passengers may be able to see wildlife or historical landmarks during the ride.

In addition to the sights, passengers are also entertained by characters from the "Thomas & Friends" show. These characters may walk through the train carriages, interact with passengers, and provide entertainment and activities.

Festivities and Activities

The "Day Out With Thomas" event offers a range of activities and festivities for children and families to enjoy. Some of the most popular activities include:

Photo Opportunities: Guests are able to take photos with Thomas the Tank Engine and other characters from the show.  Thomas & Friends Storytelling: Children can listen to stories featuring the beloved characters from the show.

Thomas & Friends Imagination Station: This area typically features a variety of activities, including face painting, temporary tattoos, and coloring.

Live Music and Entertainment: Many "Day Out With Thomas" events offer live music and entertainment, such as performances by magicians or jugglers.

Thomas & Friends Train Play Area: Children can enjoy a play area featuring Thomas the Tank Engine-themed toys and activities.

Food and Drink: Various food and drink vendors may be available, offering snacks, treats, and beverages.

Merchandise

Finally, no "Day Out With Thomas" event would be complete without merchandise. Guests can purchase a variety of souvenirs, including t-shirts, hats, toys, and other items featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and other characters from the show.

Conclusion

A "Day Out With Thomas" train ride event offers a fun and exciting day for families with young children. From the train ride itself to the various activities and entertainment offered, there's something for everyone to enjoy. The event provides an opportunity for children to experience the magic of the "Thomas & Friends" world, while also creating cherished memories for the whole family.

Henry Ford Museum

(Dearborn):  One of Michigan's most well-known museum this complex features an impressive collection of artifacts related to the history of transportation in this country including several pieces of rolling stock and steam locomotives.  

A few of these machines are restored and even offer train rides including "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates.  Now featuring Bob The Builder!

2024 Dates

  • May 4 - May 5 
  • May 11 - May 12
  • May 18 - May 19

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn is a world-renowned museum that offers a fascinating look at the history of America's innovation and creativity. The museum is named after Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and is located adjacent to the company's headquarters.

The museum opened in 1929 and has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Michigan, attracting visitors from all over the world. The museum houses over 26 million artifacts and displays, including cars, planes, trains, machinery, and other items that showcase the evolution of American technology and design.

Exhibits

The museum's exhibits are divided into several different categories, each providing a unique look into America's history. The exhibits include:

Made in America: This exhibit highlights the various manufacturing processes used in the United States over the years, including the production of cars, airplanes, and other machines.

Automobiles in America: This exhibit features over 200 automobiles, including the famous Ford Model T, as well as other classic and vintage cars.

Heroes of the Sky: This exhibit showcases the history of aviation in the United States, featuring planes such as the Wright Brothers' original Flyer and the Spirit of St. Louis.

Agriculture and the Environment: This exhibit explores the evolution of farming and agricultural practices in the United States, as well as the country's environmental history.

American Icons: This exhibit features some of the most iconic objects in American history, such as the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated and the bus that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on.

In addition to the exhibits, the museum also hosts various temporary exhibits throughout the year, showcasing unique and exciting items from its vast collection.

Events and Programs

The Henry Ford Museum offers a range of events and programs that cater to visitors of all ages. Some of the most popular events include:

Maker Faire Detroit: This event celebrates creativity, innovation, and technology, featuring makers, inventors, and entrepreneurs showcasing their creations.

Holiday Nights: During the holiday season, the museum transforms into a winter wonderland, featuring live music, ice skating, and holiday-themed activities.

Sensory-Friendly Saturdays: These monthly events provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for visitors with sensory sensitivities.

The museum also offers a range of educational programs, including summer camps, workshops, and classes for both children and adults.

Conclusion

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American history and innovation. With its vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and events, the museum offers an immersive and educational experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're a car enthusiast, history buff, or just looking for a fun and informative day out, the Henry Ford Museum is the perfect destination.


Huckleberry Railroad

(Flint):  The Huckleberry Railroad is part of the Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad Park. While the railroad’s star attraction is narrow-gauge steam locomotives #464, originally owned by the Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Huckleberry has other motive power on the premises.  

They host "A Day Out With Thomas" on these dates in 2024

  • August 16 - August 18
  • August 23 - August 25

The Huckleberry Railroad is a historic narrow-gauge railroad located in Flint, Michigan, that offers a unique and nostalgic experience for visitors. The railroad is part of the Genesee County Parks and Recreation system and has been operating since 1976.

History

The line currently used by the Huckleberry Railroad was originally opened in 1872 by the Flint River Railroad. It later became known as the Otter Lake Branch of the Pere Marquette Railway.  At its peak the line extended 19.5 miles from Flint to Fostoria.

The restored Huckleberry Railroad officially opened in 1976 and has been operating as a popular tourist attraction ever since. The railroad has several vintage steam locomotives, passenger cars, and cabooses that have been restored to their original condition.

Train Rides

The Huckleberry Railroad offers a range of train rides that provide visitors with an opportunity to step back in time and experience the joy of riding on a historic steam train. Some of the most popular train rides include:

The Summer Excursion: This hour-long train ride takes visitors on a scenic tour of the Genesee County countryside, passing by fields, forests, and streams.

Christmas at Crossroads Village: This festive train ride takes visitors on a magical journey to the "North Pole," featuring holiday decorations, music, and Santa Claus himself.

Events and Activities

In addition to the train rides, the Huckleberry Railroad offers a range of events and activities that cater to visitors of all ages. Some of the most popular events include:

Railfans Weekend: This event is a favorite among train enthusiasts, featuring behind-the-scenes tours, historical presentations, and special train rides.

Pumpkin Train: During the fall season, visitors can take a train ride to the pumpkin patch, where they can pick their own pumpkins and enjoy other fall-themed activities.

The Huckleberry Railroad also offers a variety of educational programs, including field trips and summer camps, that provide an immersive and hands-on experience for children and adults alike.

Conclusion

The Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan, is a beloved and nostalgic attraction that offers visitors a chance to experience the joy of riding on a historic steam train. With its range of train rides, events, and activities, the railroad provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you're a train enthusiast or just looking for a unique and memorable day out, the Huckleberry Railroad is a must-visit destination in Michigan.


SteamLocomotive.com

Wes Barris's SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource on the study of steam locomotives. 

It is difficult to truly articulate just how much material can be found at this website. 

It is quite staggering and a must visit!