Thomas the Tank Engine is making his annual trip to Golden this September. Families tend to love this event because it offers something for everyone, across the generations, said Danielle Riebau, the …
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Thomas the Tank Engine is making his annual trip to Golden this September.
Families tend to love this event because it offers something for everyone, across the generations, said Danielle Riebau, the museum's event and volunteer manager.
“It's a good family outing,” she added.
The event offers adults an opportunity to explore the museum's grounds and exhibits, to learn about Colorado's railroad history, Riebau said, and the children are entertained by the event's main attraction — Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends.
Thomas “provides the Colorado Railroad Museum with a way to reach out and attract new audiences to the magic of railroading,” said Paul Hammond, executive director of the museum. And “the magic of Thomas is awaiting everyone who makes a trip out to the museum.”
Hammond recently assumed the role of the museum's director after Donald Tallman retired from the position at the end of August.
Hammond is no stranger to Thomas the Tank Engine, however, as he has hosted a variety of Thomas-related events during his time at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.
“Thomas is a train that is accessible to young children, and children are naturally drawn to trains,” Hammond said. A Day Out With Thomas “is a good, old-fashioned way to enjoy something together as a family.”
Now in its 18th year at the Colorado Railroad Museum, A Day Out With Thomas draws a crowd of about 15,000-20,000 visitors throughout the three weekends, annually, Riebau said.
A Day Out With Thomas, along with The Polar Express Train Ride, are the museum's biggest events, Riebau said. Attending these events helps secure the museum's Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) funding, she added.
“These are staple events for the museum. They help us keep our doors open,” Riebau said. “Buying a ticket (to these events) supports this local, nonprofit cultural organization.”
The need-to-knows about attending A Day Out With Thomas
The Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave. in Golden, is hosting A Day Out With Thomas on Sept. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22.
Hours: The museum opens at 8 a.m. and train rides begin at 8:30 a.m. A train ride lasts about 25 minutes, and rides depart about every 45 minutes. Activities will shut down at 5 p.m. and the grounds will close by 6 p.m.
Ticketholders should plan on arriving at least one hour before their train departs, as it can be difficult to reschedule a missed train ride. Attendees may stay afterward for as long as they would like to enjoy the activities. It is recommended to plan an additional two or three hours to experience all that A Day Out With Thomas offers.
Cost: $23 per ticket. Each ticket purchase includes a train ride, grounds entry to all the Thomas-related activities and museum admission. General admission is not available during A Day Out With Thomas dates. A ticket is required for all attendees age 2 and older. To ensure you get your desired time for train departure, it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance online, but tickets will be available to purchase as walk up on-site.
Festival activities include:
Imagination Station where children can play with Thomas toy trains.
Photo ops with Thomas the Tank Engine characters.
Petting zoo and lawn games.
Temporary tattoos, Thomas the Tank Engine videos, arts and crafts, singalongs, storytelling.
Salida Circus and magic show.
Turntable demonstrations at the museum's roundhouse.
Exploring the museum's 15-acre grounds, exhibits and model trains.
Food: A variety of food vendors will be available. Picnic meals and snacks are allowed but there are no lockers or storage facilities onsite. Both alcohol and cooking are prohibited.
Parking: Free parking is available offsite at two locations where a shuttle bus will transport event goers. One lot is located one half-mile east of the Colorado Railroad Museum, just off 44th Avenue at Table Mountain Parkway. Handicap parking is available in this lot.
Additional free parking is located two miles west of the museum, just off West 44th Avenue — which changes to 10th Street in downtown Golden — just north of the main Coors building.
For those who prefer not to use the shuttle service, valet parking will be available for $20. Vehicles will be parked in the south lot across the street from the Colorado Railroad Museum.
Contact: For additional details on the A Day Out With Thomas event or to purchase tickets online, visit http://coloradorailroadmuseum.org/thomas.
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride
Tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Rides are still available, though they are going fast.
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Rides are being offered Nov. 9-10, 13-17, 20-24 and 29-30; and Dec. 1, 4-8, 11-15 and 17-23. Show times are 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Tickets range in price from $60-$120 per person.
To learn more about the event or to check ticket availability, visit https://coloradorailroadmuseum.org/polar-express/.
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