Put on your cowboy hat, wrangle your horse, and head on down to Wild West City with your partner for a day of family fun in Stanhope, NJ (after you read this Wild West City review, of course).
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Michelle took her family to Wild West City, a Wild West theme park, in Stanhopee, NJ. Her kids loved it. She was kind enough to write us a full review about the attraction, answering all the questions you might have.
Wild West City Review
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Take it away, Michelle …
Last week was my wild, funny, sweet, and adventurous’ son’s fifth birthday. It was also the same week as his pre-school graduation, so I wanted to do something really special. He didn’t need anymore toys or clothes, but since the world is opening up again, he definitely needed experiences.
I have this faint memory of going to a “cowboy place” when I was younger. I can picture me and my brother with toy rifles and participating in a “shootout.” My mom thought it was in Florida, and I thought New Jersey. A quick Google search proved I was right!
Wild West City, in Stanhope, New Jersey, is about an hour from where I live in New York. I knew this would be the best time for my sons.
My son’s birthday happened to land on a Saturday this year, so timing was perfect for us to go on his actual birthday.
We (two seniors, three adults, two kids, and two babies) arrived around 11, which is a half hour after the park opens. The entrance is exactly what I imagined: dirt rocky road, no parking lines.
We went into the entrance, paid the admission fee, and added the train ride and stagecoach as extras. Once we entered the town, there were Wild West sheriffs all over the place in full costume. My sons loved interacting with them. The moment we walked in it felt like we were transported to another time.
We had paper copy of the map of the town along with the schedule for all the shows. Different shows ran all day. Some were just to watch and others included the kids. We followed the kids throughout the town going in and out of each Dodge City-themed shop, stopping to watch the live shows.
All day long, an announcer would narrate the shows going on or give information about the town.
The first attraction the littles ran to was the ride on train. While you wait for the train there are miniature rides that only take a quarter to run. I thought they were super cool and my kids loved them. Our first show was two cowboys on horses racing to see who could get to their cowboy hat first.
We saw some kids running around with toys, so we went to the gift shop to check it out. I didn’t feel anything was overpriced. I was impressed seeing some items as low as 89 cents! The people working in the store were really patient and nice.
As we were leaving the store another show started. My kids have never seen a live show like this before, so they were very into, but not sure how to handle it at first. The gunshots are very loud. It startled us almost every time, so if you or your kids are sensitive, ear plugs are helpful. The gift shop sells them in case you forget to pack some. The shows are a lot of fun, the actors are funny and entertaining.
The weather had called for possible storms, so I think that held the crowds off. I felt really lucky that we went because it didn’t rain at all.
At 12:45 we participated in the stagecoach holdup. The cowboys got all the kids and some adults involved. My oldest and the birthday boy loved being involved. The birthday boy was picked to be a judge to decide the bandit’s fate, and I think that was his favorite part of the day.
Next was lunch at the Golden Nugget Saloon.
We ordered hot dogs, chicken fingers with French fries, a cheeseburger and drinks. Note: Wild West City serves RC Cola so just be aware it does taste different. The French fries, chicken fingers, and burger were really good. The hot dogs were okay.
Inside the saloon was a full bar. Our group had some beers and tried two of the specials. I noticed sarsaparilla on the bar. I know I’ve heard it before, but wasn’t sure what it was, so I asked the bartender and he told me it was used back in the day like Pepto Bismal.
After lunch we headed back through the town to see more shops.
My boys enjoyed the jail and I liked the printing press. For $5 you could get a wanted poster with your name on it.
While the baby slept some of us went on the stagecoach ride, which goes around the whole town. Be careful not to keep any jewelry or money in sight because the bandits stop you midway! Same goes for the train! The bandits will let you go if you make a promise to bring them gold next time!
After our train ride, we went to check out the chapel and school. The school had a “teacher” sitting out front that would not let certain people enter. My kids didn’t understand so they ran out as fast as they ran in.
While we were walking back to town, we heard (and saw from a distance) the Can Can Girls show. I wish I had set an alarm to remind us because show looked fun. But I think it just adds to the list for next time we go!
Even though I watched the YouTube videos and followed Wild West City on social media, I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t say that in a bad way because I didn’t want to overwhelm the kids, so we pretty much went at their pace. Next time I know things we can skip and things we must try.
For our next trip to Wild West City, I would like to take them to the gold mining attraction. When visiting my grandmother in North Carolina as a child, we always went to a gold mining place and I loved it. Next time I would also like to do the pony rides, Cookie’s Chuckwagon, and see the Can Can Girls show.
I know my kids are looking forward to going back. I think we will check it out in October when the weather is a little cooler and they can wear their cowboy boots!
Wild West City: Frequently Asked Questions
50 Lackawanna Dr, Stanhope, NJ 07874
Saturday and Sunday: 10:30 am to 5 pm. Starting June 20, 2022, Wild West City will be open seven days a week.
For the 2023 season, adults are $34, kids are $8.
Additional costs for the train, pony, and mini golf are $5 and the Stagecoach ride is $6.
Wild West City sometimes offers a deal on Groupon for discounted tickets, so be sure to check that link before you go.
More Kid Friendly Attractions In The Northeast:
If you live near Wild West City, or if you’re visiting, and you’re looking for more kid-friendly attractions in the area, check out Liberty Science Center (in Jersey City, New Jersey), LEGOLAND New York (in Goshen, New York), and the The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark (in Monticello, New York).
If you’re looking for something to check out in the fall, there’s Stew Leonard’s Spook-tacular Halloween Drive Through (in Yonkers, NY), Sesame Place’s The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular (in Hulmeville, PA), and Pumpkin World (in Pomona, NY).
Have you been to the park? Leave your Wild West City reviews in the comments.