All Aboard for a fun-filled day at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, hosting Day Out With Thomas on Friday to Sunday, April 29 through May 8. Children will enjoy the “extras” for the famous Thomas & Friends themed event. It includes a 25-minute train ride, amusement rides, moon bounces, live music, storytelling, pony rides, a petting zoo and an arts & crafts tent. The Museum includes a hands-on The War Came By Train Civil War exhibit inside the Roundhouse and the North Car Shop.
The Bottom Line
Day Out With Thomas is a wonderful way to spend quality family, fun time together! The B&O Railroad Museum is a beautiful facility with tons of things to see and do and is a great place to visit even when Thomas isn’t in town.
The day started early for our OK reviewers, 7 & 5 year old boys and their parents. We headed toward Baltimore in quiet anticipation of what fun lies ahead. Our tickets were for 9:15am, the first Thomas Tank Engine train ride of the day. We made it to Baltimore in record time with no traffic in sight. Expecting to have to park on the street, we were pleasantly surprised with the ample, on-site parking at the museum at no additional charge! We knocked on the door to see if the museum was open at 8:15am. The tickets stated on them to arrive one hour before your train ride time and it turns out the museum didn’t even open until 8:30am. So if you are the first train ride of the morning, be sure to check to see what time the museum actually opens. The good news is, the museum has tons of train engines and cars in the “train yard” next to the parking lot. The boys loved walking around and looking at all the different types of train cars.
Once the museum opened, we had plenty of time to explore the beautiful B&O Railroad Museum Roundhouse, before our Thomas train ride. The Roundhouse and North Car Shop houses one of the largest collections of railway locomotives and equipment. After a quick stop at the clean restrooms, we headed outside to where many of the Day Out With Thomas activities were located. Both boys started with a ride on the carousel that had train cars as well as animals. Then they hopped on the spinning teacups ride. There was a large tented area where the kids got Thomas temporary tattoos, made noodle necklaces and visited the spin art station. Then we headed to the moon bounce area. While the 5 year old bounced around on one of two moon bounces, the 7 year old went for a ride on a pony before heading over to the petting zoo area. This area includes up-close interaction with guinea pigs, a turtle, ducks, a goat and rabbits. All of the employees at the activities and rides where friendly and helpful. Then we heard the announcement that it was time to board for our train ride!
It took about 10 minutes to board the train. Once we were all seated, the Train Conductor called “Tickets Please” and came around to punch our tickets. The Train Conductor was enthusiastic and very interactive with the passengers. He posed for pictures with the children and answered any questions they had. The train ride was about 25 minutes long with Day Out With Thomas trivia and music playing in the cars to entertain all. Near the end of the ride the Conductor handed out Jr. Engineer Certificates to all the children. Our kids being older, were hoping for a more scenic ride and actually wanted to go somewhere instead of just driving backwards down the track for 15 minutes and then forward in to the station again.
After the train ride, we ate our snack at one of the many picnic tables associated with the concession stands that had a large selection of food and drink. There didn’t seem to be too much in healthy fare to choose from and the museum does not allow you to bring in food or drink.
After the boys took a quick ride on the blue amusement train ride, we went back in to the Roundhouse to take a closer look at all the trains and equipment relating to the Civil War. There was a lot to see and the boys enjoyed some hands-on displays, specifically touching a musket and feeling how heavy it was. They also had to choose and load a soldiers’ backpack with only 5 items from many items to choose from. You could also sit in a caboose and watch a movie on the role of the railroad during the Civil War.
Before heading home, we decided to take a quick look in the large Day Out With Thomas gift shop. Any Thomas item you want, they have! We also took a peek in the Museum gift shop which had a wide range of historical train related items for sale.
All and all we had a wonderful time at Day Out With Thomas and the B&O Railroad Museum. We would definitely go back just to see the museum itself and maybe take a closer look at all the Civil War artifacts.
Things To Know Before You Go
- Day Out With Thomas runs through May 8 with event times on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets for the train ride and admission are $19 per person and can be purchased three ways: online, by phone 1.866.777.8932 or at the door. It’s highly recommend you purchase your tickets in advance. Event times do sell out quickly!
- The War Came By Train Civil War exhibit runs April 2011 through May 2015.
- Admission to the museum is $14 when Day Out with Thomas is not in town.
- Be sure to arrive 1 hour before your train ride time.
- Food cafe/concessions are available for purchase. They do not allow outside food & drink.
- The museum and Thomas areas are stroller & wheelchair accessible.
- There is free, on-site parking.