Full Steam Ahead! A Day Out With Thomas in Cordele

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They’re two they’re four they’re six they’re eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight. Red and green and brown and blue—an obsession of every boy who’s two! That’s right folks, Day Out With Thomas is about to pull into Cordele (woot, woot!). We have all the info you need to navigate your fun-filled adventure—and keep your over-excited tot from going off the rails. Here’s the inside track on how to make the most of your date with the #1 Useful Engine. All aboard!


Your train ticket, which we recommend you purchase in advance, is good for one twenty-five minute ride, departing at one of six daily departure times. You’ll ride on an air conditioned passenger train which has be outfitted with a true-to-scale Thomas engine on the front, and you’ll chug over Lake Blackshear and through a pecan grove. Plan to arrive at the event approximately an hour before your departure time, since you’ll be facing an obstacle course of games, bounce houses, face painting stations, and a roaming Sir Topham Hat on your way to the train. What you don’t hit on your way in you can cover after your train ride, and all activities beyond the train ride are free. Food is available for purchase (think carnival food), but picnickers are welcome. Pets are not.


Day Out with Thomas is scheduled for this October 16, 17, 18, 24 and 25. Trains depart multiple times a day and be sure to purchase your ticket in advance – especially if you’re factoring in the 2 hour drive from Atlanta.


Thomas cruises the tracks of the SAM Shortline. The festivities take place at the Georgia Veterans State Park, 2459 U.S. Highway 280 W., Cordele, Georgia 31015.


How Much
Tickets to ride Thomas are $23.76 per person for every guest aged two and older. Children under two years old ride for free. You can purchase tickets online or call 866.468.7630 or 229.276.0055.


Insider Tip:
If you can’t make Thomas this year, have no fear. He comes to Cordele every year in October, or you can catch him in Chattanooga every April. However, if your little conductors are equally impressed with any train as they are Thomas, there’s no reason to wait until next year to take them for a ride on the SAM Shortline. Weekday and weekend trips include a short layover in one of several small towns along the line, and during the holiday season, the layovers often include caroling, roasting marshmallows, and other activities to get you in the spirit. 

Will you make the trek to see Thomas this year? Any tips to keep your trip on track? Tell us below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons via Flickr