After Hutchinson, we hitched our wagons a little further west to Dodge City. There's plenty of info available at the visitor's center, as well as a train for the kiddos to explore.
Unlike a lot of engines you see out on display, this one was pretty accessible. Lots of levers to pull!
Right up from the train and the visitor's center is the Boot Hill Museum. You enter through the gift shop, and start with a video about the history of the area. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for kids ages 5-10, and families are $35. It's a Blue Star Museum, but we were limited to 6 people, meaning we had to pay for one. They offer country-style dinners and variety shows in the evening for extra.
It's called Boot Hill because one of the first main cemeteries was up there, and sometimes strangers and victims of shoot-outs were buried up there with their boots still on. Several local characters are known to be laid there as well. They've marked as many as possible, but no one really knows how many people were buried there.
The jail was rebuilt on site near the cemetery. But her cuteness will not be contained.
First up was the saloon. Beer and other drinks are served here, but it was a little early for that, so we settled for water. We arrived just in time for the dancing lesson.
They provided skirts for the young ladies and taught them a routine designed to promote a girl's.... assets.
Just about anything you'd want to know about the Old West was on display.
At one point the kids were all recruited for Marshall training. At the end they received a badge.
Here they are learning to "mosey."
Then our newly minted Marshall took us to the bank to assure us that it was a safe place.
There's a joke here, I know it....
Half of the school house was dedicated to famous Kansans. Did you know Dennis Hopper is from Dodge City?
The blacksmith wasn't working that day- too hot!
Beatty & Kelly Restaurant serves sandwiches and ice cream, so you can eat your lunch at Boot Hill or leave and re-enter at your leisure - your admission is good all day. There's an Applebee's right outside. We opted for Sarsaparilla Floats.
At the end of the shoot-out, the actors signed pictures they sold for $1. They use the proceeds to fund their performances.
Don't forget to tell them we sent you!