Although trains were originally designed solely for transportation, dining cars were eventually added after passengers complained about the inefficiency of trackside drive-thrus. Laud the locomotive with today’s Groupon: for $99, you and three companions get a dinner train ride on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad (a $200 value).
The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad shepherds guests on a three-hour dinner tour of the striking Wisconsin landscape along the Namekagon River. Riders sit in plushy seats in an elegant, 1918 dining car for a mood-setting cocktail hour at the station, prepping palates and witty Monopoly-related quips for a five-course onboard meal. The train departs the station promptly at 6 p.m., at which time diners edibly embark on a platter decorated with fine Wisconsin meats and cheeses, followed by salad and soup courses. For entrees, Friday-night noshers choose between flat-iron steak, boneless grilled pork chops, vegetarian pasta, or shrimp scampi, and Saturday-nighters may twine tines around prime rib, gouda-stuffed and prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast, or steamed salmon. Finish with a delectable dessert of lemon-mist cake on Friday, Eli’s famous turtle cheesecake on Saturday, and charming memories the rest of the weekend.
After the meal, the club car is opened for dancing and drinks until the train's 9 p.m. return to the station, bringing passengers safely back from the early 20th century. Business-casual attire is suggested, and while men are not required to wear ties, it is always encouraged to come in a full-body cheese tuxedo.
Groupon customers can check dinner train availability here.
Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad whisks passengers away on food-filled excursions through the scenic forests surrounding Spooner. A lineup of vintage train cars ensconces guests in antique luxury, starting with the dining car that plays host to elegant five-course dinners, leisurely brunches, and kid-friendly pizza feasts. Overnight guests sidle into the retro comfort of the 1950s sleeper car's double-decker single beds and individual climate controls. Those seeking deluxe accommodations can book a 1914 private car, complete with such railway luxuries as a full-size bed, private washrooms with showers, and emergency speakers set to play flapper-repelling waltzes. A lounge with a full bar accompanies most trips, lubricating pleasant conversation as each trip wends its way past quaint towns, shimmering streams, and towering trees.
426 N Front St.
Spooner, Wisconsin 54801