Giddy On Up To Donley’s Western Town

Do you have a little buckaroo or cowgirl who loves learning about the Wild West? I have four rowdy cowgirls who just loved visiting Donley’s Wild West Town.

I remember my parents taking my sister and I when we were younger and the place is still just as great as I remembered it.

A family-owned business, Larry Donley, his wife Helene and their sons, Mike and Randy, started Donley’s Wild West Town in 1974 because of their passion for antiques. As their collections grew, they built the Wild West Town, Old West Saloon and Steakhouse, and Village Hall Banquets as additional attractions in Union.

For the low price of $15 per ticket everything at Donley’s is included, like a variety of rides and shows. The family-friendly park offers three daily Wild West shows, a vintage carousel from 1951, panning for gold, Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster, pony rides, a petting zoo and the C.P. Huntington Train. It also features cowboy roping lessons, a slingshot and archery range, a popgun shooting gallery, kid-powered handcars, venture canoeing, the Kids Korral playground and the Streets of Yesteryear Display. My girls ages 4, 5 7 and 8 fit right in, the park has activities suited for children ages 3-11. My oldest really enjoyed spending her time at the Sweet Phyllis Mine panning for all the gold her bag could hold.

When your little ones get hungry, you don’t have to go far for some great grub. The Old West Saloon and Steakhouse provides a family-friendly environment filled with delicious ‘App-Ti-Yi-Yippy-Yay-Zers!’ including Prairie Fire Chicken Wings, Rattlesnake Bites,  Crock O’Chili, a variety of sandwiches and burgers, ‘Fallin’ Off the Bone’ BBQ ribs, filet mignon and the Cowboy rib eye. The ‘Li’l Cowpokes Menu’ includes kid-friendly favorites like Wagon Wheel Pizza, Miner’s Gold Mac ‘N Cheese, Grizzly Gulch Grilled Cheese, and the Get Along Little Doggie hot dog. My girls were really into the names on the menu and had fun ordering and of course eating the food!

Wild West Buff’s will love strolling through Donley’s museum includes a variety of cowboy memorabilia such as wooly chaps, gun belts, guns, spurs lariats and boots. It also features Law & Order death masks from dead outlaws’ faces, gold and silver mining tools, Civil War weapons, medals and a Union soldier’s diary.

Also, you won’t want to miss Larry Donley’s personal antique phonograph and music box collection! The museum and gift shop are complimentary for restaurant guests. If you haven’t been to Donley’s Western Town, I highly suggest it and I even heard a radio ad that they offer specials for grandparents on Mondays and Tuesdays where they get in for free with a paid child’s admission.

My mom and I enjoyed visiting the park with the kids and trust me they’ll be begging you to go back. The attractions are open for a few more weeks then they go to weekends only through October 27, but also be sure to click here for the website where they offer specials and you see videos and photos of all there is to do at Donley’s Wild West Town.

Christine Bachman

About Christine Bachman

Christine Bachman is founder and president of Plan It PR, a public relations and marketing firm. The mother of five shares tips and survival stories in “Play Dates and Power Lunches.” Ms. Bachman started working public relations after a long career in broadcast journalism, which included work as a television anchor, reporter and producer.