Putting the “Jersey” in “Wild West”

Today, readers, I woke up with a longing. That’s right. You know what I’m talking about. You wake up under your warm, snug comforter and the breeze hits your face in a way that stirs up a hankerin’ for something …wild…

So you saddle up your trusty Corolla and dig the spurs in deep, because you know your heart can’t handle a minute more of your quiet weekly routine.

It’s time for the thrills of Wild West City. (New Jersey).

ImageOh, what’s that you say? My husband looks horribly depressed? That’s because he is. He lost a bet back in November, and my prize was a free trip to Wild West City – the wildest, Westest place this side of the mighty Delaware.


Chock full of old-fashioned store fronts, dust, and horse rumps, Wild West City is a dated relic of the 1960’s pack-your-kids-in-a-station-wagon-and-take-em-somewhere culture that ended long before I was born, which means, of course, that I love it and want to be there all the time. I’ve been begging Josh to go with me since I moved to the area in 2006, so my joy on the 15-minute car ride there was palpable. Along the way, I sang songs about stagecoaches and shoot-outs and Daniel Craig fighting aliens in tight, tight blue jeans.


So in between songs, Josh warned me that he’d read reviews about the poor condition of the place. He implied that I should mentally prepare myself just in case Wild West City wasn’t quite the rompin’ good time the website promised me.

Well, Mr. Joshua Weinstein, how can any place with a

Image…PLASTIC-WRAPPED SELF-AWARE JACKALOPE be DISAPPOINTING!? Ha! Joke’s on YOU, mister. Because Wild West City boasted some pretty cool stuff, likeImagea racially insensitive diorama,Imageclassic works of American art,Imageheart-stopping rides for the thrill-seekers in the family, Imagesnuggly uncooked saloon burgers,

Imageand, of course, live-action shows!

Okay, I know this isn’t a picture of a live-action show, but that’s because I didn’t get any pictures. You know why I didn’t get any pictures? I was too busy listening to the tinny narration on the overhead speakers and watching the horse-riding gun-fighters with a BIG DUMB SMILE ON MY FACE, because, readers, in all seriousness, I had a really good time – and so did Mr. “I Read Reviews About This” Weinstein.


What the hey is a Surrey Shop?

Wild West City might be dilapidated, dusty, and poorly attended, but I’ll be sad the day it shuts its gates. It believes its purpose is to preserve the culture of the Wild West, but, since it’s smack in the middle of suburban New Jersey, I’d say the Wild West is better preserved, um, in the West.


Me: Ack! An Injun!
Josh: Don’t worry – I don’t think he saw you.

Instead, I think Wild West City’s purpose to to preserve a time when entertainment wasn’t so fast-paced or plugged-in. Around the park, you can watch grinning kids fire cap guns at robbers, pan for gold, and ride ponies. Those kids don’t notice the peeling paint or the tacky decorations. They’re just spending a day in the Wild West – in the middle of New Jersey. I hope kids get a chance to do that for many, many years.

ImageIn other news, we found a saddle built to the exact specifications of our obese cat, Rocky,

Imagewho wouldn’t even look at us when we came home and offered to saddle him up and take him out for some dogie wrasslin’. How rude!


This just in! Breaking new videos of Jesse’s last shoot-out in Dodge City!

(my reaction at :41)


7 thoughts on “Putting the “Jersey” in “Wild West”

  1. Haha! Thanks! I will go with you and your eleventy children, because Josh and I begrudgingly admitted to each other that it would have been even more fun with kids….someone else’s kids…

  2. I don’t know what a surrey shop is, but I do know that Surrey is a place in England… One of the many settings of Harry Potter 🙂 Hey, wasn’t Julie Andrews born in Surrey…

  3. I thought of Surrey, England, too! I could Google it, but that would ruin the things happening in my imagination. And that would be sad. Maybe I don’t ever want to know what a surrey is….

  4. LOL! Loved this post. I laughed. Out loud. 😉
    I remember my parents taking me to a place like this in AZ, or something. I loved it. I wanted to go back, dressed to fit the era and pretend to live there. 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure I went to this Wild West place with a few other families…it was a long time ago but I recognize it!

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