We went to French Lick, Indiana this morning, to ride a historic (1920s) train and see a real, live, pretend train robbery. We had to get up at 6:00 a.m. (I thought the 4th of July was a holiday?!) to make it in time, but it was well worth the lost hours of sleep. The train itself was cool. We expected the dancing waiters to come out singing about hot chocolate at any moment (they did not, but they do offer a 'Polar Express' themed train in winter, which we will have to check out). Halfway through the departing trip, we went through a 2,200 feet-long tunnel, which plunges the train into total darkness for 2-3 minutes. I did not like that, but the kids found it enthralling. Then a little while later, we were accosted by bandits on horseback, wielding (blank-shooting) guns. Some of them came on board and took our strong box, which they then took out to the field beside the train and shot, to remove the lock. Just then, the marshals to the rescue! They rode up and shot the bad guys. It was all very dramatic and fun.
Then at the stop, the kids got to sit on the horses for pictures. That's a real old man in the pictures with the horse. He also had a very realistic old bandit smell.