One of my favorite things about New England is the variety of activities for family fun adventures. There are many iconic attractions important to New England’s history. A must see family friendly attraction is the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat located in Connecticut. My family had an amazing day taking a ride on a steam locomotive on the Connecticut Valley Railroad and floating down the Connecticut river on the Becky Thatcher riverboat.
The day begins at the historical Essex Station, built in 1892, where you will find real conductors wandering the grounds, an old fashioned ticket window, and even a gift shop. When choosing an adventure on the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, there are many options for schedules and fares. From the family friendly 2 1/2 hour daytime ride on the railroad and river to the adults only evening dinner cruise to seasonal specials like the North Pole Express, there is something for everyone.
We climbed aboard the 2 o’clock train and sat in First Class for the narrated trip about Connecticut’s history down the Connecticut Valley Railroad. The girls requested ice water from our cabin attendant while we sipped champagne and cocktails. We also brought our own snacks aboard the train for the long ride.
We stopped in Deep River to board the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. The dock is located right across the street from The Lace Factory where my sister was married two years ago. It is such a beautiful area – very picturesque and serene. The Riverboat is easy to climb aboard and there are three levels to sit upon. We started our cruise on the lower level where you can find a full bar and snack station. We then went to the top floor for a full view of the Connecticut River, Gillette’s Castle, and the Goodspeed Opera House, all while listening to history of the Connecticut and interesting facts about the area.
All Set to Board the Becky Thatcher
After a 12 mile ride around the Connecticut River, we returned to the dock to board the train back to Essex. The girls were exhausted, but woke right up when they found out we were going back on the train. The conductor made a special stop to chat with our family, only for us to discover we all live in the same town! Ailey was a bit apprehensive as usual.
The ride home seemed to fly by and the girls were very sad to have to go home. We are definitely coming back for the North Pole Express ride we will take before Christmas with Santa and Mrs. Claus, but we might try to take a seasonal excursion sooner than later. Don’t worry Essex, we will be back!
A very special thank you Essex Steam Train and Riverboat for having our family aboard! And also, thank you to Ryan Kristafer from CT Style on WTNH8 for having us on your segment! Check us out today, Friday June 22 at 12:30pm!