The first destination is Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. This is one of our favorite field trips. We buy season passes each year, so we can go multiple times. And with our passes we are able to ride Thomas the Train when he comes to visit Tweetsie each June.
The fall is probably my favorite time of year to go, and if you are not a season pass holder, they have a great way for you to visit. Each Friday in Spetember after Labor Day and each Friday in October, you can particpate in Education Days. The link for information about that is found at http://www.tweetsie.com/for_groups/education_days.html. You do have to register as a homeschool group and have 20 people in your group to qualify for the group rate. It is well worth the trip. And on Fridays in the fall, it is usually not very busy. There are school groups there in the mornings, but they tend to leave after lunch. We have found we can do everything in the park in about 3 hours on a Friday afternoon in September or October.
While you are on the Tweetsie site, be sure to check out the Kidz Zone. There are 4 free coloring pages that you can print out. My little ones are coloring right now.
Another fun train experience in NC is the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Dillsboro, NC. We have only been there one time, but it is set in a magnificent little mountain town.I do not know how they classify homeschoolers, so if you are planning a trip there, please ask when you make your reservations. The Polar Express looks like a fun little excursion.
And the last train experience in NC that we have participated in was at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. This train and other transportation museum is situated closer to the middle of the state than the two previous train experiences. I am hoping to set up a homeschool field trip there this fall. Click HERE for group information.
If you decide to go to the NC Transportation Museum, you need to allow time to visit the Dan Nicholas Park. They have several things to do at this park, including riding a miniature train. They sell tickets for the various acitivties at the park, and all of them are reasonably priced. In the warmer months, you can rent paddle boats and cruise across the lake. I noticed that they offer educational programs at the park as well. It is definitely worth the trip, if you are close to Spencer or Salisbury, NC. We like to go to the Transportation Museum first, and then have a picnic at Dan Nicholas Park.
If any of you have other train experiences in NC, please comment below.
Have a blessed day! Tami