Donley’s Wild West Town

Disclosure - free stuff

Website: Donley’s Wild West Town

Location: 8512 South Union Road, Union

Phone: 815-923-9000

Hours: Open daily 10:00 am-6:00 pm

Admission: $16 per person, children 2 & under free. Print out coupons on their site for $1 off admission (good for up to 6 admissions) and free grandparent admission (good on Mondays & Tuesdays only). Each child receives an “attraction card”, a punch card for some of the activities in the park. There are two punch spots each for the shooting gallery, slingshot range, adventure canoe, archery range, rollercoaster, and pony rides. The carousel, train, and gold panning are unlimited.

Parking: Free parking in the attached lot.

Bathrooms: There are bathrooms located in the shop & museum building and there are bathrooms in a trailer in the park. There are changing tables in the women’s bathrooms. The bathrooms in the trailer are not handicapped accessible, but there is a handicapped accessible port-a-potty located in the same area.

Nursing: There is no designated nursing area. There are a few benches throughout the park, as well as picnic tables under a roof.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: Donley’s Wild West Town is handicapped and stroller accessible. There are areas to park strollers near rides and activities if necessary.

Other amenities: Donley’s has a fudge shop, old time portrait studio, saloon, and a jail.

Food/eating area: Donley’s Old West Steakhouse is located just outside of the Town (enter through the jailhouse; get your hand stamped to return to the Town). The restaurant is open 11:00 am – 9:00 pm daily, and open until 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. A menu is available online.

Special events: 

  • September 22-October 28 – Fall Festival 


  • Gold Pyrite Panning – Pan for “gold”
  • Pony Rides – Not the pony rides you’re used to – these are ponies being led around a shaded path by guides. 

  • Train Rides
  • Cowboy Roping Lessons
  • Tomahawk Throw & Archery Range

  • Kiddie Hand Cars


  • Pop Gun Gallery
  • Venture Canoe Ride


  • Huck Finn’s Slingshot
  • Petting Zoo
  • Carousel


  • Wild West Show – 3 shows daily with shooting and explosions


  • Mine Car Roller Coaster
  • Museum – Cowboy Memorabilia, Law & Order (actual death masks), Gold & Silver Mining Tools, Civil War Personal Items, and an Antique Phonograph and Music Box Collection. 

We paid: We received complimentary passes. Normal price for a family of four is $64.

Our experience:

I’ve heard of Donley’s Wild West Town from some friends, but this was our first year visiting. (Actually, my parents told me we went there when I was a kid. I have a few memories of it but didn’t realize it was the same place!)

The entrance is through the store and the museum is in the same building. We walked through the museum and looked at the exhibits before moving on to the rides and other activities. Cooper was surprised to hear that the things in the cases really were old. Donley’s Wild West Town sticks to the wild west theme – all the employees wear jeans and western themed clothes. There is a teepee and wagon for playing and photos, and storefronts with wooden sidewalks.


 We started out with a train ride around the town and the boys loved it. Then we tried a bit of everything else – archery, kiddie hand cars, the canoe rides, and lots more.


We checked out the sheriff’s office and the boys were invited to look at the jail cell. They were a little stunned when the sheriff closed the door and told them they could get out but they’d have to sing a song to be released. They refused, but got out anyway and then got to take an oath to become junior deputies. After their oath they each got a badge to wear.


 We had lunch at the Old West Steakhouse. The food was really good and the boys enjoyed their kids meals. The service was good and the restaurant sticks to the Old West theme.


The boys loved the roller coaster and really enjoyed panning for gold. When the “gold” was getting a little low an employee came over to check out the boys’ pans and, miraculously, they hit the jackpot and found tons of “gold” in the pan right after he came by. We have bags of “gold” the boys brought home and keep in their room.

John and I really liked the pony rides because the ponies were led around an actual path by the animal handlers. The carousel, which is right near the entrance/exit, was a great way to wrap up our trip – it was a relaxing ride to offer to the boys on our way out.


The live show was very cute and entertaining; cheesy, as you’d expect, but the kids ate it up. There is shooting and an explosion, so be aware if you have a child sensitive to loud noise. Campbell and I had to leave the show because he was getting a little fussy, and there is no shade in the stands (& it was HOT the day we went) so I was okay with taking him to a shaded area while John and the boys watched the rest of the show.

We spent a few hours at the Wild West Town and didn’t do every activity. We visited again a couple other times and found that we could do most of the activities (minus the show) within an hour or two if we rushed from one to the next, but there was plenty to do to spend a day and move at a more leisurely pace.

I’m so glad we visited Donley’s Wild West Town this summer and regret not going sooner. This is one of our new favorite spots to spend a family day!


  1. My boys love Wild West Town! We go every summer.

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