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Calling all Thomas the Tank Engine™ fans! The True Blue Engine is making the rounds on the 2011 Leader of the Track Tour. My family and I recently visited Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Mich., where Thomas chugged into the station and provided rides to passengers eager to board the train for a ride.

A Day of Imagination and Activities

The Day Out with Thomas provides a selection of activities for kids of all ages. When we arrived, we received a program and maps for the kids, which indicated four locations where the map would be stamped. After collecting all four stamps, the kids could bring their maps to the gift shop for a prize. The stamp areas were the Imagination Station, an outdoor area with picnic tables and activities set up for the kids, including train sets, crayons and Thomas coloring pages, blocks, and more. We arrived at the Storytelling and Video-Viewing area between story times, but saw that the video was being shown inside an old one-room school house on the property. Since we already have videos at home, we proceeded to the next area for a stamp, the meet-and-greet station with Sir Topham Hatt. My two- and four-year-old were hesitant at first to meet the controller of the railways on the Island of Sodor but did give him a hug and a couple of high-fives.

IMG_2821The final stop for a stamp was the gift shop, a large room where nearly any kind of Thomas merchandise was available. We opted for a couple of t-shirts for the kids and collected our prizes.

Riding the Rails with Thomas a Highlight

The highlight of the day for both kids and adults was the train ride. We were fortunate to board a half-full car of people and have extra room to stretch out and take photos from both sides of the car. The 40-minute train ride provided a tour of the Crossroads Village property, including wetlands and a river, woods, and a couple of town crossings where several people had gathered to wave at the passing train. Inside the car, Thomas and Friends music played several tunes familiar to our kids, as well as some they hadn’t heard before, and the conductor made occasional announcements to the passengers about areas we were passing through.

At the end of the train ride, children were given “junior engineer certificates” to commemorate their ride with Thomas.

IMG_2851About Day Out with Thomas

For over 65 years, Thomas and his engine friends have shared their adventures with curious children. Now in its 16th consecutive year, Day Out With Thomas will make stops in more than 45 cities in the United States and Canada and is expected to welcome more than one million passengers. Interested in attending in your area? Check out the Day Out with Thomas Schedule to find an event that you and your family might be interested in attending.

Disclosure: My family and I were provided with four tickets to the event for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Teresa J. Shaw covers Southeast Michigan for Traveling Mom. Visit her website at TeresaJShaw.com and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.