"Day Out With Thomas" Train Rides In Pennsylvania (2023)

Published: April 29, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Are you looking for a fun and unique experience that your kids will love? Consider taking them to a "Day Out With Thomas" train ride event! These events, held at various locations across the country, offer families the opportunity to ride on a real, full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine train and enjoy a range of activities and festivities.

In Pennsylvania, the Strasburg Railroad will host Thomas.  This attraction is the second most popular tourist railroad in the nation and sees about 400,000 riders annually!   Here's what you can expect during a typical "Day Out With Thomas" train ride event:

Train Rides

The main attraction of a "Day Out With Thomas" event is, of course, the train ride! Families board a full-sized Thomas the Tank Engine train and enjoy a 20-30 minute ride through scenic countryside or cityscapes, depending on the location. The train ride is a great opportunity for kids to experience the thrill of riding on a real train and to see the world from a new perspective.

Meet and Greets

After the train ride, families can participate in meet and greets with various Thomas and Friends characters. Kids can take photos with Thomas, Percy, and other beloved characters and get autographs from their favorite trains. The meet and greets are a great way for kids to interact with the characters they love and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Activities and Games

"Day Out With Thomas" events also offer a range of activities and games that kids can enjoy. From train-themed crafts and coloring activities to bounce houses and obstacle courses, there's something for every kid to enjoy. There are often live performances by musicians and magicians, as well as story times and singalongs.

Food and Drink

No day out would be complete without some delicious food and drink options, and "Day Out With Thomas" events deliver on this front too. There are often food trucks and vendors offering a range of tasty treats, from hot dogs and burgers to ice cream and cotton candy. There are also plenty of options for parents and adults, including beer gardens and wine tastings.

Souvenir Shopping

Finally, no "Day Out With Thomas" event would be complete without the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping. Families can browse a range of Thomas and Friends merchandise, from t-shirts and hats to toys and books. These souvenirs make great mementos of a fun-filled day and are a great way for kids to continue the fun at home.

Overall, a "Day Out With Thomas" train ride event is a great way for families to spend quality time together and create lasting memories. With train rides, meet and greets, activities and games, food and drink, and souvenir shopping, there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you're looking for a unique and fun-filled day out, a "Day Out With Thomas" event is definitely worth considering!"

Strasburg Railroad

(Strasburg):  The Strasburg Railroad, located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish community in Lancaster, is the country’s oldest railroad still in operation dating back to 1832.

The railroad handles both freight and passengers but is also an operating history book featuring historic steam locomotives with restored, period passenger cars (dating to the 1800s).

They provide guests everything from dinner train service to an open bar car for adults. One of their special events is hosting "A Day Out With Thomas" several times throughout the year. Percy will be present during the trips! 

This event is somewhat unique as the Strasburg Railroad offers train rides lasting about 45 minutes instead of the typical 25-30 minute trips provided at most other locations hosting Thomas.  

2023 Dates

  • June 17 - June 18
  • June 22 - June 26
  • September 14 - September 18

If you're a fan of trains or history, a visit to the Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, Pennsylvania should be at the top of your list. This historic railroad, founded in 1832, offers visitors a glimpse into the past and a chance to experience the thrill of riding on a real steam train.


The Strasburg Railroad has a long and storied history, dating back to the early 19th century. The original purpose of the railroad was to transport goods and passengers between Strasburg and Paradise, Pennsylvania. Over time, the railroad expanded its operations and became a major transportation hub for the surrounding area.

In the mid-20th century, however, the rise of automobiles and the decline of the railroad industry threatened the railroad's future and applied for abandonment in 1957. It appeared there was little left to do but pull up the rails.

However, that same year the railroad was purchased by a group of local businessmen who sought to preserve its rich history and heritage. After decades of hard work, today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pennsylvania, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Train Rides

The highlight of any visit to the Strasburg Railroad is a ride on one of its historic steam trains. Visitors can choose from a range of train rides, from a short 45-minute ride to a full-day excursion. The trains wind through scenic countryside, offering breathtaking views of Amish farms and the surrounding landscape.

One of the most popular train rides is the "Paradise" excursion, which takes passengers on a 45-minute round trip from Strasburg to the town of Paradise and back. Along the way, passengers can see beautiful Amish farmland and even catch a glimpse of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Other train rides include the "Plain & Fancy" excursion, which takes passengers through the heart of Amish country and offers a glimpse into the lives of the Amish community, and the "Great Train Robbery" ride, which features a mock train robbery and a shootout.

Museum and Exhibits

In addition to train rides, the Strasburg Railroad is also right next door to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. The museum features a range of artifacts and exhibits, including vintage locomotives, railroad memorabilia, and interactive displays relating to the history of railroads and how they impacted the state.

Gift Shops and Dining

No visit to the railroad would be complete without a stop at one of its gift shops or dining options. Visitors can browse a range of train-themed merchandise, from t-shirts and hats to toys and books. There are also several dining options on-site such as the Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant.

Overall, the Strasburg Railroad is a must-visit destination for train enthusiasts and history buffs alike. With its rich history, beautiful scenery, and range of activities and exhibits, it's no wonder that the railroad is one of the most popular attractions in Pennsylvania.

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