The B&O Railroad Museum is a train lovers dream on a regular day. The location itself is a critical part of American and Locomotive history (you literally get to ride down where the very first tracks in the United States were laid!). The different museum buildings house what can only be considered one of the most amazing train collections in the nation. We were so blown away (big train buffs over here!) that we immediately bumped B&O Railroad Museum up to our absolute favorites list.
As if things could not get any better, we were able to visit this Baltimore landmark during one of its biggest events of the year: A Day Out with Thomas! As true fans of Daily Vacationer know by now, we are BIG Thomas & Friends fans and take great pleasure in following their events and exhibits around the Greater Philadelphia area (and sometimes a little beyond). As much as we love every experience, some places just seem to do it a little bit better than others, and the B&O Railroad Museum knocked it out of the park.
Upon arrival, we were given a passport to have stamped in each location of the Friendship Tour event so we could receive a prize before we left. At first this seemed like yet ANOTHER thing to try to do at such a big event, but we actually found that the kids were super excited to collect the stamps, and that they were all located in places where we would naturally be going to anyway. It also gave us an added reason to move on to another spot since the little ones definitely would have stayed all day in the MEGA Bloks Imagination Station without some prompting to move along (as if they don't play with trains everyday at home).
A mini Knapford Station was set up for a fun photo op with Sir Topham Hatt himself. No confusion and delay here - everyone got to take professional shots and some on their own cameras and phones with an extra minute for hugs and high fives. We were personally big fans of the Storytelling and Entertainment area that gave everyone a quick (or long) rest and break from walking around. B&O Railroad Museum also had an additional spot for entertainment outside with live shows scheduled for the entirety of the event.
The Roundhouse was loads of fun to explore (kids got a kick out of pointing out which real trains reminded them of their favorite Thomas & Friends characters, and we personally had to be forcibly removed by our companions when we tried to linger over every train in there), but there was plenty to see and do outside as well. We were immediately drawn to the model trains running around a giant track. We spotted plenty of special trains on the track (Thomas, Percy, and even a whirling Harold the Helicopter), as well as some B&O Railroad mainstays (Go Orioles!). As a treat for the event, there were also mini powered Thomas' to ride, as well as multiple bouncehouses. The B&O Railroad also boasts permanent train themed kiddie rides which were included in the event admission. We took a whirl on the carousel and watched others enjoy chuffing in ChooChoo Blueville and around and around the Happy Train.
Just when it seemed like A Day Out with Thomas couldn't get anymore fun, the guest of honor puffed into the station. There was Thomas the Tank Engine, smiling and greeting passengers! We made sure get to a few pictures with him (Special Tip: Get on line BEFORE he arrives to be right in the front for a quicker photo op), and then we headed up for our special train ride behind the Number 1 Engine. A jovial conductor gave us a brief history on the route we were about to take and then lead us all in a boisterous "ALL ABOARD!". The trip itself was a lot of fun with Thomas' voice and catchy songs piped through the speakers while his real steam drifted by the windows. As always, a magical experience for train lovers of all ages.
A Day Out with Thomas returns annually to
the B&O Railroad Museum.
Look for their other upcoming events:
Nearby Neighbor: Port Discovery