Cheyenne offers families an experience that is truly unique. It embodies the spirit of the Old West but there is more to this iconic destination than just boots and spurs. (Although there’s plenty of that.)
Here’s a great way for families to sample Cheyenne’s Old West spirit.
See gunfights, western skits, and other Wild West activities in Gunslinger Square, 15th & Pioneer, in downtown Cheyenne. Along with their shoot outs, the Gunslingers relate some local history during their shows, provide comic relief. Every performance begins with a safety demonstration.
All of the shows are family-oriented and free. You’ll have a lot of excitement and laughs.
Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley
The Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley offers visitors a narrated tour of the city. The entire route takes about 90 minutes but passengers can hop on and off at various stops during weekdays, tours are two hours straight with a 30 minute stop at the Old West Museum; admission to museum included. Conductors narrate the entire journey, spouting out facts and spinning tales of gunfights, murder, and various mayhem.
The trolley also hosts a ghost tour at night in a heated trolley. The trolley operates from May through the end of September. Ghost tours are offered in October and Christmas Lights tours in December.
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
Cheyenne is considered to be our nation’s rodeo capital. For more than 100 years the world’s largest outdoor rodeo & western celebration, the Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) has taken place in Cheyenne. You might miss the CFD which is held each year in July, but don’t miss the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. For an hour or two, travel back in time and relive the western legend.
The museum features some of the most intriguing western artifacts in the region including one of the most extensive collections of carriages west of the Mississippi. The galleries have interactive exhibits, artifacts and displays that showcase how CFD has persevered through adversity due to the dedication of many passionate individuals. A variety of cultural programs throughout the year allows visitors of all ages to step back in time and experience Cheyenne’s history. There is also a museum store for western gifts and rodeo souvenirs.
The Wyoming State Museum
The Wyoming State Museum is dedicated to the entire history of Wyoming from prehistoric times to the present. The two-level museum features exhibits, galleries, and education programs on Wyoming. The displays cover a range of topics—including local animals, dinosaur bones, mining, Native American culture, the USS Wyoming, and more. There is a room geared toward younger children with dress up clothes from different time periods in Wyoming history, toy dishes, a saddle to sit on, and such. It’s a great place to stop in and look at all the things that Wyoming is known for, plus learn a thing or two about its history, its people, its land and its landmark sights and attractions. The best part is you get all this for free!
Cowgirls of the West Museum
This downtown museum is all about the pioneering women that helped settle and tame the Wild West. The settling of the American West has often been romanticized in print and in the video media, where the lives of women have sometimes been depicted as easy, carefree, and glamorous: Nothing is further from the truth! Our pioneering women worked very hard and right alongside men to make the American West the one that we know today.
The Museum features a collection of artifacts and antiques, western saddles & tack, clothing, and memorabilia that take you back in time to learn about what life was like for women from early pioneer and ranching homesteads, and including the daring women of the earlier rodeo and trick riding era. The collection of memorabilia is fabulous. The displays are wonderful. You can’t leave the museum without a deep appreciation for the egalitarian nature of this state (the first to grant women the right to vote.)
The museum has a marvelous gift shop, the Emporium where you can pick up one-of-a-kind items. Just browsing the shop windows is fun. The museum is free but they close for winter.
The Nelson Museum
This museum has three floors of amazing examples of Western art. By ‘art’ I mean beautiful examples of spurs, bits, saddles, native basketry, items that have been intricately beaded and quilled, Stetson hats, wall art, scrimshaw, weapons, etc. There was even some outfits worn by Dale Evans and Roy Rogers!
There was also an impressive collection of taxidermy scattered throughout the museum. Sometimes stuffed and mounted animals turned out weird looking, mangy, and dusty, but these were quite well done and well cared for. Not all of them were western animals, but some of them had been bagged by the museum’s namesake, Robert L. Nelson. Nelson is an art collector and has donated the majority of the items to the top-notch museum.
This Western town contains activities and attractions to keep any little cowboy or cowgirl entertained. The whole family will enjoy learning about Cheyenne’s wild and woolly frontier past.