For the last twenty years we have been going to the Bar J Wranglers Chuckwagon show. We love this wholesome family activity, and it has become one of our favorite traditions. The Bar J is located in Jackson, Wyoming, and it is a must-do if you are in the area visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a western chuckwagon, you are missing out on a unique cultural experience. The evening is supposed to be similar to an evening on a cattle drive a 150 years ago. The great part is, you arrive after the work has been finished. You will be just in time for dinner and a show.
An activity like this tends to be a little bit of a splurge, because you are paying for dinner and a show. Expect $25-$35 for each adult and $12 for each kid. The gates open at 5:30pm, and the closer you get there to that time, the better seat you’ll get for the show. You’ll also have a little time to walk around the property before dinner. There are a few fun things to do, including a train ride for the kids. If you don’t want to pay for a train ticket, you can walk the train route for free.
Our favorite thing to do is walk through the shops, one for Bar J Wrangler fan gear and one for western knick-knacks, and then hang out at the biscuit wagon. There is a wrangler there cooking old-time biscuits in a Dutch oven. They come out piping hot and taste great with honey. Best of all, they are no additional charge. Last time we were there, they even had a plate out with steak samples, but they went pretty fast! As you walk the grounds, you’ll run into several of the performers, too, as they work at the ranch serving food and chatting with people.
You’ll have a traditional cowboy meal with a few meat options including chicken, braised beef, pork ribs, and steak. The rest of the meal includes applesauce, baked beans, spice cake, cornbread, a baked potato, and lemonade or coffee. The food is surprisingly good for cowboy fare, too. You can also go back for more food if you’re still hungry, and we always leave stuffed!
After dinner, the show starts. I don’t really like country music (sorry, I love old rock-n-roll), but the Bar J Wranglers don’t play country music. You won’t hear any Garth Brooks or Travis Tritt music here. Instead, they play old Western music with traditional four part cowboy harmonies. Tunes like Cool Water, Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds, and Red River Valley are more the style to expect. In addition, the performers tell a lot of jokes, which many people think is the best part of the show.
If you are in the area of Jackson, set aside one night to have dinner and a show at the Bar J Chuckwagon. You won’t regret it! You can also read our review of the Bar D Chuckwagon in Durango, Colorado, the Cody Cattle Company, and the Circle B Chuckwagon in South Dakota (coming soon).