Longing for a Wild West adventure? Just a 45 minute drive from O’Hare Airport lies our very own Wild West town where old-fashioned family fun awaits. Donley’s Wild West Town celebrates an annual Corn Fest and on weekends during the fall, the cute little amusement park celebrates the season with its Fall Festival. So git along little dogies! Grab your cowboy boots and check out the best parts of this fest.
Get your pumpkin, pumpkin!
That’s the whole reason you came, right? Hop aboard the C.P. Huntington Train for a short trip to the pumpkin patch where the chief awaits you. Trade your beads with him and he’ll give you a chance to pick the perfect pumpkin from the patch.
Release your inner artist
Have your pumpkin? Then head to the pumpkin painting station to decorate it! Display your creation, and you might even win a prize. While the paint is drying, take time to explore the rest of the park.
Ride the train again
It transforms into a Spooky Train and travels through a tunnel complete with eerie music, skeletons and other creepy things. My 5-year-old didn’t find the tunnel as scary and frightening as my 3-year-old. Fortunately, it’s a short ride!
Take advantage of photo ops
The whole town is decorated in its fall glory and there is no shortage of photo spots. Tip: Don’t miss taking a photo in the jail cell!
Play the games
The park offers tons of games to try. Channel your inner Katniss with archery (no sharp tips, only suction cups, of course) or give the slingshot a try. Make like a cowboy and rope some cattle or practice your aim at the pop gun gallery.
Go ‘round and ‘round
Kids will get a kick out of cranking the gears in hand-powered cars as they make their way around the track. Just when you think they’re tired, they’ll want to go again … and again …
Watch the show
For some slapstick fun, watch the Halloween-themed show that is performed a few times a day. The show is a little more intense than their regular show (think: zombies!) and the gunshots may be a little loud for the youngest of young’uns.
Ride the pony
Everybody enjoys a pony ride, and it’s even better when there’s not a long wait. Giddyup!
Pan for gold
Who doesn’t love gold? Kids will enjoy looking for their very own treasure and stuffing their little pouches full of the shiny stuff.
Grab a treat
Take a break at Clayton’s Saloon and order up a round of sarsaparilla (a root beer-like soda). During the fall fest, the saloon also serves pumpkin pie. If you’re up for ice cream (and who isn’t?), grab a couple scoops at the ice cream parlor.
If you go
- Donley’s Wild West Town, 8512 S. Union Road, Union
- The Corn Fest is Aug. 26-27, 2017, featuring sweet corn roasted by a steam engine
- Fall Fest starts Sept. 23, 2017, and continues 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 29. Admission is $17 per person and includes pumpkins for the kids. Grandparents are free with a coupon from the website