A day out with Thomas at Eastleigh steam railway

Thomas the Tank Naptime Natter

My boy Leo loves Thomas the Tank. If you have read my blog before or if you know my family in the non-blog world then you will know just how much my boy adores that little blue steam engine. In December we took Leo to Thomas Land in Drayton Manor as an early Christmas present and he loved it. Unfortunately, it is quite a drive for us to visit Thomas Land so when I saw Thomas and his friends were coming to play at the steam railway just 10 minutes from our front door, I justΒ had to book tickets.

The Day out with Thomas fun days run at 21 different railways across the UK and over the May bank holiday Thomas, Henry, Gordon and The Fat Controller came to visit Eastleigh Lakeside Railway. The in laws were visiting for the bank holiday and I knew this would be the perfect way for us to spend the holiday. I pre booked the tickets online (Β£15 for an adult and Β£12 for a child – under 2’s go free), told Leo all about our plans and we all eagerly waited for Monday to arrive.

Leo woke up bright and early on Monday and was super excited for his day out with Thomas, it had been months since he last saw him at Thomas Land and he couldn’t wait to meet his hero again. The fun day started at 10am but, being me, we obviously didn’t arrive until about 11! Oli had an emergency at work so unfortunately he couldn’t come along for all the train themed fun and games, Leo wasn’t too upset as he was just dying to do some serious train riding.

Henry the train Naptime Natter

Henry chugging into the station

When we arrived we picked up our tickets which took no time at all. It was busy but as we had pre booked and were a little late arriving it took no time for us to get our train tickets and Thomas stickers sorted. Once on the platform we saw The Fat Controller, Leo wasted no time in going to say hello and The Fat Controller was so lovely telling Leo all about the engines that had come to play for the day. There was a man making different things out of balloons so we got Leo a train balloon, of course, and hopped straight on Henry for our first of many rides of the day.

Toddler on train Naptime Natter

His little face!

Eastleigh railway is a miniature steam rail so instead of being on a proper train the engines and carriages were very small, similar to the types of trains you get at adventure farms and theme parks. I think this is better for toddlers and small children though as everything is a perfect fit for them – us grown ups were a tiny bit squashed but we didn’t mind. Leo loved chugging around the track on Henry and looking out of the window. The train had to go through quite a long, dark tunnel but this didn’t phase Leo at all, he loved every second.

Train Naptime Natter

Leo and his Nanny (he’s holding a ‘train’ balloon!)

Train

Choo choo!

When we got back to the station we headed over to the grass area where lots of different things seemed to be going on. There was a magic show in one of the marquees and in another was the Imagination Corner. This was a little tent full of fun Thomas themed activities: colouring in, dressing up, puzzles and a little toy track to play on. Leo had his first strop of the day when he wanted to play with the track but he didn’t have a train; it turns out if you wanted to play you had to either wait for the ONE train provided or go and buy your own from the gift shop. This was pretty annoying as Leo really wanted to play but we managed to distract him when we saw Thomas driving into the station.

Thomas the Tank Naptime Natter

Thomas!

After another 15 minute ride around the track, this time on the number 1 engine himself, it was time to sit and eat our picnic. As usual, the British weather let us down and it was pretty chilly – we had all dressed for a warm day as well, ahh! There was space in one of the marquees so we sat and ate our food in there. Leo was in a much better mood now, just in time for one of the activities that was starting. Thomas had pulled in off the main track and the children were given the chance to fill him up with water. Leo loved tipping his bucket full of water in to Thomas’s engine, with The Fat Controller giving him a bit of a helping hand too.

Thomas the Tank Naptime Natter

Filling up Thomas.

Thomas the Tank Naptime Natter

Leo being a really useful engine.

In no time at all we were back on the train as Leo wanted to go and play in the playground. We rode on Gordon this time and Leo didn’t seem to get bored at all of going up and down the same old track. We got off at the half way stop this time and Leo went and burnt off some steam in the park.

Sliding toddler Naptime Natter

Weee!

Playing NAptijme Natter

This is his ‘playing’ face!

Grampy Napatime Natter

Haha, Grampy!

Toddler Naptime Natter

My beautiful boy having a lovely time.

Once Leo had gone up and down the slide about a million times, we hitched a ride back to the station on Henry. When we got back The Fat Controller was reading stories in the marquee. Story time had already started but my boy isn’t shy, Leo stepped past all the children sitting nicely on the floor and went and stood right next to The Fat Controller while he was reading the story! Leo stayed there the whole time and in the end all the other kids had joined him at The Fat Controllers side. After story time we got a certificate for Leo from the Imagination Corner and The Fat Controller signed it for him, his very first autograph!

Story time Naptime Natter

I think you’ve made a friend Sir Topham Hatt!

We went back to the Imagination Corner for a bit but there was still lots of drama going on surrounding the toy train situation (I can’t stress how frustrating this was!). After another mini meltdown from Leo we managed to coax him back to the other marquee where a magic show was about to begin. Leo loved the show, the magician was perfect for kids of around his age (the older ones were too smart and figured out the tricks), there was lots of train talk, wand swishing and funny spells. Leo sat on my knee for the whole show, said the spells and clapped along at the end. This was the last event of the day, there was a Punch and Judy show earlier but we missed it.

Mr Wizard at the Magic Show Naptime Natter

Mr Wizard doing the magic show.

It was nearly 4pm by this point so we headed off to the gift shop as Leo’s lovely grandparents and his uncle wanted to buy him some Thomas Toys. The spoilt boy got a James and Gordon engine as well a Tidmouth Sheds toy set that came with some track and another Thomas engine to add to his collection.

Gift shop Naptime Natter

Looking very serious in the gift shop, there was so much choice!

Before we left we managed to squeeze in one last ride on the little engine called Sir Arthur. We whizzed around the track for the last time, said good bye to Thomas and his friends and headed back to the car with one very happy but extremely tired little Thomas fan.

Train Naptime Natter

Toot toot!

Steam engine Naptime Natter

Steamy Sir Arthur chugging along.

If you have a little one in the family who loves Thomas the Tank, I really can’t recommend a Day out with Thomas enough. There is much more going on than I expected and watching your little one meeting one of their television heroes really is magical. I did think it was a little pricey but if you make the most of what is on offer then it really is money well spent. If you want to get more of an idea of what a Day out with Thomas is like, I made this short video of our day.

Thomas and his friends will next be visiting Eastleigh Steam Railway on July 2nd, or you can click here to see when Thomas is coming to a station near you.

Have you ever been on a Day out with Thomas? Did you and your family enjoy it? Have you been thinking about booking tickets but not been sure if it’s worth it? I hope this post has convinced you to go, it really is a fabulous family day out.

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Letter writing Naptime Natter

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* After my recent blog move from Blogger to Word Press, some of my posts have been left looking a bit strange. I am working my way through everything and sorting out the formatting, hopefully it won’t take me too long! If you come across a post with strange looking formatting please let me know as I might have missed it. Thank you πŸ™‚ *

 

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40 Comments

  1. June 1, 2016 / 9:20 am

    That looks like a fab day out, I have heard of the Thomas visits, but I hadn’t realised it was so special. Your little one looks like he had a blast. I wonder if we will have one near us. #BloggerClubUK
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…Boxcitement ReviewMy Profile

    • Wendy
      June 1, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      It really was a great day, so much more going on then I thought. You should definitely see if there’s one by you, they seem to be everywhere so I bet there’s one happening not too far away xx

  2. June 1, 2016 / 11:32 am

    My boy is a Thomas fan too, but we choose not to go and meet Thomas when he headed to our local station (it was a Bank Holiday and I couldn’t be doing with how busy it would be) I do feel bad for missing it now though, it looks amazing and if the one near us had a patch on yours I missed out on something special. #BloggerClubUK

    • Wendy
      June 1, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Aww you should have gone, we went on a bank holiday and it was busy but not enough to spoil the day. Hopefully there will be another one near you soon on a regular weekend so you can take your little one to meet Thomas πŸ™‚ xx

  3. June 2, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Oh we have been to Thomas the Tank engine land, it really is a fab place for little ones and you all look like you had a fab time, although a bit serious in the gift shop but then it is a serious business choosing the right gift. Love how your teenager went and stood right next to the fat controller πŸ™‚ #ablogginggoodtime
    Emma recently posted…Goodbye May. Hello June, 2016.My Profile

    • Wendy
      June 2, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      Haha, they all were soo serious in the gift shop!! Yes, Thomas land is amazing. I couldn’t believe Leo just went right up to the fat controller, he’s a little monkey!xx

  4. June 2, 2016 / 10:39 am

    aww he is such lucky boy and it looks like loads of fun! Loved all the pics and the video!

    • Wendy
      June 2, 2016 / 2:23 pm

      Aww thanks Mac. We had a fab day πŸ™‚ xx

  5. June 2, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    We have a light railway about 20 minutes from us and they do Thomas days. I really want to take Mini R in the future, especially after reading this post! #BloggerClubUK

    • Wendy
      June 2, 2016 / 2:26 pm

      Oh yes you should go, especially as you have one so close. It’s a great day xx

  6. June 3, 2016 / 9:34 am

    awww this looks like a lovely day out despite the lack in english sunshine. I hate it when places put out play activities and don’t account for how many children will want to play. Sounds like Leo had a great day and was thoroughly spoilt at the end!!

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime
    Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) recently posted…#ABloggingGoodTime Week 1My Profile

    • Wendy
      June 4, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      I know, typical British weather hey! I know, it was so annoying..we would have had no tantrums if it hadn’t been for that stupid train table haha. It was a great day though xx

  7. June 3, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    Aww how lovely! Mia really loves Thomas at the moment and we have planned a trip to Drayton Manor to see him within the next month but this looks lovely!
    It really makes everything worth while just to see their little faces and how excited they are! It looks like Leo had a lovely day πŸ™‚

    #BloggerClubUK

    • Wendy
      June 4, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Oh Mia is going to love Thomas Land, it is amazing there. We went when Leo was about 2 and 4 months and he had the best time ever. Have a fab time!xx

  8. June 3, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    wow didn’t realise they had this in Eastleigh. not that it’s on our doorstep or anything. sounds fab tho! #PicknMix

    • Wendy
      June 4, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      It is great, nice to just visit on a normal weekend too even when Thomas isn’t there. The mini trains are so cute xx

  9. June 3, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Sounds really fab…I’ve always thought they’d be too busy but sounds like there is enough going on to spread everyone around (well except on the toy train track!). I love it at Eastleigh…the dark tunnel is hilarious, it’s SO dark and long. Only ten mins from me too! #ablogginggoodtime

    • Wendy
      June 4, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      I was worried it would be busy but there really was enough going on to keep everyone happy – apart from the train table haha. I know, the tunnel goes on forever! Hmm I wonder if we are secretly neighbours but just don’t know it?haha xx

  10. June 4, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    What a great day out for Thomas enthusiasts! We’ve done our fair share of steam train ride, miniature and otherwise. This looks particularly good.

    • Wendy
      June 5, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Ohh lucky you, we love a train ride in this house too. The steam railway at Eastleigh really is fab, we had an amazing day xx

  11. June 4, 2016 / 10:27 pm

    Looks like you had such a fun day out, my toddler would love the trains! I daren’t show her your photos, she’d be asking about trains for days!!

    • Wendy
      June 5, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Haha, you should take her if she loves trains. It really is a great day out xx

  12. June 5, 2016 / 11:26 am

    Just popping back from #KCACOLS to say reading this again really makes me want to go and visit!:-)Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Emma recently posted…Green People Sun Lotion ReviewMy Profile

    • Wendy
      June 5, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      I don’t think Thomas ventures as far as Jersey but it might be a good excuse to get off the Island for a bit :). Thanks for hosting lovely xx

  13. June 5, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    haha, this looks amazing. Cygnet would absolutely love it. I will look out for where they go next. Glad you had a great day. Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…Proud to be a single mumMy Profile

    • Wendy
      June 5, 2016 / 8:33 pm

      There are Thomas Days all over the place, I hope you can find one near you!xx

    • Wendy
      June 8, 2016 / 4:13 pm

      Aww did you? I don’t think I had ever really seen it until Leo started watching it. AS far as kids TV goes though it’s pretty good. WE had a great day πŸ™‚ xx

  14. June 7, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous day! We’re hoping to do the next one. We love the Eastleigh miniature steam railway but have only been on a normal day so far! #KCACOLS

    • Wendy
      June 9, 2016 / 10:51 am

      There’s one coming up again soon, you should go! We love it there too, this is better than on a normal day as you get unlimited rides xx

  15. June 9, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Aw this is just so cute! My two used to love Thomas when they were small πŸ™‚

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix, hopefully see you there again tomorrow. Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Father’s Day Gift IdeasMy Profile

    • Wendy
      June 9, 2016 / 10:54 pm

      Thanks for hosting! I can’t imagine my boy ever growing out of it but I’m sure he probably will xx

  16. June 10, 2016 / 9:49 am

    Aww fantastic pics, my stepson used to be obsessed with Thomas too, this is a really lovely place! #KCACOLS

    • Wendy
      June 10, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you! Aww did you he? My boy is completely obsessed by it too. It is a great way, I love the tiny little trains!xx

  17. June 10, 2016 / 10:49 am

    What lovely photos, Wendy! Sounds like you had a wonderful day! Great that there is so much to do there πŸ™‚ #KCACOLS

    • Wendy
      June 10, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      We all had a great day, obviously Leo enjoyed it the most though. There really was so much going on, way more than I was expecting xx

  18. June 10, 2016 / 11:57 am

    This looks liek so much fun. Perfect for a Thomas fan, We have just started watching it in the mornings with our little girl. She isn’t too impressed yet but it’s bringing back some fab memories for my hubby!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch

    • Wendy
      June 10, 2016 / 2:01 pm

      Aww maybe she will grow to love it? Yea my husband is the same, he used to love Thomas when he was little too. Thanks for hosting xx

  19. June 14, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    My boys would love this! They are huge train fans and love miniature trains. The Thonas days here are just with the normal sized trains though, this would be more fun! Love how confident Leo was to go to the front for the story! Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather x

    • Wendy
      June 16, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      Awww, it’s a shame they don’t have a miniature train one by you but I bet it would still be as fun with regular sized trains :). Haha yea, Leo isn’t shy at all, he didn’t think twice about marching to the front. Thanks for hosting xx

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