Rawhide Western Town (5700 W. North Loop Rd., 480/502-5600, www.rawhide.com , 5:30–9 p.m. Thurs.–Sun., free) moved from North Scottsdale  to the Gila River Indian Community a few years ago, but it’s still delivering 1880s-themed family fun.
Check out the stunt shows in the dusty streets, or try your luck on the mechanical bull. Of course, there are easier rides in town, such as the desert train or stagecoach tours guided by a trained mule team.
It’s all a little hokey, but having an “old-time” photo made or browsing the candies at Sweet Sally’s Confections is a lot of fun.
Admission to the park is free, but there are small fees for any of the activities or games. Or, you can buy an all-day Town Pass for $15. Also, March though May, visitors can experience an old-fashioned chuck-wagon cookout under the stars ($45 adults, $19 children 4–11), which includes a hayride, live music, line-dancing instruction, and a marshmallow roast around the campfire.
Nearby, the Huhugam Heritage Center (4759 N. Maricopa Rd., 520/796-3500, www.huhugam.com , 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $5 adults, $2 children 6–12) honors the other figures of the Old West: Native Americans. Operated by the Gila River Indian Community’s Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) tribes, the museum’s small exhibits trace the cultural heritage of their ancestors. However, it’s the museum’s strikingly modern architecture and ethnobotanical garden of desert plants that make it special.