Donley’s Wild West Town brings old-fashioned fall fun to families

Longing for a little Wild West adventure? You won’t have to travel too far as we have our very own Wild West Town no more than an hour and a half west of Chicago. Donley’s Wild West Town, located in Union, IL, has been on my bucket list for ages. With summer coming to a close, I was afraid we’d have to wait another year to visit, but luckily Wild West Town’s Fall Festival is back! What a perfect way to combine our love of the fall season with the charm of the wild west.

If you go

Donley’s Wild West Town

8512 S. Union Rd.

Union, IL 60180

www.wildwesttown.com

Fall Festival

Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sept. 26-Oct. 25

None

Donleys3

My husband, our two little cowboys (5 and 3), our cowgirl (1) and I were ready for our very own Wild West adventure. After we were given our punch cards for activities, mining bags, and beads, we were off. And boy were we in for a treat! After stepping foot into the Western themed playland (in my cowboy boots, mind you) my kids were beyond giddy. “Look! There’s a guy throwing a tomahawk. Look! Cowboy roping! Mom, this is sooo cool!”

One of our favorite activities of the day included hopping aboard the C.P. Huntington Train where we stopped at the pumpkin patch to exchange beads with the Chief for a pumpkin.

After finding the perfect pumpkin, we headed to the pumpkin painting station to decorate our finds. While the paint was drying we couldn’t wait to explore the rest of the park. My two cowboys panned for gold, rode around on a pony (twice), circled around the track on hand-powered cars, rode a “canoe” and even got locked up in jail by the Sheriff. The kids participated in activities they’ve never tried before like archery and slingshotting. But the fun didn’t stop there.

Our train-loving kids couldn’t wait to take the train again, especially since it had transformed into a Spooky Train. We rode through the spooky tunnel complete with music, strobe lights, skeletons and other creepy things. My 5-year-old didn’t find the tunnel as scary and frightening as my 3-year-old. Good thing it was a short ride!

No fall festival is complete without a slice of pumpkin pie so we were glad to take a break at Clayton’s Sarsparilla Saloon. We grabbed ourselves some delicious pie and a sarsparilla (soft drink), of course. We ended the day watching the special Halloween-themed Wild West Show. It may have been a bit too graphic (with zombies) and loud for my three youngsters but older kids may love it.

As we headed back to our car, my oldest said, “Mom, I had so much fun today!” And I couldn’t agree more.

We found the whole experience fun, low-key and a great way to spend a fall day. We highly recommend it for any fun-loving families!

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