Close this search box.

Northwest Railway Museum: A Magical Adventure with Thomas the Train in Seattle with Kids

Northwest Railway Museum Day Out With Thomas, two kids taking photos in front of the train

Embark on a whimsical journey with your little train enthusiasts to the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington, just a short drive from Seattle. This family-friendly destination offers an unforgettable experience for children who adore trains, especially Thomas the Train, and for adults who relish scenic vistas.

Table of Contents

Embarking on Your Adventure

The Northwest Rail museum, nestled in the picturesque town of Snoqualmie, is conveniently located less than 30 miles east of Seattle, making it an easy and scenic drive for those looking to escape the city for a day.

Directions from Seattle to the Northwest Railway Museum

By Car: The most straightforward route is via I-90 E. Take exit 25 for WA-18 W toward Snoqualmie Parkway. Continue on Snoqualmie Parkway, then turn left onto Railroad Ave SE. This journey typically takes around 30 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic.

Public Transportation: For those preferring public transport, King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit offer routes that can get you close to Snoqualmie, but be prepared for a longer travel time and a possible combination of buses and light rail. Since services may vary, checking the latest schedules on their websites is recommended.

Special Event Shuttles: During major events like “Day Out with Thomas,” the museum sometimes arranges shuttle services from nearby locations. Check the museum’s website for any special transportation options available during these events.

Ride the Rails into History and Beauty

The museum invites families and kids to step aboard historic trains for a leisurely ride through the breathtaking landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Operating on Saturdays and Sundays from April through December, these train rides offer a unique blend of excitement for train-loving kids and a tranquil retreat for scenic view-loving adults. The route includes a special journey down to the mesmerizing Snoqualmie Falls from the North Bend depot, providing a backdrop of natural beauty that’s sure to captivate passengers of all ages.

A Day Out with Thomas: A Highlight for Families

Highlighting the museum’s calendar is the enchanting “Day Out with Thomas” event, a dream come true for fans of the beloved train character. Held once a year in July, this special occasion transforms the museum into a vibrant celebration of all things Thomas the Train. It’s a full day of fun, with activities and photo ops suitable for kids of all ages, making it a perfect outing for families visiting the Seattle area. As this event is incredibly popular, tickets tend to sell out quickly, so early booking is advised to ensure you don’t miss out on the fun.

Making the Most of Your Visit

Snoqualmie Depot & Depot Bookstore Hours: The depot is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, welcoming visitors every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Viewing Tips for Train Rides: When joining the train ride, especially during the Thomas event, remember to choose your seats wisely for the best views. Avoid the first few cars to ensure a clear view of the canyon when passing the falls, and sit on the platform side to catch sight of the Snoqualmie waterfall and canyon directly from your window.

Day Out with Thomas: This two-hour adventure is a must-do for families. To make your visit smoother, it’s recommended to leave strollers in the car, as space on the train is limited. They kindly ask parents to leave strollers at the station before boarding. 

A Glimpse into the Working Railroad

Beyond the rides and special events, the Northwest Railway Museum provides a fascinating look into the workings of a real railroad. This aspect adds an educational dimension to your visit, allowing you and your children to learn about the history and operation of railways. 

For families in the Seattle area, a visit to the Northwest Railway Museum, especially during the “Day Out with Thomas” event, offers a mix of educational experiences, fun activities, and stunning natural scenery. It’s an ideal destination for creating lasting memories with your kids, combining the thrill of trains with the beauty of the Snoqualmie Valley. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this magical adventure with Thomas the Train and his friends!

Get Curated Post Updates!

Sign up for my newsletter to see new photos, tips, and blog posts.