If you have a one-track mind when it comes to family fun, you’ll definitely want to make plans to see the world’s most beloved #1 blue engine, Thomas & Friends™, at the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS) in Fort Lauderdale! Its latest interactive exhibit, “Thomas & FriendsTM: Explore the Rails!,” has pulled into the station and combines education and play in such a delightful way for visitors young and old (especially if you were a Thomas fan as a child).
Designed for ages 2-7, this exciting STEM-focused exhibit is just the ticket to engage young minds and foster a love of learning. With a range of favorite engines and destinations, children will explore foundational skills in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on play. Get ready to think, compare, experiment, and problem-solve in creative ways!
Upon arrival, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the beloved Island of Sodor. You’ll find iconic locations like Knapford Station and Sodor Steamworks and join Thomas and his friends as they take on a range of exciting challenges, from sorting and shape identification to engineering obstacles. Build a train track with varying levels of elevation and test your skills along the way. Throughout the experience, the familiar faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor, and more will be there to cheer you on and remind you just how “really useful” you are.
Thomas & FriendsTM: Explore the Rails! Exhibit Highlights
- Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings. Flip levers and investigate other movable parts that trigger train noises such as braking, whistles and steam.
- Fix Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts and experimenting to find a combination of wheels, rods and bolts that work.
- Explore the favorite Island of Sodor destinations including: Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks and the Sodor Search & Rescue Station on an over-sized Thomas Wooden Railway train table.
- Work with old and new friends loading luggage, livestock and other freight into the coaches of two train cars.
- Collaborate with others to get Percy moving by loading coal into his coal box and filling his tank with water from a water tower.
- Suit up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to other visitors taking a ride on the train.
- Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live action series produced in London, copies of the original drawings and 75 manuscripts from the Rev. W. Awdry, the creator of Thomas & Friends, and a collection of memorabilia documenting the history and evolution of Thomas & Friends through books, television and toys.
The exhibit is included with Museum admission and is open to the public daily through Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. Don’t let your plans get de-railed and miss out on this special educational opportunity with your family!
“Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!” was designed and developed by Minnesota Children’s Museum in partnership with Mattel, Inc. Fisher-Price, the leading manufacturer of infant and preschool toys. The exhibit is nationally presented by Fisher-Price. It is presented locally by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans and Tri-Rail.
Michelle Olson-Rogers is a mom of one and the founder of Modern Boca Mom, an award-winning lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida parent. She can also be found on Instagram at @modernbocamom.