Our Day Out With Thomas in Nashville

Do you have a little Thomas the Tank Engine fan in your house?  If so, you won’t want to miss Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s – Day Out With Thomas!  You and your child will get to meet a life-size, talking Thomas – and the best part?  He’s going to take you on a 30-minute ride along the Cumberland River through downtown Nashville!

2019 – Thomas has left the station

Unfortunately, Thomas will not be pulling into the station at the Tennessee Central Railway Museum in 2019. Click here to find events near Nashville.

You can still get an idea of what to expect at other Day Out with Thomas events from our experiences below.

What To Expect

I was very pleased to find that parking for this event was an absolute breeze!  There was no shortage of good spots, there were signs directing you where to go and we didn’t have to hike 5 miles to get to the train station.  After you park, follow the signs and make your way to the check-in booth.  Have your tickets ready and the friendly staff will get you in and give each child a map.

The map has spots for getting stamps from the various activity booths and if you collect all of the stamps you get a special Thomas themed prize on your way out.  I was nervous about this at first since most events like this require you pay more money on top of your ticket for “extra” activities.  Such was not the case at Day Out With Thomas!  In fact, all of the “extra” activities were included in the ticket price and it made the day so much less stressful.  You will want to plan for the ICEE truck and the gift shop, however.

Extra Activities

There were so many fun things to do, we were happy we arrived about an hour and a half before our train ride was scheduled.  You’ll want to arrive at least that early if you don’t plan to stay and play once the train ride is over.

Day Out with Thomas - Icee truck

First stop: ICEE TRUCK!!  At $3 each this was a totally worth it treat since it was so hot outside.  We also stopped at the tattoo shop to pick out a temporary Thomas tattoo.

Day Out with Thomas - getting a Thomas tattoo

One of the most popular activities were the bounce houses and inflatable slides.  They had a smaller one for young children and two larger ones for the big kids.

There was a really cute little putt putt golf course set up.  The kids had fun trying to putt around all of the little obstacles.


One of the activities we loved the most was the Imagination Station.  Under a big tent, they had several train tables set up with tracks and trains of all kinds, and a few tables to build with Thomas the Train Mega Bloks sets.

Day Out with Thomas - train table

If your little one is eager to ride a Choo Choo while waiting for the BIG Choo Choo ride, never fear!  Just hop aboard the little train and go round and round as many times as you like.


Don’t forget to stop by the petting zoo and feed the farm animals of Sodor!  There were goats, sheep, alpacas, donkeys and bunnies to pet and feed.


It’s almost time for the train ride!  For 20 minutes before each scheduled Thomas ride, you have a chance to grab a photo with Sir Topham Hatt, himself.


Other activities included an area to cool off and watch Thomas on TV and listen to Mother Goose read favorite Thomas books, a stage with live music and kiddo karaoke, a tablet station to play Thomas games, and the gift shop with lots of fun Thomas-themed merchandise.

ALL ABOARD for a Day Out with Thomas!!!

An announcement will be made to start lining up for your train ride about 10 minutes before departure.  Once it’s time to go, the conductor will give a brief rundown of the rules and some tips to make your ride more enjoyable: no food or drink other than water allowed in the train cars, make sure to use the restroom before departure, how to help your child up the steps into the train car, etc.


Once on the train you’ll take your seats and be on your way.  The cars are air conditioned and the seats are super comfy, so sit back, relax and enjoy your ride!

At the end of your 30-minute excursion along the Cumberland River, you’ll arrive back at the station and your child will receive a certificate for being an official Jr. Engineer.


Don’t forget to take a walk down to see Thomas up close and grab a pic with him!

Day Out with Thomas - photo with Thomas

After your ride you are welcome to stay as long as you would like to play in the activities area, or you can take your map to the exit table and claim your prize.  We really did have an excellent day out at this event and we’ll be recommending it to everyone we know.  Tickets sell out fast, you can purchase your tickets by clicking here. Don’t delay!

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Crystal was born and raised, and now raising a family of her own in Middle Tennessee. She currently lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Glenn, and their three children; Hunter, Grayson, and Hailey. They are an unschooling family, meaning they spend lots and lots of time out and about exploring all that this area has to offer!

65 thoughts on “Our Day Out With Thomas in Nashville”

  1. Which car should we ride that we could still see Thomas turning on the track, but not be in with a group of 20+. Is the last 3 cars still a good view? And which side should we sit on? ( Left or Right) Last, do you recommend a particular time?? TY!!

    • I’m not sure which car to ride on to see Thomas turn, and unfortunately, I don’t know specifics about groups attending. You can come in anytime on the day of your tickets. The mornings are cooler so you may want to plan on coming early and enjoying the activities and then taking your train ride.

  2. My two kids like to watch trains and listen for them whenever we head out to a local playground. They even suggested naming our future baby Thomas!

  3. Looks like fun! I hope to take our kids one day! I think they’ll love it! We have a 5 yo and 3 yo and they love to play with trains!

  4. My Granddaughters and I have been looking forward to riding the star downtown just to, explore. The girls would love LOVE this!! All 6 of them!
    By the way, A HUGE THANK YOU for your detailed reviews of activities you list! When my family was visiting from Florida your page was our GO To- to map out our daily activities!

  5. I took my 13 year old son to A Day Out With Thomas when he was only 2. Iā€™d love to take my 2 and 5 year old daughters!

  6. We took our son to Day Out With Thomas when he was 2 years old, and then again when he was 3. We all had a wonderful time, and now want to take my daughter who is turning 2 at the end of the month!

  7. We usually go to this event in French Lick, Indiana but decided last year to try Nashville since my son has to go to GI Clinic at Vanderbilt. We really had a good time!

  8. My boys saw the advertisement in this article and said ” I want to ride Mama!”
    They are 2 and 4 year old boys.
    They love Thomas the Train šŸš‚ and Percy.

  9. We have been attempting to try this several times in Mass. we just moved to Nashville and makes my boys very excited

  10. From the loooooong trains that cross over chestnut street and elm hill, to the Star train station next to our house, to the train in Centennial park, my kiddos love the choo choos!

  11. We haven’t been anywhere to look at trains, but my 2yo daughter loves “choo-choos” and loves riding the one at the zoo! I think she’d love this. Is it appropriate for a 2 yo?

  12. My son loves Thomas the Train soooo much! I know he would be over to moon to go to this. We haven’t been anywhere in Nashville to see real “choo choos” yet!

  13. As a car host working on the train, I have a lot of fun meeting the kids and their parents. However, I find that a lot of the parents don’t realize that in addition to Thomas trips, we have several family fun trips coming up in just a few weeks like the Train Robbery trip and the Mile Long Yard Sale trip to Watertown. And then on 29 October 2016 will be a brand new trip for us this year which is going to take us to the Baxter Fall Festival and to check out the new Baxter Depot. This trip takes you through the beautiful Caney Fork River valley and I am going to go out on a limb for the fall leaves here. I am going to predict that the leaves will be at their peak color for this trip. As you know, predictions can be tricky and iffy, so cross your fingers and help me out here.

    Then in November and December will be the Santa trips on the North Pole Express with the elves to the tune of Christmas carols and Christmas stories.

    When I was a kid growing up, the Tennessee Central Rail Road was a big part of my life and that was long before the TC Railway Museum club was even thought of, so how lucky are the kids of today?

    Hugh Lowe – Car Host


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