A (Christmas) Day Out With Thomas 

By | December 24, 2017

Last Saturday D had the opportunity to go with some friends on a Day Out With Thomas at Didcot Railway Centre.  She was mega excited as the entrance price included meeting Father Christmas and receiving a present! 

There is plenty to see at the Railway centre before the scheduled ride on Thomas, vintage (huge) engines are stored in sheds and, whilst you couldn’t go on them, you could really get close enough to marvel at the size of the engines and the workmanship that went into these wonderful trains.

The Christmas hats were a nice touch!

As well as the engines, there were carriages in another shed that could be looked into via a platform and these are so luxurious compared to how we travel today, sofas in one carriage and an actual dining table, in another carriage there is information as to how the Railway centre was utilised during WW2, as well as a underground bomb shelter kitted out as it would have been in WW2, complete with vintage radio recordings and posters from the era.

And then it was time for our trip on Thomas!

We travelled in a very festive carriage, elves acted as our train staff and it was a trip of a few minutes before we arrived at our destination to meet Father Christmas!

We were shown into the waiting area, another festive carriage and, as our time grew nearer, Mother Christmas asked our children’s ages and whether we wanted the same or differing presents.

The main man himself was very jovial and took an interest in each visitor, our SN children were by far the oldest but he made each one feel special.

After receiving gifts, there was time to meet the reindeer and PC Plod, who was very chatty and again, made our children feel very welcome.

And then it was back to the Railway centre and some food, there is a cafe and a gift shop, a plate of chips for D, an instant coffee and a sandwich for me came to £5.95.  Seating was a bit of an issue and any buggies had to be left outside, there was outdoor seating if the weather had been warmer.

The Railway centre is buggy-friendly, with walkways made of sleepers, but I wouldn’t say it was wheelchair-friendly for older children.  The train doors are narrow and any platforms to attractions are via wooden steps, which is fine if your toddler is light enough to be carried, but it would be an issue for parents with older children.  As I said,  our children were by far the oldest but were made to feel very welcome.

And our presents? The boys received a toy Aston Martin in a tin and D had a lovely squishy round piggie, which is great for squeezing out her worries.
The cost of the event per child was £16.00, as carers we fortunately had free admittance.

We arrived home in the dark, tired but happy after a grand day out! 

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