Whatchoo-choo doing for National Train Day?

May 5, 2012 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

National Train Day is Coming Down the Tracks! Hook up with Amtrak & B. Toys for National Train Day! National Train Day: C’mon & Ride It!

(So many train puns, so little time…)


Saturday May 12 is the 5th annual National Train Day, a nationwide celebration of all things locomotive. Marking the 143rd anniversary of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad, National Train Day will be especially tootriffic for the kiddos!

There will be four big-time, whistle-blowing events* held in iconic train stations in NY, Chicago, LA and Philly. In addition to tours of real live freight and commuter train cars (as if that isn’t enough to make any little kid’s head explode) the events will also include:

  • Interactive/educational activities teaching kids how trains work through crafts and demonstrations
  • Radio Disney serving as emcee/DJ of the festivities
  • Dora (you know, the Explora) making appearances at select locations — meeting and greeting and probably pulling  things out of her backpack. Check out her feisty cover of Little Eva’s “Locomotion”!
  • Giveaways from Amtrak (the creators of National Train Day, btw) including t-shirts and other train-related swag

Can’t make it one of the larger parties? Not to worry! There will be 100+ smaller — but still fun — events all over the US. Chug on over to National Train Day’s web site to find the one closest to you, and check out what unique festivities your local train station or other family-friendly venue has planned!

The National Train Day site is also a great way to get all connected and interactive: visit the Gallery to share your photos, videos and stories about your train adventures for a chance to win prizes!

And speaking of prizes…

B.ONUS! (free stuff giveaway!)

One of JJ’s (and Daddy’s) favorite toy companies, B. Toys, is the official toy partner of National Train Day, and will have activity stations at each of the four main festivals, showcasing their awesome building block toys Elemenosqueeze (ages 6 mos – 3 yrs) and Stackadoos (ages 2 – 6 yrs). And because Designer Daddy is such a B. Toys fan, they’ve given me an Elemenosqueeze and Stackadoos set to give away to my wonderfully loyal and style-conscious readers!

Elemenosqueeze A-Z architectural blocks are great for squeezing, splashing or chewing (BPA free)!

Stackadoos are a big ole’ bucket of 68 connectable blocks that bristle with fun and color!

To enter, just post your toy preference in the comments section here! You can also be entered by commenting/sharing via Facebook, Tweeting and retweeting, or by becoming a follower (on Twitter) or liker (on Facebook). Enough options for ya? 🙂

The contest opens NOW and closes at midnight on Friday, May 11th (National Train Day Eve). I’ll draw one winner at random for each toy.

But what if I’m too old for B. Toys, you ask? Well, then I feel sorry for you. But if that’s the case, I’ll have a National Train Day goody (exact item TBD) to give away as well! Just indicate that in your comment, tweet, post, whatever, and I’ll draw a third winner from that pool.

Happy National Train Day everyone — all aboard for fun!

(Sorry, couldn’t resist one last pun)

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(PS: Anyone who attends an event, please send me a pic or two and I’ll post them on Facebook or in a follow up here. If you can snap a photo of your kiddo playing at the B. Toys station, I’ll forward it to them and it might show up on their site as well!)

*What?!? No event at DC’s Union Station? Unfortunately the station’s gorgeous ceiling is undergoing restoration due to damage caused by last fall’s earthquake, so they’re unable to host an event. Maybe next year…

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15 responses to “Whatchoo-choo doing for National Train Day?”

  1. The Stackadoos used to be called “bristle blocks” in the olden days (10 yrs ago maybe).
    But the train theme is a big improvement. Please tell me the wheels turn!

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      You (and I) are not THAT old… 🙂 Bristle blocks are still around — these are B. toys’ funkier, more versatile version! I’ll check to see if the wheels spin and let you know!

    • Gisela says:

      Yup Yup and Yup. :*)

      These actually are officially named “Bristle Blocks® Stackadoos!
      I AM that old 🙂
      And indeed the wheels spin. That’s what B. did to the old fashioned sets to make them more versatile. That, plus the earthy new colors too!

      • Brent M. Almond says:

        Thanks for the insight, Gisela!

        (BTW, readers, Gisela is the Head Toymaker at B. toys, so she knows what she’s talking about!)


  2. Kevin Berry says:

    Being in Toledo, we have a tradition of hosting the “first” train day and thus held ours on Saturday: http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/05/05/Exhibit-at-event-marks-Amtrak-s-40th-anniversary.html

    Our twins are absolutely enamoured of trains; they really loved seeing the exteriors and the model trains, but they seemed to have no idea what it meant to be *inside* of the train.

    • Brent M. Almond says:

      In doing my research, I had read that about Toledo, and that it was due to a scheduling conflict the 1st Train Day. How lucky for Toledo! 🙂

      How old are your twins? JJ has ridden mini trains at the zoo and the subway in DC, but has yet to take a “real” train ride. Hopefully a trip to NYC to see family is in order soon…


      • Kevin Berry says:

        Hi Brent,

        They just turned two on May 7th! They are my delightful little handfuls. They received a large set of trains for their birthday and went completely crazy over them. As they opened presents, they would exclaim “train!” or “choo-choo!” each time, and when they opened a puzzle featuring farm animals, they shook their head no and pushed it aside, reaching for another package in anticipation of yet another locomotive. They did approve of the train puzzle, at least!

        Have a fun time this weekend!

        (By the by, I love B. Toys but haven’t purchased too many of their products yet)

  3. tyfani says:

    Stackadoos 🙂 Happy National Train Day – My cousin would loved this ‘holiday’ – he loved trains.
    Happy National Train Day, Antonio. Love you, miss you.

  4. Rochel S says:

    I would LOVE either one! My son would love the Stackadoos and the Elemenosqueeze would be perfect for my daughter! I love B. toys! And I remember playing with the original Stackadoos from when I was a kid! (I think my mother stilll has them stored away somewhere)

  5. Livivua Chandler says:

    I would love the Elemenosqueeze. First time hearing about B. Toys but my son loves trains. Whenever I get stopped by the train crossing, it makes his day and sometimes ruins mine because I was just about to make it on time! LOL

  6. Kasetta Coleman says:

    I would really like the stackadoos for my preschooler. Can’t wait to see all the excitement tomorrow with her! She’s always loved trains and train rides.

  7. robin says:

    we’d love the stackadoos! Those look pretty cool… We love B.toys. Thanks for the info on National Train day and the great giveaway!!

  8. Morgan Maue says:

    This looks great! I’ll have to take the kiddos to one of the smaller parties in my area. Thanks for the info! We would love to win the stackadoos. Thanks again!

  9. Brandi h says:

    My daughter would love either toy. Happy train day!

  10. coliebear says:

    I like the elemenosqueeze blocks. My infant would love them.

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