WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit will be coming to Exploration Place on Sept. 23.

The exhibit, inspired by the popular children’s series, seeks to engage children ages 2 through 7 and their families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences.

Children will help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from simple sorting and shape identification to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation.

Children can:

  • Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings.
  • Fix Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts and experimenting to find a combination of wheels, rods and bolts that work.
  • Explore the favorite Island of Sodor destinations including: Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks and the Sodor Search & Rescue Station on an over-sized Thomas Wooden Railway train table.
  • Work with old and new friends loading luggage, livestock and other freight into the coaches of two train cars.
  • Collaborate with others to get Percy moving by loading coal into his coal box and filling his tank with water from a water tower.
  • Suit up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to other visitors taking a ride on the train.
  • Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live-action series produced in London, copies of the original drawings and manuscripts from the Rev. W. Awdry, the creator of Thomas & Friends, and a collection of memorabilia documenting the history and evolution of Thomas & Friends through books, television, and toys.

Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails was designed and developed by Minnesota Children’s Museum.

Exploration Place is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and through 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings. For more information, visit exploration.org.