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25.8.11

A Day Out With Thomas.

After a solo trip out with the boys to a 2nd birthday party on Saturday I asked my husband if, in return for me not dragging him out and forcing him to go, he would take us all out for the day on the Sunday. He agreed.
We ummed and ahhed at what to do.
There is a lot to do in this area, we have our particular favourite places to go. Recently we had visited these places and it was too soon to return [according to my husband] so we left it that we would see how we felt in the morning.
Sunday morning, whilst laying in bed waiting for Harry to wake up and getting my energy ready to be attacked by Charles when he saw me, I caught up on everyones Facebook updates. There I saw some photos a friend had posted following her visit to Bressingham Steam Museum the day before.
There I saw a familiar face. Thomas The Tank Engine.
Well I ran downstairs and mentioned to my husband about going there, he agreed.
We visited last year and found it to be a short day out for what seemed a lot of money but in this case we agreed to pay the £14 each just to see Charles' face when he met Thomas. Charles was still free as he's under three.

As we arrived we were greeted with a huge archway welcoming us to a Day Out With Thomas.
As we walked along the pathway I even felt a touch of butterflies in your tummy type excitement at seeing Thomas.


We decided to go and grab some lunch and sort the boys bums out before we went to find Thomas and any other exciting things at the museum.
Lunch was surprisingly nice. My husband bought us a jacket potato each but we didn't expect it to taste particularly nice but was pleasantly surprised. Charles was somewhat distracted from eating his basic lunch of chicken nuggets and baked beans by the big carousel which we were sat by.

In the time of eating lunch we had briefly seen Thomas take several trips along the short track. Each time he went down I had to tell Charles he was going for his dinner, and each time he went up the track I had to say he was going to the toilet, this way the "I want to go see Thomas now" demands stopped.
Charles decided he wanted to go on the carousel before seeing Thomas so I handed over one of the five complimentary tokens all guests are given and we sat on Poppy going round and round and up and down. Charles loved it.

We then walked to see Thomas.  The Fat Controller was walking through the queue of mums, dads, nannies, grandads and children, greeting them. Charles didn't want to talk to him but had he of been older and a bigger Thomas fan then I'm sure this would've been exciting for him.
He then took his turn, along with daddy, to sit in the carriage and ride on the short ride, pushed and pulled by Thomas himself. Except this exciting moment wasn't as exciting as we hoped. Getting on the train you don't see Thomas as he's facing the other way [you go backwards first] so as far as Charles was concerned he was just on any normal train.
Once he got off we took him to see the engine, except we couldn't get too close because of the other people wanting to get their photos taken next to him on the platform. Instead he had to make do with looking through the fence.

My husband then decided he wanted to go and see the Dads Army display so we headed over to the museum. Walking in there was a huge old postal train, which was magnificent to see, and Charles decided it was the Story Train. Charles decided he would lead the way and walked into an old style shop they have set up with cabinets full of toy cars. This was one of Charles' highlights of the day. He ran over and stared for ages, every now and then shouting "LOOK MUMMY LOOK".
My husband walked on ahead to the Dads Army display whilst I looked at the big wheel on the back of the fire engine and held Charles up so he could ring the Fire Engines bell.


After this we walked to the Dodgems so my husband could use a couple of his tokens and after driving around for 5 minutes we were lost as to what to do. Harry was asleep so a trip on another train was awkward and the queues were rather long. So we went for an ice cream and went on the small fairground again to use some more of our tokens.

Here he went on the childrens carousel twice which he loved.
After this we had nothing else to do so it was time to go home. We felt a bit disappointed as we'd paid over £10 and certainly hadn't got our moneys worth [in my mind]. As my husband puts it, there are a few gems-these being the Dads Army Collection and the Dodgems and a few of the other trains in the 'garages'.



There are some beautiful gardens here though, which I will talk about in another blog post, but these were totally not suitable for a toddler.
I guess I was disappointed because I felt it lacked the "magic" and spark from a childrens event. I felt the fact it was Thomas was enough in the museums eyes but it needed a little bit more. This was proven when I heard a very upset 3 year old boy asking him mum where the other trains were as he'd expected to see them there given the fact their pictures were on the banners.
Gordons voices played over the system with their catchphrases.

We managed to stay there for 4 hours but this was mainly including queueing for food, queuing for the ride on Thomas plus feeding Harry and baby/toddler bum changes-which brings me onto my biggest annoyance. The baby change room is in the section with the women's toilets, not mens. Therefore there were a lot of embarrassed men stood outside the female toilets with their heads down. STICK A CHANGE TABLE IN THE MENS TOILETS TOO! THEY ALSO CHANGE NAPPIES!! And in this baby change room there were two, yes TWO bins for dirty nappies. Fab. Except it wasn't fab. BOTH bins were overflowing. I thankfully had nappy bags with me so stuck the dirty nappy in there and threw it in a bin outside, but the man in the queue behind me didn't have a nappy bag so I very kindly offered him one of our bags to save the overflow pile getting any bigger. On a busy day this should have been monitored and not have got to this state.
If Charles was over three years old we'd of had to pay £10 for his entrance fee which for me, is far too high for a child still so young. All in all this could've been so much better and I full expected Charles to be talking about seeing Thomas for days, but sadly he's forgotten already and it was only 3 days ago that we went.

*I wasn't asked to blog about this nor did I receive free entry. I decided to blog about this because I wanted to share our experience.