Did you know there is an amusement park in Blowing Rock, NC.? Neither did I until I was looking through Katie’s Make A Wish Passport and found Tweetsie Railroad in North Carolina. I couldn’t believe I had missed this gem after living so close for over 6 years. After doing some research, I found out that Tweetsie Railroad was North Carolina’s first amusement park opening in 1957. When I finished checking out Tweetsie Railroad’s Website, I decided this would be a great place to celebrate Katie’s Birthday.
Planning a Visit to Tweetsie Railroad
Because we were celebrating Katie’s birthday at Tweetsie Railroad and are MAW Passport holders, I had to email and let the office staff know we were interested in visiting. I quickly got a return email from Mrs. Cathy and Mr. Martin welcoming us to visit and celebrate Katie’s day. Now, all we had to do was wait on the big day to arrive.
Katie’s Birthday at Tweetsie Railroad
Getting all of us dressed in western wear and out the door early is no easy task. However, on this morning everybody was all excited. You would have thought they were saloon girls hovering around the bar and several cowboys busted through the door.
We load up our wagon (the van) and headed to NC for a rip-roaring good time. It took us about 2 hours to arrive at Tweetsie Railroad.
While we were unloading the van, off in the distance, I heard the sound of the train’s whistle. Woo-Wooo!
I was captivated by the sound for a moment.
A smile swept across my face as my eyes saw a big green engine come chugging along the tracks. For a minute, I felt like a 7 year old seeing a steam engine for the first time.
This simple act that is performed many times during the day at Tweetsie Railroad, assured me that this was going to be a great experience for all of us.
Tweetsie Railroad is an amusement park set up like a Wild West Town.
Upon entering, we were welcomed with a down home “Howdy!” by the park photographer. Since Katie is a Make A Wish kid, and went to Give Kids the World, we had a passport that gave us free admission. Admission to the park is $28 for children (3-12) and Adults (age 13 and up) is $44.
After presenting our passport, Mr. Martin gave us a personal tour of Main Street. He introduced us to the medic in the first aid station. They prepared Katie a comfortable, cool and quiet place to rest if she needed a break. He gave us some Tweetsie tips for a day of fun. Then, Mr. Martin showed us the Pavilion where they had a sign on the door announcing Katie’s birthday.
After Mr. Martin showed us the town, we hopped on board the historic steam engine “Yukon Queen”. When we boarded the train, it was as if we had entered a western show. There was a handsome cowboy on the train greeting everyone with a “Howdy Ma’am or How ya doing sir?” Departing Main Street, the old steam locomotive chugged around the 3 mile loop. At one point during the ride, bandits wanted to board the train for an old fashion train robbery. However, our handsome young cowboy along with his friends saved the day.
The steam engine let out a bellow of smoke as we rounded the curve and then stopped at Fort Boone for the next part of our western show. Here a fight between the Indians and Cowboys took place. When order was restored, the cowboys escorted us back to town.
Katie’s Birthday Party
Upon our arrival in town, we headed to the Pavilion for Katie’s Western Birthday Party. The party was scheduled during the clogging show for Katie’s entertainment including singing Happy Birthday to Katie. After the clogging show, the children were invited on stage to do the Hokey Pokey. This was Katie’s first time doing the Hokey Pokey. She and I shook several body parts and all our kids laughed! What a great memory!!
A Down-Home Welcome
Before eating lunch, a group of cowboys and can-can girls came to personally welcome Katie and sing to her. We all enjoyed Katie”s reaction. She was all smiles!
Western Birthday Party
During the party, we enjoyed Cow-tails, Lasso Twizzlers, Cow Poop (chocolate pudding), and a Down-Home Sandwich with Spuds.
After the Western party, we set off to find some rides. After all, Tweetsie Railroad is an amusement park!
Rides, Rides, and More Rides
Jeff was the Trail Boss today. He lead us to the Country Fair where all the children enjoyed the Ferris Wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Turnpike Cruisers. One great thing about the rides at Tweetsie Railroad is that the lines are short. If no one is waiting in line for the ride, the operators will let the kids stay seated and ride again. Before heading up the hill to ride the Round Up, Tornado, and Free Fall, the kids enjoyed a snow cone. The day we visited crowds were low and the weather was not to hot for a summer day in June.
Everyone but Jeff rode the Sky Lift to Miner’s Mountain. Miner’s Mountain has a Deer Park (petting zoo) and a few more rides. You will never guess what Jeff rode to the top of the mountain. Yes! A BUS!
Nearing dinnertime, we all rode the bus back to town. Before leaving, we stopped by the photo booth and received a photo of Katie’s special day. Even though the children were begging to stay, it was time to load up the van and head back home.
If you find yourself in or around Tweetsie Railroad stop in for a visit to this family friendly park and remember to say, “Howdy!”
Have you ever visited Tweetsie Railroad? Share your memories below in the comments.