What child doesn’t love the wild, wild west??
Cowboys and Indians, chuck wagons with smoked beans, panning for gold, gunslingers, shooting gallery, stagecoach rides, pony rides, peppermint candy sticks, and arrests leading to a lock up in jail. This is the Wild West, make no mistake about it ~ Rawhide located in Chandler, Arizona. Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse has been open for 41 years. It is located on the Wild Horse Pass along the Gila River Indian Community. Surprisingly, admission is free!!! Parking is $5.00 and tickets must be purchased for attractions.
Step back into time as you enter Rawhide. Dusty roads, Southern Belles with large hats crossing the gravel streets, gunslingers roam about and be sure to watch out for the Town Deputy! The Town Deputy means business. The first time our son saw a gunslinger spin a gun, he was both mesmerized and speechless! But it doesn’t stop there – watch a gunslinger show off in Belle’s Saloon and they may just pull your kids up on stage!! Don’t forget to purchase a sarsaparilla in a glass bottle for the kids!!! Sarsaparilla is a soft drink, similar to root beer, which was popular in the 19th century.
Six Gun Theater and the Arizona Roughriders
A gun fires off in the middle of the street and everyone is suddenly warned that the cowboy stunt show is about to begin!!! Rush over to the Six Gun Theater to witness the wild west. The theater is in an outdoor setting which gives a realistic feel. As we watched the stunt show, the wind picked up and the sky suddenly turned real dark and gray.
Explosions, cowboys falling from the rooftop, gun shots and smoke will fill the air as spectators watch from the edge of their seats. Our son’s eyes were wide open assuming this was the real deal.
Now it wouldn’t be the wild, wild west without horses running around. Little ones will love riding through dusty Rawhide on their very own burro (small donkey)!! While the kids ride around on the burros, adults can try their luck at the widowmaker (mechanical bull). Of course the widowmaker looks much easier than it really is. Be sure to hold on tight as you get tossed all around.
There is shopping galore at Rawhide- from clothes to candy, there’s something for everyone.
Check out the Silver Spur Smoke Shop for leather and tobacco products. Watch a fifth generation blacksmith bend iron.
Kids will love the nostalgic candy at Sweet Sally’s Confections including gigantic Pez dispensers and lollipops, candy sticks, taffy, rock candy and homemade fudge. The smell alone will draw you in.
The whole family can ride around the dusty, cowboy town of Rawhide.
Our kids took the front seat and then we were off. The train ride is bumpy, rugged and squeaky because it is……the wild, wild west. The train ride allows visitors to sit back, put their feet up and enjoy the grounds of Rawhide.
Visitors can have a loved one arrested in the town and locked up for a fee of $10.00. The Town Deputy will come find you, arrest you with handcuffs (yes, in front of everyone) and escort you right to the jail house! Our kids were locked up and looking quite lonely in the jail.
Off to rock climbing!! The 30 foot rock climbing wall offers three levels of challenge. Which one is right for you? Not sure, than try them all! If you breeze through the first level, move on the next level. We made it a fun, family competition. Who could conquer all three levels?
Probably the most memorable activity for our kids – gold panning. After learning all
about the Gold Rush of California in 1849 in school, the kids were ready to start panning for themselves. Sift, sift away and see what is left. They were able to take home the gold flakes (fool’s gold) in a souvenir bottle.
It would not be the wild west without a shooting range. Wander on over to the Rawhide Shootin Range and test your shot.
Rawhide is a great place to go and spend the whole day. Eat lunch, wander around and try all the activities and then stay for dinner. Be sure to visit the world-renowned steakhouse. Rawhide is the perfect place to take the whole family!!!
5wheelsto5star was featured in the March 2014 issue of Destinations Travel Magazine