As any Thomas the Tank Engine fan knows, it’s impossible to board an express train to the Island of Sodor. But thanks to Liberty Science Center, rail enthusiasts can enjoy the next best thing. The beloved trains, sprung from the imagination of Reverend Wilbert Awdry and his son, Christopher, are on full display at not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park.
Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails, a hands-on exhibit where fun and learning collide, pulled into Jersey City on Sept. 23. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time for families to hop aboard as it runs through May 13, 2018.
More than simply vibrant and fun, the exhibit offers visitors a chance to sharpen their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through counting objects, comparing sizes, and learning colors.
Geared toward kids ages 2-8, the exhibit, which located on the fourth floor, allows patrons on the older end of the spectrum to learn basic engineering concepts, discover scientific principles through play, and check out how technology keeps engines running.
Capitalizing on the notion that children learn by doing, young visitors have the chance to investigate the inner workings of the engine while refining hand-eye coordination by climbing inside the Thomas model. They can also see if they have what it takes when it comes to spacial relations skills by stacking cargo into a train car at the Loading Zone. Promoting problem-solving, the ‘Every Part Has a Purpose’ section encourages kids to remove select train parts and replace them with other components. Fans of the No. 6 engine will be happy to ‘help Percy get going’ through figuring out how the green engine produces and uses steam energy. ‘Tick Tock, Fix the Clock’ makes telling time a blast. Of course, no Thomas exhibit would be complete without a train table where budding rail designers can create innovative layouts.
The excitement is set in familiar locales kid will recognize from the TV series, including Knapford Station, the Sodor Steamworks, and others.
The science center recommends allowing 60 minutes to explore the exhibition.
Liberty Science Center is located inside Liberty State Park at 222 Jersey City Blvd. Hours are
Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is included with general admission tickets ($21.75 for adults, $18.75 for seniors 62+, and $17.75 for children ages 2-12). Museum members and children under 2 are free