Saturday the girls and I completed one of our Christmas conditions which is to visit the Festival of Lights at Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts. We’ve been visiting at Christmas with my parents for about 9 years. (We used to go to Edaville as kids – it was MUCH smaller then!) For the past 3 years, they’ve been expanding and are still working on making the park better.
As you enter and are waiting to buy your tickets, you get glimpses of the expansion. Since last Christmas, they’ve built a beautiful street which I’ve heard will be shops and another restaurant. The expansion is planned to go through 2017, so there’s a lot more coming to an already great park.
Currently, the park opens at 3:00, so we were there as it opened to take advantage of the little amount of daylight (and warmer temperatures).
Our first goal was the “old” section of the park – the part you first walk through. We were pleasantly surprised to see that since Thomasland opened (late summer 2016) Thomas is pulling the train for the Festival of Lights.
In this section of the park are the classic amusement park rides: a carousel, flying elephants, hot air balloons… Don’t be fooled into thinking these are all little kids rides, there’s plenty for big kids and adults too. There are 15 rides outside of Thomasland.
As we continued through the park, we stopped to take a picture with Thomas!
Since we were with little ones, we decided to do the Festival of Lights early before anyone fell asleep :)
The Festival of Lights train ride is my favorite part of visiting at Christmas. The train cars are enclosed and heated (it gets cold in Massachusetts in December) and there are so many great lights. I especially love the ones near the water where you can see their reflections.
After the Festival of Lights train ride, it was time for more rides! Then, we made our way to Thomasland. This was the first we had been to Thomasland and I honestly wasn’t that excited because neither of my girls has ever been that into Thomas.
But, seriously how cute are these? I thought the blue one above was Thomas and was quickly corrected by my 6 year old :) I love the details that were included in this area – the benches are all cargo crates.
This is also the spot where the Thomasland show takes place. Honestly, unless your little one is really into Thomas, I would suggest skipping the show. It lasted longer than my girls’ attention span for it. They were much more into the 11 rides in the area.
Ella really wanted to do the coaster, but with a 42″ height requirement she was the only kid tall enough. She absolutely loved it! When we got off, she told me it was her “dream ride”.
Ava’s favorite was the Rockin’ Bulstrode – a boat that swings side to side and up in the air. This one got a repeat ride.
Since Ella is over 42″ she got to ride Cranky’s Crane Drop. She was definitely the tiniest one on the ride – it was all teenagers and adults! This is similar to the classic carnival ride that lifts you into the air and drops you.
Another hit for Ella!
But, it was time to meet up with the rest of the family for Harold’s Lift-Off which is similar to the Dumbo elephant ride (I love the lighthouse in the center of this ride).
And how cute are the faces on the Harold Helicopters?
One ride we didn’t do, but you couldn’t miss was Winston’s Skyline Express. This ride had one of the longest lines of the night but slowly provided an overview of all of Thomasland.
Our last Thomasland ride of the evening was Firefighting Flynn. In the summer, the fire trucks actually spray water at the building in the middle.
I love that kids can ride in the back of the firetrucks and go up and down…
or they can drive the truck!
The baskets on the back of the Firefighting Flynn vehicles raise up and down to “fight the fire”.
On our way out of Thomasland, we passed Bertie’s Bus Tour, but by this time Ella was the only one with enough energy to ride.
And of course there’s a shop to purchase all your Thomas the Tank Engine needs!
Inside the main building are another set of rides, a ball pit and a small museum. It’s a great way to get out of the cold and warm up.
Most of the inside rides are geared towards the littlest ones – Ella was too tall for some of the rides when she was 5.
And inside you can also meet Santa! By the time we were done inside it was after 7:00 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. At Edaville, there are some food places with premade sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and chicken wings. You can also bring in your own food. We decided to eat somewhere else, so we slowly made our way out past all the Christmas lights:
If you made it through all these pictures, thanks for reading! Our afternoon/evening at Edaville was a magical night for the girls that they are still talking about. Edaville had definitely become a Christmas tradition for our family.