So. Many. Trains!
As my family and I entered the Thomas & Friends pop-up suite at the New York Hilton Midtown, it was Thomas and his train friends as far as the eye could see. Thomas stuffed toys and throw pillows on the two full-size beds. Thomas clings on the windows and trim on the walls. Thomas bedtime books on the nightstand. Thomas shower curtain and step stool in the bathroom. And even two teeny tiny Thomas plush robes hanging in the walk-in closet. Basically Christmas in August for any fan of the 71-year-young cartoon train series.
Luckily, I had brought two of Thomas’ biggest fans with me for this super suite stay, my twin 2 1/2 year old niece and nephew, Sadie and Ethan.
“WOW!!!” said Sadie.
“EXCITED!!!” answered Ethan.
“Pretty cool,” agreed my almost teen son, Aidan, who was playing it cool, but also couldn’t help but be wowed by the total Thomas takeover, massive suite, and awesome views from the 43rd floor where we could spot Central Park.
The Thomas & Friends Suite celebrates the celebrity engine’s 71st birthday and the release of a new movie, The Great Race, which introduces a dozen new train friends from around the world, and which is on view in the Thomas room before its September debut. The plush Hilton suite, created in conjunction with Mattel, is filled with trains and tracks, puzzles and books, and also the super-cool brand new Sky High Bridge Jump toy.
Thanks to the Hilton Midtown, my crew was able to stay and play for a night in the toy-laden suite. It was like being in the greatest train-themed playground, but the kids didn’t have to share with anyone else. While Aidan set up Mattel’s new Sky High Bridge Jump toy (Note: it took more than 2 hours since we couldn’t find the directions — but everyone agreed it worth the effort, see below), my mom popped on the DVD so we could screen The Great Race while Ethan and Sadie hopped on the bed in their matching robes hugging all the Thomas pillows they could find before launching themselves into the Thomas pop-up tent. The fun went on for hours while the kids played with every train and put together every puzzle, and then we read the Thomas bedtime books as they slowly ran out of steam after their exciting day on their own private Island of Sodor.
Want to have your own train adventure? The Thomas & Friends pop-up suite is available starting at $550 a night for two adults and two children and includes the massive breakfast buffet the next morning at the hotel’s Herb `n Kitchen (the dim sum breakfast bar here was a highlight of Aidan’s stay) as well as access to the Executive Lounge on the ground floor, where we stocked up on fresh-baked afternoon cookies. Kids also get a goodie bag filled with Thomas swag, including a coloring book and DVD, to take with them after their stay.
You can book a night in the Thomas & Friends Pop Up Suite online here. And if you can’t make it before the room pulls out on September 5, you can still have lots of fun with Thomas & Friends when The Great Race movie premiers September 16.
And the Hilton Midtown makes a great family staycation destination anytime, with a prime location less than a block from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and just a few blocks away from Central Park West —another of our favorite Day Trip destinations—as well as Rockefeller Center.