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Day Out with Thomas Special Sensory-free Event
The North Shore Scenic Railroad is hosting a sensory-free Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Autism Speaks Minnesota, worked with the Railroad to set up the original Sensory Friendly Day, provides special training to all volunteers and staff to make the guest/visitor experience safe and secure.
The event includes all things Thomas, but without the distractions of large crowds, noise, whistles, loud music, bells and confusion. Activities are organized in a manageable series that matches each person’s own pace and comfort.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will welcome families and volunteers with a 9 a.m. trackside press conference. The mayor was instrumental in setting up the first-ever Sensory Friendly “Day Out with Thomas” several years ago.
Tickets are free for kids on the autism spectrum and their parents or guardians. A limited number of additional family tickets are available for sale. The donated tickets are made possible by HIT Entertainment and Mattel, the Thomas brand managers, and through a grant from U.S. Bank.
The North Shore Scenic Railroad was the first Thomas event to offer a Sensory Friendly Day. Several years ago a petition was circulated by parents wishing to include all their family members in a visit with Thomas and his best friend Percy. The request found its way to Mayor Larson, who endorsed the creation of the special day and has been on property every year since to welcome guest/visitors.
Because of the success of the program in Duluth, Sensory Friendly “Day Out With Thomas” celebrations are included in many other Thomas visits around the country.