Tweetsie Railroad, the state's first theme park, which sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will open for its 59th season on April 10.
The long-time favorite for generations of North Carolina families features steam locomotive rides through the mountains, amusement rides, live entertainment and a Western town where visitors can experience the days of the Old West. It also lines up a slate of special events, including a Day Out With Thomas, a Ghost Train Festival and a July 4 celebration.
Tweetsie's new neighbor, High Gravity Adventures, offers another diversion when making the road trip to Blowing Rock. The aerial adventure park will open this spring.
Here's what's scheduled at Tweetsie this season (with descriptions from Tweetsie):
Letterland at Tweetsie, May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14
For six days, Tweetsie Railroad will be transformed into a magical world for elementary schools using the Letterland© reading program. Based on the UK¹s best-selling alphabet book, Letterland ABC, the Letterland reading system teaches children the alphabet and phonics by bringing letters to life. It¹s fun and educational!
David Holt and the Lightning Bolts in Concert, May 31
Tweetsie Railroad is honored to host four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt and the Lightning Bolts for a one-day only special performance. David Holt and the Lightning Bolts enliven old-time music with a new time jolt. Holt recently released a one-hour television show, "David Holt¹s State of Music," that aired on UNC-TV.
Day Out With Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2015, June 5-14
Hop aboard with Thomas the Tank Engine as he chugs his way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Children can meet and take pictures with Sir Topham Hatt, listen to Thomas and Friends storytelling, and enjoy activities in the Imagination Station. Advance tickets are suggested as tickets are limited for this very popular event.
Team Umizoomi, June 19-21
They¹re mighty. They¹re mini. They¹re math superheroes! Nick Jr.'s beloved characters, Team Umizoomi, will visit Tweetsie Railroad to entertain and take pictures with guests for this first time this summer. Meet Milli, her brother Geo and their friendly robot named Bot at North Carolina¹s first theme park!
Fireworks Extravaganza, Saturday, July 4
Celebrate America¹s birthday with your family and friends in the High Country! Tweetsie Railroad will once again hold an exciting Fourth of July extravaganza you don¹t want to miss, complete with a night full of dazzling fireworks. The park will remain open until 9:00 p.m., and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Parking is $10 per car for this event.
Cool Summer Nights, June 20 and 27, July 11, 18 and 25
This popular event is back, letting park visitors enjoy cool summer evenings at Tweetsie Railroad during select Saturdays in June and July. On these nights, the park will remain open until 9 p.m. to make more time for family fun and adventure.
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, July 10-12
Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you? Meet the Cartoon Network¹s Scooby Doo and his crime-fighting friend Shaggy during their return visit to Tweetsie Railroad. And make sure to bring your Scooby snacks!
K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs, July 18-26
Are you a dog lover? Then you won¹t want to miss this talented team of canines that delight audiences by jumping, flipping, diving and catching flying discs that defy gravity. Be prepared to be amazed each day at Tweetsie Railroad when they perform at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Saturday nights only).
Riders In The Sky, August 8-9
Enjoy a performance full of Western harmony and humor that has been captivating audiences of all ages since 1977. This multi Grammy Award-winning quartet is an event not to be missed.
Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie, August 29-30
Celebrate the rich history of steam railroading and tour the famous Tweetsie Railroad Train Shop as the park hosts its annual Railroad Heritage Weekend. The weekend will also include performances and demonstrations by the Cherokee Tsalagi Touring Program.
Ghost Train Halloween Festival, Friday and Saturday nights September 25 to October 31
All aboard Tweetsie¹s Ghost Train® for a nighttime ride with spooky engineer Casey Bones that¹s full of thrills and chills as the park hosts its 26thAnnual Ghost Train® Halloween Festival. Don¹t miss the Haunted House, Freaky Forest, trick-or-treating and other Halloween-themed attractions that provide a safe, family-friendly night of Halloween adventure.
Daily admission to Tweetsie is $41 for adults and $27 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, about three hours from Raleigh.