Event Details Submit an Event

Thomas & Friends

phone  When :
Jan 28, 2023 - May 14, 2023
phone   Where :
180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA, United States - 95110
Thomas & Friends

Explore the Rails Traveling Exhibit
Returns to Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose on Jan. 28th

Exhibit fosters STEM literacy in young learners

The world’s most beloved #1 blue engine rolls into Children’s Discovery Museum this winter. Thomas & Friends®: Explore the Rails, an interactive exhibit created by Minnesota Children’s Museum and inspired by the popular children’s series on PBS KIDS® in the US, and Family Jr. and Télé-Québec in Canada, will steam into San Jose on January 28th through May 14th, 2023.  

The Thomas & Friends exhibit was designed and developed by Minnesota Children’s Museum in partnership with HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. Fisher-Price, the #1 Infant/Preschool Toys manufacturer.

Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math)-focused exhibit engages children, ages 2 through 7 years, and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit encourages thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results.

“I can’t think of a more iconic character to inspire the engineer in everyone,” said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children’s Discovery Museum. “I’m thrilled to bring back this popular exhibit to Silicon Valley where science, technology, engineering and math are such a part of the region’s DNA and our educational mission.”

“The skills and proficiencies children learn and refine through play in the early years set the stage for future learning and success from the kindergarten classroom to the workplace,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum.

Visitors will be delighted as they find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks, and much more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation.

As children confront new challenges and test their abilities, the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others offer encouragement and remind children how “really useful” they all are.

Inside the Exhibit:

  • Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings. Flip levers and investigate other moveable 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 oversized 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 train ride. 
  • Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live action series produced in London, copies of the original drawings and 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.

About Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Kids lead the way at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, exploring and discovering through open-ended, play-based learning. Over 150 hands-on exhibits and programs in the sciences, humanities, arts, nature, and health spark curiosity and ignite family fun where children build life skills in creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, and confidence. The nonprofit celebrates people and diverse cultures, creates authentic connections, and builds global understanding. Inspiring creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning inside the stunning 52,000 square-foot purple building designed by world-renowned Mexico City architect Ricardo Legoretta, and outside in the half-acre nature space, the award-winning museum has welcomed nearly ten million visitors since 1990.

Additional Information:

Sponsor :
Children's Discovery Museum
Website :