Thomas the steam engine made a visit to Chattanooga early this summer. Ian’s Grandpoppa wanted to take Ian for a ride behind one of his favorite engines. Truth be told, Ian actually prefers Percy most (because he’s green, you know), but Sodor does kind of recognize Thomas as the star, so Ian likes Thomas pretty well also.
We had no idea that our tickets for a 20 minute train ride would include an entire day’s worth of activities. When we walked past the ticket window, we found ourselves in a world of trains big and small. We automatically found ourselves derailed (get it!) at one of the first stops (okay, I’ll stop now) along our Thomas event route. The organizers of this shindig set up a huge tent full of Sodor’s trains in toy form with some really cool tracks. And conveniently all of these same toys were available in the gifts shop tent… Well played,
Further down the trail, we found a giant bubble station.I’m not sure who had a better time creating enormous floating bubbles: Ian while he made them, or Grandpoppa as he watched and helped.
Another fun station included an artist creating balloon animals (or swords, crowns, flowers, etc). Ian selected to have a frog balloon made, and desperately loved his frog for days. He was quite devastated when the air leaked out even though he worked so hard not to pop any of the balloons in his frog.
Ian even got to go for a round of miniature golf, jump in a bounce house, meet Sir Topham Hat (well, kind of) and pet a variety of animals while we spent our day at the train station. While Ian enjoyed all of this enthusiastically, I don’t think any of it came close to his delight of riding a rail car pulled by Thomas.
Thomas pulled us out of the station, and up the tracks for a little ways, then we reversed and pulled back to the station. I think we spent a total of 20-30 minutes in motion, which turned out to be just long enough for Ian to have a great time, but not so long that he could become bored with the experience. Overall, we all had an excellent experience and fully recommend any parents of Thomas (or Percy) fans to take advantage of this fun event.