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Montana’s Top 10 Family Attractions

Key takeaways...
  • Montana is a state with natural beauty and a rich history
  • There are many family attractions in this state that will bring your family together and provide hours of education and fun
  • Remember to take steps to protect you and your family before you start your road trip

Montana officially became a state on November 8, 1889. By area, Montana is the 4th largest state in the United States. However, it is one of the country’s lease populated states with an average of only six people per square mile.

The name Montana comes from the Spanish word montaña, meaning mountainous region, although Montana has the lowest elevation of all of the Rock Mountain States at 3,400 feet.

Over 10,000 years ago Flathead Lake was carved by glaciers and happens to be the largest freshwater lake between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean.

The historic 1876 battle between the United States Army and the Sioux Indian Tribe is memorialized at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Part of Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, is also located here.

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Montana Is Great for Family Adventures

You don’t have to travel to a coastal state or out of the country for a great family vacation.

Montana offers many different year-round family-friendly activities and wide open spaces to explore and play. In fact, Montana is dense with both indoor and outdoor attractions to help families exercise, play, relax, learn, and bond together.

Top 10 Family Attractions in Montana


#1 – Western Romance Company

If an authentic Western experience is what your family craves, look no further than the Western Romance Company.

Here you can experience cowboy style adventure and entertainment with wagons, horses, livestock, professional entertainers, and equipment, all with the backdrop of the scenery of Huntley, Montana.

With cowboy cookouts, horseback riding, and covered wagon rides, there is fun to be had here for families with kids of all ages. Contact the Western Romance Company directly for prices and schedules.

#2 – Yellowstone IMAX Theater

If you are planning a trip near Yellowstone, be sure to stop at the Yellowstone IMAX Theater. You will find this unique theater at the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

The educational film shown here will take you back to Yellowstone 100 years ago and even 100,000 years ago.

You will also get rare glimpses of what it looks like today. Museum-like displays in the lobby add to this rich experience. Tickets run between $7 and $14, depending on seating type and age.

#3 – Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center

Also located in West Yellowstone is the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. This not-for-profit wildlife park and educational facility gives your family the opportunity to experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves up close.

All animals here cannot survive in the wild and are used to help improve the lives of their counterparts who do live in the wild. Three different wolf packs call the center home as well as multiple grizzly bears.

The center is open year-round with hours varying by season. Admission is free for children 4 years old and younger and goes up to $13 per adult.

#4 – Blaine County Wildlife Museum

The Blaine County Wildlife Museum reveals the wildlife of Montana in its natural habitat. It features the work of Montana artists, carvers, and taxidermist along with historic narrations and sound effects.

You will find this unique experience located in Chinook’s downtown business district. For hours and pricing, contact the museum directly.

#5 – Children’s Museum of Montana

Located in Great Falls, the Children’s Museum of Montana is an award winning museum that invites children and adults alike to grow a lifelong passion for science, math, and culture.

Hands-on exploration makes learning fun with interactive exhibits. This museum is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can call them directly for pricing information.

#6 – Great Northern Carousel

The Great Northern Carousel is more than just your average carousel. In fact, in 201, the National Carousel Association called it the finest in the nation, and possibly even in the world.

This hand carved work-of-art can be found in the city of Helena and features the work of a Walt Disney World carver. Many different Montana animals are featured on this carousel.

While you are here, be sure to ready your taste buds for one of their 24 flavors of ice cream. Hours vary by season and rides are only $1.50 each.

#7 – Makoshika State Park

Glendive is home to Montana’s largest state park, Makoshika State Park. You can stop in for the day or stay for a few days at the campground. Kids will enjoy walking on a real dinosaur trail, viewing the badland formations as well as the fossil remains of a t-rex and a triceratops.

There is even an interactive exhibit for kids located near the entrance. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. and entrance fees are no more than $6.

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#8 – Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort can be found in the city of Whitefish and offers year-round family fun. In the summer you can enjoy downhill bike rides, zip lines, hiking, scenic lift rides, alpine slides, and the aerial adventure park.

In the winter, popular activities include dog sled tours, guided tours of Glacier National Park, and cross country and downhill skiing.

You can also relax in the spa while enjoying various treatments. You can even stay on-site to be close to all of the fun. Contact the resort directly for pricing, schedules, and hours.

#9 – Lone Peak Expedition at Big Sky Resort

Lone Peak is an adventure of its own at this resort in Big Sky. You can take the tram to the top and stand at over 11,000 feet at the summit while taking in the view of three states, two national parks, and several mountain ranges.

On the way up, you may even see mountain goats. This expedition will take about 2.5 hours and reservations are required. Rates start at $49.

#10 – Camp Jellystone

Camp Jellystone is located in Missoula and features a variety of camping options such as cabin rentals, tent sites, and RV camping. It was rated one of the Top 50 Parks in 2005.

Kids and parents will enjoy the heated pool and mini golf offered here. There is also a game room, walking trails, a basketball court, a playground, and a horseshoe area.

Jellystone Park is open from May 1 to October 15. Rates will vary depending on the season and your needs.

Safety for Families while Traveling


Prior to packing up the family and hitting the road, you should prepare for your trip by taking several safety steps. These steps will help protect all that is precious to you both financially and physically.

– Have the Right Coverage

While auto insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to safety and traveling, having the right coverage can pay off if you end up having an accident or other problems on the road. You should review your policy at least once every six months.

The best time to do this is before your renewal date. You should compare at leas three or four different policies to ensure that you are getting the coverage you need at the best possible price.

– Get a Tune-Up

Schedule a tune-up for your vehicle prior to leaving. Taking care of any minor problems or routine maintenance can save you hassles down the road.

– Check All Car Seats and Booster Seats

Statistics show that as many as 80-90 percent of child safety seats are installed wrong or being used incorrectly. In fact, when not used correctly, they can even be more of a danger than a help.

Be sure any car seats or booster seats you use in your vehicle are installed and used according to the manufacturer instructions. Most local fire departments will perform a car seat check for free and provide you with tips on how to use it safely.

– Carry an Emergency Kit

All vehicles should be stocked with an emergency kit. At a minimum, this kit should include a first aid kit, a cell phone, blankets, a flashlight, jumper cables, water, and road flares. Long-lasting high-energy snacks are also good to have on hand.

– Remember Sunscreen


Sunburns hurt. Not only that but they also lead to skin cancer. Help your family enjoy their vacation and a longer life by ensuring that sunscreen comes along for the ride and gets used liberally and often.

– Check the Backseat

Now is the time to check your backseats to help keep your children safe. Look for anything that could be a choking hazard.

Use the child safety door and window locks. Remove anything in the vehicle that isn’t necessary to have on your trip. Store heavy items in the trunk or tie them down. At only 40mph, any items in your vehicle can become a projectile in an accident and cause serious injury or even death.

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