In full disclosure, we received passes to Wild West City in exchange for our honest review.
We recently had the pleasure of spending the day at Wild West City, located in Netcong, NJ. From the moment we arrived, my kids were engaged, entertained and awed! With live action shows taking place every 15 minutes, there was always excitement at Wild West City. With its realistic depiction of the Old West, we felt as if we stepped back in time to a land where cowboys protected the town as outlaws rode through on their horses.
Since there was so much to do and see, we were there from opening to almost closing time, and my kids still did not want to leave. We started our day by strolling through the city which looked just as I would imagine it would with horses, a stagecoach, old buildings and even a Marshall walking around protecting the town. We felt immersed in the learning experience from the first step onto the dirt road.
One of the reasons I felt it was important to bring my children to Wild West City as well as share this experience with all of you, was the educational component. Not only is Wild West City fun and exciting, it also offers amazing opportunities for interactive, hands-on learning. From asking questions to the Marshall and Blacksmith to fighting the outlaws to riding a real stagecoach, my kids really felt as if they were part of the Wild West. The museums that lined the street also gave the kids a firsthand account of what life was like all those years ago.
5 Brain Boosting Experiences at Wild West City
Exploring the Museums
The first thing we did on our Wild West adventure was explore the various museums located along the city street. The Barber Shop gave us a look into what it was like to get your haircut over a 100 years ago while the bank let us see how money has evolved over the years as well as what currency looks like in other countries. Another museum showed us native American Indian clothing while another one gave us a look at how doctors treated patients such as the use of leeches to clean out the infected blood. What I found really interesting was the various plaques hung on the walls that provided information about famous individuals from history such as Doc Holiday, Sitting Bull and Billy the Kid.
Stagecoach and Train Ride
Two wonderful ways to really explore Wild West City as well as be a part of the show are to ride the Stagecoach and Train. Each attraction is an additional fee per rider, but is definitely worth the price. Families can have the unique opportunity of being a part of the Stagecoach Hold-Up show by riding the stagecoach at a specific time during the day. If not, you can experience your own hold-up with the outlaws as you ride through the Old West town. My kids had so much fun talking to the outlaws.
The train ride is another unique experience as it is the original train from when the park opened over 50 years ago. It is a train similar to those used in old mines. It was a relaxing and enjoyable ride; however, it also had a bit of adventure and excitement when the outlaws showed up.
Visit to the Jail
Our favorite place to visit on the main street of Wild West City was the Jail. What made the experience even more memorable was the Marshall taking the time to explain the jail and answer questions. The kids even got “locked up!” It was a fun interactive learning experience for the entire family.
Lasso and Bullwhip Show
What’s a visit to the Wild West without learning how to use a lasso? Each day as part of the daily events, guests can enjoy the Art of Bullwhips and Dancing Ropes. Just prior to the show the entertainer provided lassoes to kids who wanted to learn how to make their rope “dance.” My son was quick to grab a rope and join in the action. The entertainer was very patient and a wonderful teacher. After the class, a few kids were chosen, including my son, to be a part of the show. They were asked to join the rope artist in the center of the town where they continued to show off their lasso skills. Then the boys helped the entertainer with his show. It was an experience my son will never forget!
Another fun experience directly following the Lasso show was the Bullwhip show. It was amazing to hear the sound made when the rope is whipped. My son and a few other kids were also asked to participate in the show by holding up a newspaper that the entertainer ripped in half by using his bullwhip. I was also “roped” into the show which was a scary and exciting but hilarious experience!
Live Action Historical Reenactments
In addition to the rope and bullwhip shows, there are live reenactment shows throughout the day at Wild West City. They help guests learn about and understand historical events from the time of the Old West. Shows include the Pony Express, The James Gang, The Sundance Kid, The Katie Fisher Story and much more. From the horses to the costumes to sounds of gunfire, the shows are full of excitement and entertainment. My boys were mesmerized by each show and especially enjoyed the shows where they could be involved.
We absolutely LOVED our day at Wild West City. We had fun exploring, learning and pretending to be cowboys in the Old West. We cannot wait to return! Wild West City is open 10:30am – 6pm every weekend through Columbus Day!