While my kids absolutely loved our family vacation to Phoenix, it was more pool and baseball than desert and old west. So, when we went to Tucson, I wanted to make sure they got some of that old west experience that Tucson is known for. On our first full day there, we visited the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum in the morning, and headed out to the free stunt show at Trail Dust Town in the evening.
Trail Dust Town, in Tucson, is part retail/restaurant destination, part old west town. It had been recommended to us by several people in Tucson, since it’s a fun destination for kids. My kids were very excited to see the stunt show, which usually takes place two to three times per night (depending on the time of year). I checked the website, and was glad to see that it was taking place on the evening that we had available. After dinner, we arrived at the show just a little late, so we ended up standing at the end. But, there actually were plenty of seats if we’d just gotten there on time. The show involves gunfights and stunts, and my kids just sat there completely in awe. I’d recommend that you arrive a little early, and make sure that your kids are prepared for the noise.
Trail Dust Town was built in 1962, and has so much history in Tucson. In addition to the stunt show, Trail Dust Town also offers several authentic old west shops, including a general store filled with old-fashioned merchandise. There’s also a small train that travels around the whole town, a few small restaurants, a family steakhouse – the Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse, a carousel, a ferris wheel, haunted house, rifle saloon, and the museum of the horse soldier. It’s not a place where you can spend the whole day, but you could definitely spend the evening there. Wooden nickels are available for purchase for entry to the various attractions. Or, you can purchase a wristband which lets you get into all of the attractions.
While we did not eat dinner there, I really wish we had. If I return to Tucson again with my kids, I’ll definitely plan to spend more time there. The property also hosts several community events, including a farmer’s market, Oktoberfest, and a rodeo. Definitely check the schedule before heading out so that you’ll know what is going on. The property is open all day, from 8am to 11pm, although each individual location may have different hours.
Trail Dust Town
6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85715