With Mother’s Day behind us, you might be wondering what kind of special activity to plan for Father’s Day, June 19, 2011. Why not take the family for a fun journey through the Texas Hill Country on the Austin Flyer Steam Train. Treat Dad (and everyone else, too) to a delicious lunch and a memorable adventure on a three-hour round-trip journey to Bertram. The train leaves Cedar Park at 11:00 a.m. and stops long enough in Bertram for visitors to tour the fully restored 1912 train depot.
If that date isn’t available, check out the original 66-mile journey departing from Cedar Park at 10:00 a.m. most week-ends. After a two-hour ride through the scenic Hill Country, you’ll arrive in Burnet, where you can have lunch, shop at the downtown square, or just enjoy exploring town. The train leaves Burnet about 2:15 for the return trip to Cedar Park, just outside Austin.
If you prefer a shorter ride, the Bertram Flyer departs from 401 E. Whitestone Boulevard in Cedar Park on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and returns at 5:00 p.m. A special Magic Flyer tour is scheduled on June 5, where magicians perform tricks during the ride.
The web site lists numerous summer dates for twilight tours, an opportunity to experience a train ride after dark. If you’re a fan of Western movies, join the Capital City Mystery Players as they try to stop a notorious outlaw gang from robbing the train on the True Grit—An Outlaw’s Downfall ride, June 18 and July 16.
Special musical entertainment will be featured on the Independence Day Flyer on July 3, and you can pamper your little princess with tea and biscuits on the August 7 Princess Flyer. Find other special occasion rides, schedules, and prices at the web site. Discounts are given for tickets purchased online.
The Austin Steam Train is a great way to introduce young family members to this nostalgic means of travel while experiencing the sights and sounds of the countryside. Trains are maintained and run by members of the Austin Steam Train Association, and volunteers don traditional conductor uniforms to entertain and educate guests along the way.
Photos courtesy of Austin Steam Train Association