Our little family traditionally visits us on Buzzards Bay during the first two weeks of July. As a consummate planner, I’m always looking for fun things to do to entertain my grandkids.

About a month ago, Mrs. Horne and I were cruising up the Cape Cod Canal, and I saw the train running along the eastern bank. I said, “I bet the kids would love to do the Cape dinner train.”

And with that, I went to their website and booked a luncheon trip for July.

A Legit “Thing To Do” from a boat in Hyannis

Last fall, we had a lovely weekend staying at the Hyannis Marina. It turns out that the Cape Cod Dinner Train’s Hyannis station is only 6/10ths of a mile from the Marina.

Not a bad walk or a very cheap Uber ride.

Go for the Premium Luncheon Train

If you visit the train’s website, you’ll find all sorts of potential excursions. It’s known for its Dinner Trip, but since we were bringing a four and a seven-year-old along, we opted for the luncheon train.

There were a couple of options for premium service, but the difference between First Class and Premium class was only $20, so we opted for the best.

You could certainly do the dinner train, but it’ll cost you another $74, and based on the exceptional experience we enjoyed for $84, I’d be hard pressed to imagine dinner would be worth the extra bucks.

The Sky Lounge

We were assigned a table in the Sky Lounge, which was nearly surreal…

Several servers were working the Sky Lounge offering a number of specialty cocktails and wines.

By the time our server David came around to take our beverage orders, I was already immersed in the total luncheon train experience, so I ordered the Conductors Punch.

Surprisingly Good Fare

I admit my expectations for dinner weren’t all that great. We’re on an old train with nine cars rumbling down the tracks and hundreds of mouths to feed.

The food turned out to be quite good; better than you’d find in a First Class Airline seat and more than competitive with a Cape Cod Eatery.

It started with perfectly baked, warm, sourdough rolls.

Next came a bowl of authentic New England-style Clam Chowder. This is the kind my mother made. Just thick enough, but not the heavy version made with a flour roux.

The kids had a choice between Mac & Cheese or Grilled Cheese, and both opted for the sandwich.

I went with the baked chicken. It had great flavor, but it was a little overdone. The roasted potatoes were absolutely sublime.

Mrs. Horne went with the Pistachio Encrusted Salmon.

This was absolutely the best salmon dish I’ve had anywhere! The salmon was moist and flaky, the encrustation was crispy, and the sauce was both savory and tangy.

By the way, the dessert didn’t fail us either. It was a pie of sorts with a pineapple custard. Even the mint was fresh and flavorful.

Are we on The Polar Express?

The dinner train includes a very charming Conductor doing his best to act “in character” as Tom Hanks on The Polar Express.

He even punched out the first letter of our grandkid’s names, much to their delight.

Making Friends

Although we had plenty of space, the booths were back-to-back, and the corridor was narrow, so we got a chance to make friends with our fellow passengers.

Suzanne, Lynsey, and Vince

We enjoyed a great conversation with a family from Michigan. The daughter, Lynsey, had given her dad Vince the trip as a Father’s Day gift (what a great idea).

They were in the process of moving to Cape Cod, and the train was a perfect moving orientation.

Sights Along The Way

This is a great “thing to do” in Hyannis and one of the rare attractions within walking distance from a marina. And at $84 for a three-hour tour of the lower Cape and a great meal, it’s pretty close to being a bargain.

I’ll leave you with images of the scenes along the ride.

Crossing Route 6 on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Cummaquid Golf Course on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Cranberry Bogs on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Cranberry Bogs on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Ponds on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Sandwich Salt Marsh on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
The Borne Bridge on The Cape Cod Dinner Train
Snow Plow Train on The Cape Cod Dinner Train​