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Kids can ride on a real Thomas the Tank Engine this spring

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Time Out Kids contributors

Parents of tykes who freak out over Thomas the Tank Engine—and trains in general—will be delighted to know that CT's Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is hosting several Thomas-themed events this spring and summer. If you're down for a weekend trip, or planning a fun family vacation, the Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour will be happening just 2.5 hours from the city (on April 22–23, 29–30 and May 6–7, 9am–6pm; $24, children under 2 free)...meaning your wait for our favorite annual holiday train show events may not be so bad after all.

The annual celebration offers rides on Thomas (for both children and families) plus full access to the grounds and a petting zoo from Circle K Farms, five carnival rides, storytelling, face-painting, live music, balloon animals, a magic show...even Megablok + Thomas & Friends toy play areas and a craft area. Train departure times are every 45 minutes, and departure times can be selected when you go to purchase your ticket. See a video below from previous years!

Day Out with Thomas - Essex Steam Train from Essex Steam Train on Vimeo.

You'll even be able to meet Sir Topham Hatt (controller of the railway) and Percy the Small Green Engine, too. We'd recommend arriving before your scheduled ride time to enjoy all of the sweet activities this event has to offer, since the events are going on most of the afternoon.

Photograph: Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

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