By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders
Tweetsie Railroad is the perfect family location for a day trip or as an addition to a vacation in Boone or Blowing Rock. There is plenty to do there! We recently went up and visited during Fourth of July weekend. They really do have one of the best fireworks displays on the 4th in the mountains!
The best known attraction there is of course their vintage steam locomotive which circles all the way around the park and offers two live mini-shows featuring ‘Cowboys and Indians’. There are actually two locomotives that the park switches out, No. 12 named “Tweetsie” (completed in 1917) and No. 190 “Yukon Queen” (completed in 1943). This is also a great way for families to get a few minutes of downtime, too, while riding around on the train. Each train has quite a bit of history on them which you can read about here. Knowing these fun facts to share with the family while riding it will add to the adventure while teaching the kids a thing or two.
For those looking for rides there are plenty of those, with most of them being at the Country Fair area. The rides at County Fair include: Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Free Fall, Planes & Helicopters, Round Up, Tilt-A-Whirl, Tornado and Turnpike Cruisers. For those with little kids, the Carousel is open to all ages & heights and the Ferris Wheel is open to anyone although those under 6 must ride with an adult. The remaining rides vary in height restriction; please check the rides page for specifications. An arcade is also available at the Country Fair, and is full of various games for kids and adults. There are also plenty of Country Fair games similar to those you’d find at the Dixie Classic Fair.
A chair lift is fun on its own and provides for transportation up to Miner’s Mountain. It also provides some great views, which you can see more of at the overlook at the top. Some of the rides at Miner’s Mountain are for children only but there is also the Tweetsie Twister and Mouse Mine Train. The Mouse Mine Train also goes into a cave where the mice sing a little song for passengers. Other great activities for the families at Miner’s Mountain include gold panning and gem mining and the Deer Park Habitat. People are allowed to buy animal food and feed all the animals here which include everything from goats, to deer and even llamas. My daughter’s favorite part here was that the little baby goats walk around the path for you to easily pet and feed. They were adorable!
There are also tons of live shows, shops and food options throughout the park. This would make a great day trip before the kids start back school; however, after August 17 the park is only open on weekends & Labor Day. One other things that I know as a mom I loved at the park was the abundance of photo opportunities backdrops like fake horses, teepees, covered wagons and a prison cell. That’s right you can get a picture of your kids behind bars!
Another time to visit would be for those that like spooky fun as from September 25 through October 31 the park is open for the Ghost Train Halloween Festival from 7:30 to 11:30 at night. In addition to riding the Ghost Train there is also a haunted house and creepy carnival. This Tweetsie Ghost Train Map not only shows where everything is but provides a great key for what games, rides and activities fit certain ages.
For more information on the park or to purchase tickets visit their website: http://tweetsie.com/.