Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day Out With Thomas at Perris, CA

2201 South a Street, Perris, CA 92570
(951) 943-3020
$14-$18; You can buy the tickets online at TicketWeb. All tickets bought online will incur a handling fee.

Parking is free. There is a paved parking lot that is within feet of the ticket booth. There is also a dirt overflow parking as well as street parking available.

Stroller/wheelchair accessibility
All activities are accessible by stroller and wheelchairs. There is stroller parking next to all rides.

Restroom facilities
There is limited restroom facilities. Be prepared to wait in lines. There is a porta potty outside made available for people waiting in line and next to the concession area. There is a Mother's Tent available which has several changing stations and chairs for nursing.

The museum has a snack bar that offers hot dogs, chips, and soda. Benches and tables and chairs are available nearby. Also, there is a concession area which offers funnel cake, ice cream, barbecue, CKP, Carl's Jr, and gyros. There is a tented area with tables and chairs at the end of the food stands. There is a grassy area near the entrance, with some tables and benches for people to picnic, listen to live music, or play in bounce houses. Lots of people also brought blankets for their picnic.
There are three rides: the Thomas train, a caboose train, and electric trolleys. You can ride the Thomas train only once, but you can ride the other rides as many times as you like. You cannot take pictures of Thomas while waiting in line as it is closed off. There is however, a platform along the tracks where people can stand to take pictures of Thomas. You do not need to purchase tickets to ride the caboose train or trolleys. All train rides are conducted by knowlegable museum staff who provide a brief overview of the museum and tidbits about some of the trains you see throughout the museum.All Thomas related activities are inside a tent. There is a tent to get temporary tattoos and a kids play area with lots of train tables, tracks on the floor, arts and crafts. A gift shop is available for those interested in buying trademarked products. You can also take a picture with Sir Topham Hat, listen to stories, and watch Thomas videos.
The museum houses a lot of vintage trains, trolleys, and buses, some of which you can climb in and explore. There is an area which houses electric model trains. There is also a museum gift shop for visitors and train enthusiast. A few play structures are scattered for kids to pretend play.  There is a very small petting zoo with bunnies, goats, and sheep. You can buy feed for a nominal fee.

Our family experience
We stayed for about 4 hours (as long as our 2.5 year old can stay). We made sure to ride all the rides once and visit all the Thomas related activity tents. We tried to visit as much of the museum exhibits as we could but missed a few. Overall, my son loved it. But of course, he is a Thomas fan. For anyone who has a child just crazy over Thomas, this is one event that is worthwhile. We hope to be back again.

If you purchase the ticket before a certain date, you can get a discounted price. You can also find codes online to get a discount. I would highly recommend buying the ticket before you go as there may be a long line to purchase same day tickets. If you have a pre-purchased ticket, you can bypass the same day ticket line and go straight to the entrance. To save money, bring lunch as there is a nice picnic area.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. Tickets to the event in this review were purchased by my family. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review.