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National Day of the Cowboy is July 22, 2023!

Howdy, y'all! Today, we're going to talk about a really unique celebration that honors the cowboy, one of the most recognizable personalities in American history. When Arizona rancher Bob Everhart approached the U.S. Senate in 2004 about establishing a day to honor cowboys' contributions to American history, the idea for this holiday was born. The National Day of the Cowboy was formally acknowledged after Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming voted in favor of the proposal, which was unanimously approved.

The National Day of the Cowboy honors the distinctive way of life of cowboys throughout history while celebrating American culture and heritage. Cowboys have had a significant impact on the identity and spirit of our nation, from their distinctive food and dress to their customs and values. We honor their enduring heritage and strive to make sure that their tales and traditions are carried along to future generations by commemorating the National Day of the Cowboy.

Here are some family-friendly activities that you can enjoy on National Day of the Cowboy.

  • Go to a rodeo or watch one online

  • Go camping, make a campfire, cook some cowboy stew, and eat off of tin plates. Oh, and sing campfire songs like Home on the Range.

  • Eat other cowboy foods like baked beans, beef jerky, hardtack, and dried fruit.

  • Learn about famous people from the Wild West like Annie Oakley or Buffalo Bill.

  • Learn how to tie knots.

  • Go horseback riding or visit some horses

  • Watch a cowboy/Western-themed movie: Toy Story, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and American Tail: Fievel Goes West are some kid-friendly recommendations.

Cowboy Games

  • Horseshoes: You can make these out of thick cardboard for a more kid-friendly version of this game.

  • Pin the hat on the cowboy/cowgirl

  • There's a Snake in my Boot: Buy some plastic snakes at the Dollar Store and take turns seeing who can toss the most into a cowboy boot.

  • Target practice: Knock over soda cans with Nerf guns or high-powered water guns.

  • Lasso Practice: Purchase some lightweight rope or twine and tie it into a lasso. Then, see who is the best at lassoing! Fun things to lasso could include a cowboy hat or boot, a stick horse, or a sawhorse.

  • Pan for gold: Hide gold nuggets (you could use gold-painted rocks) in play sand or among aquarium rocks in a large tub of water. Give the kids some plastic sieves and let them pan for gold.


A cowboy's life out on the prairie certainly wasn't easy. Did you know that the prairie is also the inspiration for the setting of the Towers of Light Series? As a writer, it helps if you can write from what you know. I grew up on a farm in southeast Iowa with a garden to tend every summer, surrounded by crops and woods. I had some really tough jobs like baling hay, chopping firewood, and detasseling. I even had the privilege of raising my own pigs for market. All of this played into my first-hand knowledge of the struggle of life on the frontier.

Play our Cowboy Wordfind puzzle below:

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