How to visit Tweetsie Railroad on a Budget, and educational, homeschool-friendly sights and resources
Are you looking for educational places to visit for free, or else really cheap, all across the U.S.? Want to know tips and tricks for getting discounts at educational sites? Got a great recommendation for an affordable homeschool field trip? I hope you enjoy! Guest Posts accepted: Please let us know of a great homeschool field trip location to visit in your area!
Tweetsie is a fun place to go, especially if your kid is into trains, like mine is lately! We’re looking forward to visiting Tweetsie in a few weeks with Laynie. We’re taking her as a gift for her fourth birthday. She loves trains, so we’re getting her a GeoTrax train set for her birthday, and taking her to Tweetsie with the grandparents to celebrate. She’s going to have the best birthday ever! We visited Tweetsie last fall as well.
Tweetsie is really not that educational overall unless you know what to do and look for while you’re there! That’s what I’m here for, to tell you all about how you can make a trip to Tweetsie educational, and affordable! By the costumes the characters wear you can assume you’re “back in time” to Old Western days, but not sure when exactly. The entertainment (such as the Saloon Show and Wild West Train adventure) is fun, but facts about history are few and even sometimes inaccurate. You do learn a lot about steam locomotives by viewing them and talking to the conductor or tour guides. And you can also use their curriculum guides to make your visit a little more educational than just “show up and have fun” (not that that’s a bad thing, though). However, if you attend with a group of 20 or more (such as with your local homeschool group) you can sign up for the “Learning Express” which seems like a much more in-depth opportunity for learning (only available certain days and times). I would highly suggest trying for that if you’re going strictly for educational purposes. Otherwise, you’re basically on your own with providing the learning side of the park to your children – the park doesn’t really do it for you.
Whew – a ticket to Tweetsie is expensive!!! Adults are $32 and children are $22 (2 and under are free). If you go more than three times per year, you can save money by purchasing a season pass (and you’ll save a little bit of money at other local attractions as well with it). If you attend with your local homeschool group and have 20 or more visitors, you can save $6 per adult and $5 per child with their group rates. That makes it a little better. If you’re a member of the State Employees’ Credit Union you can get $4 off admission, or perhaps you can try calling (like I did) and they’ll send you some coupons for $3 off (they arrived in the mail within a few days to my house). There are restaurants you can eat at, but if you’d like to save money you can bring your own food and eat at one of their picnic areas. Parking is free except on July 4th.
There are “Country Fair” style rides for kids and grown-ups galore at Tweetsie! All rides are included with your park admission. The Wild West Train Adventure is funny and entertaining for the younguns, and makes the grown-ups giggle too. If you want, you can catch the Can-Can Revue or other small shows they may have scheduled for that day. The day we went last fall, we only had the option of viewing the Can-Can Revue, which really was just two college girls singing and dancing – our three-year-old liked it, but we were kinda bored. There are more shows listed on Tweetsie’s website, but not all are performed daily. The Deer Park allows you to feed animals by hand, and the Miner’s Mountain is an opportunity to try gem mining or panning for gold.
Entertainment is geared for family members of all ages, and you can be assured that everyone in your family will be happy with their visit. Pets are allowed at the park, but must be on a leash. You can even rent a stroller if you don’t have one ($5). According to their website, profanity, distasteful or suggestive material on clothing is prohibited. They even have a private nursing station for nursing mothers who wish to use it. All areas are wheelchair accessible.
I always strive to blog with integrity. I was not compensated in any way for writing this review. The discount coupons I received were not a special offer for me, and I assume are available for any park patrons who request them. All reviews on TFHSM, including this one, are unbiased. Never do I guarantee a positive review to businesses even if they compensate me. This review is entirely my honest opinion, written solely by me and not edited or reviewed by anyone before publishing.
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