March 14, 2010

Day out with Thomas

Emerald Town Station
Melways Ref. 127 E5

There are very few children under five I would think that would not get excited by seeing a life-size Thomas the Tank Engine. The perpetually happy train engine is a major hit with this age group.

A Day out with Thomas at Emerald Station includes a 20 minute steam train ride behind Puffing Billy, a Pantomine, and free entry to various other attractions such as a jumping castle, animal farm and a ride on Green Bulgy Bus.

The train ride through the Dandenongs is definitely the main attraction and the train is designed so that everybody gets a window seat. Whilst the open windows mean your kids must stay seated, the fresh air on the face and the endless parade of waving Emerald residents make the ride such a joy. (It must be exhausting to live near Thomas!)

Following the excitement of the train ride, I thought the pantomine fell a little flat. Performed by members of the local theatre group, it was well intended but it dragged on and seemed to display gaps in their licencing agreement. For example, they did not use the Thomas theme song at all.

The other activties were good but fairly generic, and I have to say the ride on Bulgy the Bus was just a little bit scary. Maybe its been a while since I was on a bus but Bulgy was a bit fast for my liking.

Despite all this, the kids had a fantastic time and realistically it wouldn't have mattered how lame the activities were, they were just interested in seeing Thomas and every glimpse of him brought a smile to their faces.

Day out with Thomas tickets are $20 for adults and children aged 4 to 16. Toddlers (1 to 3 yrs) are $10 each. To book visit the Puffing Billy website

After Thomas, I would reccommend going to Emerald Park Lake for a play and a picnic. This is a great park with a good playground and lots of picnic and bbq areas - you can even book the rotundas ahead of time which is handy for groups. And, if you haven't had enough of trains for the day, the park has its own little model railway. For details, visit the Emerald Park Lake website

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