Sensory Friendly Day out with Thomas

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Thomas the Tank Engine is for everyone, but not everyone can be there for Thomas. So the North Shore Scenic Railroad made sure there was an opportunity for everyone to have fun!

"This all got started four years ago on a petition drive that was circulating in Minnesota. put out by Autism Speaks Minnesota," shared Ken Buhler, Executive Director at the Duluth Depot. "So this petition drive goes around, it ends up on Mayor Emily Larson’s desk. She signs it, one of the first ones to do so. And it seemed like such a great idea, we started the Sensory Friendly Day."

No bells and whistles, no loud music, an orderly progression of events, a quiet area and a limited number of participants makes Sensory Friendly Day the perfect outing for a friend of Thomas who is on the Spectrum.

"To ensure that all kids had access to an adventure that fit their comfort level in a safe space for their family," said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. "All families have value, all children with all abilities have value. And to know that all kids and all families can have a chance to be here today to celebrate a safe, enjoyable family time just means the world to this community and to these families."

The North Shore Scenic Railroad was the first Thomas event to ever offer a Sensory Friendly Day. And because of its success, sensory friendly celebrations are included in several other Thomas visits around the country.