Are you looking for a very fun family outing? Well then, get ALL ABOARD a “Day Out with Thomas and Percy” at the Midland Railway in Baldwin, Kansas.
My husband and I took our three kids (almost 6, 4 and 3) out to Midland Railway and it was a big hit for everyone. We had not been before, so I thought it was just going to be a fun train ride and we’d go home. Silly me. I had no idea how much fun was in store for us.
First, riding Thomas the Train was really exciting for the kids. We all had big-window views and enjoyed the 25-minute trip. It was the perfect amount of time for the kids. Getting in and out of the train can be a little tricky for little ones (these are REAL trains!) but the staff was right there to help which can come in real handy for families like ours whose parents are outnumbered by their children.
After the train ride, every family has the opportunity to get a photo up close with the Thomas or Percy trains. We got some cute ones — which will make great keepsakes to remember our fun day.
Next, it was on to the the Imagination Station. This covered area (one of several, which was so nice) was full of train tables and building block areas. I’m pretty sure our boys would have stayed in this area the entire time if we didn’t finally lure them out with the promise of heading to the bounce house.
There was a great petting zoo with not just the familiar goats and such, but also pretty exotic ones like a spider monkey and a camel. And speaking of animals, The Great Parakeet Adventure was also onsite — a large caged trailer full of colorful parakeets and open for kids to walk through and feed the birds. I couldn’t convince our 6-year-old to get in there with the beautiful birds but she had fun watching the birds through the cage. On the other hand, my husband couldn’t get our 3-year-old to leave the inside of the parakeet cage. He loved it!
But wait, there was MORE! Our kids played mini golf, listened to stories, watched a magic show, learned about railroad safety, watched a Thomas movie (helpful as an opportunity to cool down and refuel), got up-close-and-personal with a fire truck, and met Sir Topham Hatt, the controller of the railway on the Island of Sodor. While they were doing all these things they were also getting their special Thomas map stamped at the different activities and redeemed their completed maps for a special Thomas prize.
At the end of the day, our kids were just like we like them, happy and tuckered. I asked each of my children on the drive home what their favorite thing was and all three answered, “Everything!” I think that’s my answer, too.
Thomas and Percy are in town Sunday, June 5, and next weekend June 11 and June 12. The grounds open at 8:30AM, with departure times every hour from 9AM-5PM. Tickets to ride Thomas are $19. For an extra $10, you can ride Percy, too.
• There is free parking with free shuttle service (air conditioned!) about a mile from the gate. Don’t be tempted by the closer parking for $5, riding the shuttle was part of the fun for our kids.
• There is plenty of complimentary, cold water so you don’t have to pack or carry around your own sippy cups and water bottles while you’re there.
• There were turkey legs, funnels cakes and other yummy snacks for sale. You can also bring in your own food and sit in the covered picnic area.
• If you don’t really care where you sit on the train (we didn’t and still ended up with great seats) then don’t bother standing in the ticket line waiting to board. Enjoy all the surrounding fun and games while the majority of the families board, then just walk straight up and on to the train. Less time standing in lines, more time for fun!
• Wondering if you can do this solo with your kids? Yes! I can’t say enough about the staff. They were all very friendly and helpful. There were several times when my husband and I were very appreciative of their extra set of hands as we all boarded the train, got our kids in and out of the bounce house, wanted a family pic taken, etc. It was fully staffed and if you needed anything, they were there.
• The activity areas close at 6PM so if you have tickets for the last trip (5PM), be sure to come early to enjoy all the fun before your train ride.