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!
Whether you are a professional geologist, an amateur rockhound, or simply looking for an interesting day trip, there are several spots around Bozeman to play with rocks. From geological wonders to gorgeous gems, exploring these areas is fun for any age. Not to mention, the colorful personalities of the surrounding towns are well worth enjoying. There is more than one reason Montana is called the Treasure State!
Ringing Rocks, Butte, Montana
Just outside of Butte, Montana, there is a small batholith called the Boulder Batholith. This huge granite formation was shaped by magma shoved upwards by volcanic eruptions 60-70 million years ago. Within this batholith sits a unique geological formation of boulders that chime methodically when tapped with crescent wrench or mallet. While there is no scientific explanation, it is believed that part of the reason is the composition of the joining patterns; when a boulder is removed, it no longer rings. The area consists of thousands of rocks of all shapes sizes and colors, each with different tones and pitches which sound like a bell. There are only four other sites like this in the world: Mexico, England, Western Australia, and Pennsylvania. Be sure to bring hiking boots, a hammer and an automobile with good clearance, the road is tricky. The area is located 18 miles east of Butte, on BLM land north of I-90, beyond Pipestone Trailhead.
Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine, Philipsburg, Montana
The largest, oldest, and best sapphire mine in Montana, the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine has turned out 180 million carats of sapphires over the past 120 years. The mine allows guests to wash sapphire gravel in search of stones, which vary in size. When you find one you like, the mine offers heat-treating which improves the clarity and enhances the color, and faceting, which grinds and polishes the stone to prepare it for jewelry. Be sure to pack layers, the weather can range from sun to rain to snow, (sometimes in the same day!) Bug spray, sunscreen and a hat are also recommended. For hardcore sapphire hunters, there is a small campground on site which is first-come, first served. The mine is located 22 miles west of Phillipsburg on the Skalhao Pass Road off of Montana Highway 38.
If you love skiing or snowboarding, you most likely can’t wait to get your little “mini-me’s” out on the slopes, and with good reason! Skiing is a life-long sport the whole family can enjoy together. It’s a way to get them off their screens and into the fresh air, and to bond over a shared interest. But if you want them to love it, starting off on the right foot is a must. Get your patience ready, there’s nothing worse than an anxious parent pushing a kiddo past their comfort level.
December is busy in Bozeman; holiday festivities, the Bozeman Ice Festival and plenty of arts and culture round out the month. (Not to mention downhill skiing at Bridger Bowl and Nordic Skiing—or fat biking—at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center.) You’ll want to plan carefully so you don’t miss anything…especially December 1, when the holiday season starts off with a bang!
Bridger Bowl has a well-deserved reputation for extreme skiing, but this wildly successful community ski area has just taken the family ski experience to a whole new level. We guarantee, the kids will approve!
Serious wildlife watchers consider autumn one of the most exciting times in Yellowstone National Park. Activity increases as animals prepare for winter and for some, mating season begins bringing with it some interesting mating rituals. Many species start moving to lower elevations as the temperatures cool. Not to mention, the fall colors are amazing; a perfect backdrop for the photographers out there. Wildlife can be found throughout the park, but the Northern Range, from Gardiner to Cooke City is considered the best areas for wildlife watching. It’s also the only road that stays open year round. There are 67 species of mammals in the park; we’ve listed the most prevalent, but keep your eyes open, you may come across others such as pronghorn, beavers, deer and maybe even the elusive cougar.
Locals have a special fondness for Rocky Creek Farm, the 50 acres have been a part of Bozeman’s fabric for decades. Each fall, families enjoy apple harvests, fresh cider, fat pumpkins and a pick-your-own raspberry patch. But it’s the fresh, organic food available year round, that has won a place in everyone’s heart.
Fall may bring back-to-school routines, homework and extra-curricular activities, but that doesn’t mean the fun tickets have run out! This community keeps things interesting with numerous events throughout the season including some educational activities that combine learning with activity. If you’re planning a fall vacation, rest assured, this town does not sit still!
Bozeman is a migratory hotspot that provides a wide array of bird watching opportunities throughout the year. The best bird-watching spots in Bozeman play host to several species of finches, buntings, swallows, hummingbirds, sparrows, songbirds, warblers, ducks, birds of prey, and several others.
The local birding area provides a variety of accessibility options to many unique habitats to allow individuals of all ages to spot gorgeous birds of all natures. While there are many more amazing Birding Hotspots provided in detail by the Sacajawea Audubon Society, here are our favorite bird-watching spots in Bozeman.
Nestled in southwest Montana’s outdoor wonderland, Bozeman is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Whether you’re packing along the toddlers for a relaxed resort vacation and the kids’ first ski lessons or looking to spend a few nights under the Montana sky with adult children home from college, experience a vast array of outdoor, cultural, and dining opportunities for the entire family that helps make traveling to Bozeman with your kids a breeze!