Tweetsie Railroad is a family oriented railroad and Wild West theme park in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. As the Carolinas’ original family theme park, it is full of old-fashion fun and is an ideal way to spend a fall day.
Can I confess something to you? It’s Halloween and we haven’t carved a pumpkin. Ok, we carved one pie-sized pumpkin a few weeks ago, but we don’t have a jack-o-latern to set out tonight. I feel better having that off my chest because FOMO (fear of missing out) is always alive and well during this festive time of year. Despite my desire to do ALL THE FALL THINGS, I try to keep my eyes on my own paper and pick a few that are special to us instead of worrying myself about all the things we haven’t done.
On Friday, we added a new experience to our fall repertoire by spending a day at the historic Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, NC. I have heard endless good things about the wild west themed park that is just under 2 hours away from us, so we packed the kids up Friday morning and took off to Tweetsie.
The girls were squealing with excitement as we walked up to the entrance. Between the crisp air, fall decor and the changing leaves every where we looked, it felt like the perfect autumn day.
As you walk in the park, you are immediately blown away by the sight of a real steam locomotive. Engine #12 was built in 1917 (all of Tweetsie’s history can be found here and it’s really quite interesting) and first things first, we had to hop on for a ride.
We snagged a seat in the caboose and after being introduced to our train car’s personal cowboy, the train whistle blew and we were off! Immediately we all loved the train ride for the open air view alone, but were even more surprised when it made a couple of stops along its 3 mile route. At these stops, the cowboys would jump off the train and take part in Western scenes, like bank robberies and fights with Indians.
Hailey was in awe (and loved the real horses) while Kaitlyn enjoyed it all but the loud bangs of gun shots.
The ride set the tone for our whole day and after taking time to let the train smash our coins on the track
we spent the entire afternoon exploring the park and taking advantage of all it offered from rides to a mini zoo to games.
The park is perfect (PERFECT) for young kids (Kaitlyn, 2, and Hailey, 5).
First of all, they are free to climb on almost everything.
(Moms are too)
There is such a variety of rides that there is something for everyone. From the low key chair lift up Miner’s Mountain
(those fall colors though!!) to the carousal
to cars the kids can drive themselves.
Then there are more adventurous rides like the Tweetsie Twister (Kaitlyn is on it too if you look closely!)
and the tilt-a-whirl which totally brought me back to my childhood at American Adventures in Atlanta.
There is truly something for everyone.
The Miner’s Mountain area is ideal for the youngest kids. There are rides they can go on all by themselves
and is home the the Mouse Mine Train as well. This second train ride goes a bit faster
and has a fun surprise about halfway through.
It was a big hit with our crew.
If rides aren’t your thing, there is plenty to look at and places to shop, and make sure to swing by the Deer Park Zoo.
It’s full of pigs, goats, llamas and deer, all of which you can feed for $0.25. I seriously considered trying to sneak this cute little guy out with me.
We really couldn’t have enjoyed the day anymore than we did. The park is the perfect size and we were able to see almost everything (minus the more thrilling rides for older kids) in about a 5 hour time span.
I’ve never been during summer, but it sure was hard to beat this fall day. It marked the last weekend of their season but Hailey is already talking about when we can make our return trip next year (it will be their 60th anniversary).
We ended our day of adventure with the one ride Hailey had been begging to go on since we pulled into the parking lot- the Ferris wheel!
Heights aren’t really my thing but when Hailey asked to ride with me, I put on a brave face. I had to admit, the view was unbeatable.
Kaitlyn rode with David and according to him, was in giggles the entire time.
And as for my seatmate? Well, any chance I get to experience that kind of pure joyful bliss of a child, I’ll take it. She was over the moon!
I can’t say enough about our day trip to Tweetsie. If you ever find yourself in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I highly recommend it.
Do you have a favorite fall fair, festival or local theme park that you love to visit this time of year?