Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets in exchange for sharing my honest opinion.
A real Wild West Town right here outside Chicago? Yes that is exactly what Donley’s Wild West Town is. Not that I know exactly what a wild west town looks like, but if I pictured one then it would look exactly like Donley’s. From cattle hearding to archery shooting to slingshots and mining for gold, there are activities I never thought my kids would do. Then there are things like a rollercoaster, pony rides, a wooden play area and a merry go round for more fun.
Upon entering Donley’s Wild West Town you first get to walk through a museum area which I wasn’t sure my kids would like, but they were actually amazed by everything and I loved how everything was organized in the displays. There were so many displays and artifacts I am sure I can go through it a hundred times and still miss stuff. Then you go outside and that is where all the attractions are. You get a punch card and get basically 12 rides on the different attractions and then the Carousel,
Train and Gold Panning are unlimited.
- Shooting Gallery
- Slingshot Range
- Adventure Canoe
- Archery Range
- Mine Car Rollercoaster
- Pony Rides
- Gold Panning
It is like a different world when you enter the outside though and even my boys noticed the difference. Very Wild West like. From first glance it doesn’t look like Donley’s is that big, until you realize there is a whole ‘nother are in the back!
Overall, my kids had a blast. At 6, 4, and 2 they were perfect ages for everything, but there were kids of all ages there. While I admit I was skeptical how much my kids would like it or how long we’d actually stay there, my kids didn’t want to leave! We spent seven hours there, including lunch at the attached Donley’s Steakhouse, and my kids still wanted to stay! We went on a Saturday and while there was a lot of people there, I did not feel crowded at all and we really didn’t have to wait for anything as everything is spread out and there are so many activities. I honestly think my boys could have done the hand cars and Gold Panning all day!
Would we go back to Donley’s? Absolutely! It was just a place unlike any other we’ve been before and we go to a lot of kid places! I am surprised too at how many people have never heard of it before, its like a hidden gem in Union, Illinois. Another thing I really liked is I didn’t feel pressured to buy stuff and there was no arcade or games. Once your in, there really isn’t anything that costs extra. Oh and the Steakhouse that is attached is awesome, the five of us ate for about $50, which is what I would have spent on amusement park food thats usually junk for us.
VISIT: Check out the Donley’s Wild West website for hours, prices and more information!