Are you looking for something different to do this fall as a family? Have you heard of Old West Festival? Maybe you’ve heard of it and seen photos, but aren’t quite sure what it’s all about. Well, we headed “out west” to check out this one-of-a-kind festival, and we had a blast! Located just 15 minutes off of 275, load up your covered wagon (or minivan) and take a ride to the wild wild west.
My family loves outdoor festivals, especially on a beautiful fall day. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather to visit the Old West Festival, located just east of downtown in Williamsburg. We had no idea what to expect, but we were all happily entertained for the day by friendly cowboys, exciting shows, and plenty of history and fun.
One of the nice things about this particular festival is all that is included with your admission. The favorite part of the entire day was the ride on the train, which traveled from the Depot, out into the country. The ride is only a few minutes long (we may have done it more than once), but it’s through beautiful scenery and parents can ride along if you have nervous youngsters. They also enjoyed learning how to shoot a bow and arrow and a slingshot, as well as the fun reenactments and shows.
For an extra fee, there are a few other features to check out. Another favorite of the day was the covered wagon ride. The couple that led the ride stayed in character and were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. We learned what it would have been like to travel west by covered wagon, and were even escorted by a few friendly cowboys. My daughter is still talking about her pony ride and I’m still emotional about how little (yet, brave) she looked riding that friendly horse.
When you walk through the gates into Dodge City, you really are transported back in time. The staff and actors are all over-the-top friendly and so much fun to interact with and get to know. They really make the town come to life. The festival is very family-friendly and can easily entertain you for a few hours with the variety of activities and shows, as well as the delicious food and drinks that are available for purchase.
So if you’ve always wondered about the Old West Festival, this year is the time to try it out! It’s great for all ages and the perfect way to experience a bit of history and a whole lot of family fun.
Old West Festival is running every weekend in September and October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and to preorder your tickets, visit their website here.
A native Cincinnatian, Andrea has experienced life in all four corners of this city. After growing up on the west side, she headed north to attend Miami University, then moved east to Hyde Park and now lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.
When she’s not playing trains and doing the “hot dog dance” as a stay-at-home mom to her two toddlers, Andrea is busy writing for Cincinnati (and, ahem, Kentucky!) publications and brainstorming ideas for her next children’s book! With a newfound passion for fitness and overall health, she spends a lot of time at her family gym and loves to play outside.
Andrea worked in education for several years and has a special love for children’s literature. She loves showing her children all our city has to offer and enjoys sharing her finds with other parents. Her favorite spots include the Cincinnati Zoo (although she steers clear of the bird house), her local library and any playground.