Head west for some wild times


Michelle Sussman


It seems all children love the idea of a western and this summer they can experience the adventure first hand at Donley’s Wild West Town, Route 20 and Union Road, Union. Located an hour west of Chicago, this fun mixture of museums, showdowns and all things western is showcased in a friendly atmosphere. Families can experience the Wild West Show where stuntmen dressed as cowboys duke it out, pan for gold at the Sweet Phyllis Gold Mine and even visit a jail.

"Our most popular exhibit is the Wild West Show," says Elaine Donley. "Three or four actors have fist fights and shoot-outs in their own little town. The kids love it."

Visit the museum, which contains genuine relics from the Wild West era or spend your afternoon on the bleachers watching gunslingers duke it out. Let your children touch animals at the petting zoo or take a ride on the train or the horse-drawn wagon.

Over the years Larry Donley’s collection of antique phonographs and music boxes led to collections of Old West memorabilia, which morphed into the Wild West Town. Owned and operated by the Donley family for 32 years, families from all over the Midwest return year after year to relive the excitement.

Admission is $14 for ages 3 and up, free 2 and under. Donley’s Wild West Town is open Saturdays and Sundays through May 27, open daily May 28-Aug. 24 and Labor Day. Visit their Web site at www.wildwesttown.com or call (815) 923-9000.



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