History buff or not, exploring the museums in Bozeman is well worth the time. From dinosaur fossils to hanging gallows, the exhibits range from western culture to world history. Each museum is unique and well worth a visit, so set aside time to add a little education to your vacation!
A Smithsonian Affiliate, Museum of the Rockies is an active research and exploration museum. The Siebel Dinosaur Complex is home to one of the largest collections of North American dinosaurs in the world. During the summer months, costumed interpreters at the Living History Farm demonstrate the day to day workings of a real Montana homestead. Learn about Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area with interactive activities. The Paugh History Hall displays artifacts from the Western Native Americans, fur traders, gold seekers, and white settlers. Experience the universe in the Taylor Planetarium, with a 40-foot dome and state of the art projection system.
The museum brings in exhibitions from around the world. The current exhibit, The Real Genghis Khan, leads you through the culture, conquests, and heritage of the world’s greatest conqueror. The exhibit is on display through September 29, 2019.
This fall, “Amazing Butterflies” will be on display. It is an interactive journey through the life of one of the most extraordinary creatures on earth. Also on display, “Light on the Land,” featuring the landscape photographs of Albert Schlechten, an early 1900’s photographer. Both exhibitions will run October 19 through December 31, 2019.
What was once the Gallatin County Jail (complete with hanging gallows) is now home to the Gallatin History Museum. Built in 1911 by Fred Fielding Willson, a prominent Bozeman architect, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
This permanent exhibit tells the story of western heritage including American Indian Tribes, old Fort Ellis and early settlers. You’ll find household relics, period fashions, guns, and other artifacts. If you’re interested in something specific, explore the photo archive which boasts 25,000 photos. The research library includes a Lewis and Clark collection and the gift shop is full of historical books and prints.
Not to be missed, the American Computer and Robotics Museum houses a physical history of 4,000 years of technology. Explore thousands of artifacts and written history of the information age, including robotics, artificial intelligence, and social networking. USA Today calls it “One of the 10 best free museums in the world.”
Filled with experiential learning, the Montana Science Center has hands-on exhibitions, summer science camps, after-school activities, and educational programs. With the goal of turning an interest in science into the creation of technology and art, MSC facilitates learning in a number of areas.
Exhibitions include the STEAM Lab, a hands-on, high-tech learning lab led by mentors. A Bug’s World teaches kiddos about the insect world, and the Farmer’s Market is a great way to explore the food system. Other exhibitions in crude the Circuit Studio, Sensory Garden and Physics Place. There’s even a toddler room for the littles to run about. Watch for family science days!
Located in Gallatin Gateway, just a few miles south of Bozeman, this one-room schoolhouse built in 1912 was in use until 1950. Replicating an actual schoolhouse, you’ll see desks with the ink wells and writing slates, blackboards and teachers’ desk. The museum also houses local memorabilia about the area, a lunch box collection, and an antique merry-go-round.
If you’re venturing around the region, explore other nearby museums. Check out our travel guide for more information about what's going on around Bozeman this summer!