We have the coolest place in Santa Cruz – it’s called Roaring Camp and they have old steam engine trains that take trips through the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. And on Halloween, they have the ghost train based on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

So, of course, I had to do it home school style!

I have been waiting years for Katie to be old enough to go on the train and not be scared. Of course I get a kid who’s a fraidy cat, so I have had to pace myself on the scary stuff. (Although, we are watching Poltergeist right now in broad daylight and she’s tolerating it well!)

Anyway, to give the train ride context, I downloaded the actual text of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow and we read it over a few nights before the event. I had never read it before and it’s actually really lovely. Great imagery, old English, good story. And it queued us up perfectly for the event.

Before the ride, we enjoyed the Roaring Camp camp. They had decorations, a haunted house (based on the story – it was pretty good) and snacks. Once on board, they tell the story – adapted to the constraints of being on a train – and did a good job of scaring us as we traveled through the woods, on a moonlit night in the forest.

It was a fun adventure and even better for me as Katie was able to point out where the event differed from the story (I was worried the old English might have made the story hard to follow but we had talked through a lot of the metaphor and imagery so it stuck!).

We had a great time and I highly recommend the Ghost Train for a great pre-Halloween family event!