Bozeman is the perfect place to be a kid in the winter because there is a lot to do and it lasts so long! Here is our list of 10 winter activities for kids in Bozeman.
This is an all-time favorite for kids. What’s not to love? Flying down a hill with snow flying all around and landing softly (hopefully!) at the bottom. There are a few great options in Bozeman for sledding. The old Bozeman place to sled has always been Peet’s Hill in Burke Park, but we suggest saving it for the older kids. Peet's Hill is steep and gets a lot of use which makes it icy, but it is a lot of fun for the thrill-seekers. The hill at the 100-Acre Regional Park has quickly become the sledding hill of northwest Bozeman. It is also steep in spots, but there’s more room to spread around and find some smaller sections for the little kids. If you’re okay with dogs, Snowfill Recreation always has a few sledders in the winter. Just remember it is an off-leash dog park and some pups can’t resist chasing kids down the hill!
It’s hard to grow up in Bozeman and not get into skiing! Both Bridger Bowl and Big Sky are nearby and offer fantastic ski lesson packages for kids. There is nothing cuter than watching the little kids come down the bunny hill! Cross country skiing is another fun activity for the family. The Bridger Ski Foundation grooms several trails in town, plus in Sourdough and Hyalite Canyon. This is a more affordable option because there is no cost to use these trails and renting cross country skies is less expensive the downhill skis.
3. Get Hot Cocoa or Tea
Hot cocoa is the quintessential wintertime treat! After a day of sledding or skiing, treat the kids to hot cocoa and get yourself a cappuccino at one of Bozeman’s coffee shops, Wild Joe’s is a favorite of ours. If you have middle school or high school kids, the place to be is Townsends Teahouse having chai or bubble tea and hanging out with friends.
4. Ice Skating
Bozeman has three major ice skating rinks, Southside Park, Beall Park, and the Anderson Pavilion (formerly the Bogert Pavilion) all aim to be open for ice skating around Christmas time. Often a couple of the elementary schools have small ice skating rinks open to the public. There are also some ponds in town and Hyalite Reservoir that freeze during the winter that you’ll find people ice skating on. If you don’t have skates for the family, they can be rented at Chalet Sports. Pro tip: If your kids are in one of the Bozeman elementary schools, they can often borrow them from the gym teacher. You can also always find them second hand at Play it Again or Second Wind Sports.
5. Jump Time
Sometimes it’s just too cold to be outside and the kids get restless. Jump Time is Bozeman’s indoor trampoline park and the best place to let them burn off some energy! They have trampolines, dunk basketball, and a special activity area for younger kids. Jump Time is currently open and requiring masks during check-in and for spectators. They ask anyone jumping to also practice social distancing.
Photo credit Jump Time Bozeman
6. Arts on Fire
Another great indoor activity for the kids in Bozeman is Arts on Fire, a paint your own pottery studio. They have several items available to paint from small figurines to mugs to plates. The kids pick it out, paint it, and then they fire it and you pick up their beautiful piece of art a week later. This is a fun one to do with your kids…grab a paintbrush and join in!
Photo credit Arts on Fire Bozeman
7. Take a Hike
Winter hiking is the best in Bozeman! The trails are less crowded and there's something magical about walking in the snowy woods. Especially if you're hiking to a frozen lake or waterfall! Grotto and Palisade Falls are two beautiful waterfalls right in Hyalite Canyon. Click here for the best winter hikes in Bozeman.
8. Go to a Museum
The Museum of the Rockies is always a good winter indoor activity. The dinosaur exhibit is a hit with the kids and so is the Planetarium! The Museum of the Rockies is open to visitors, but they do recommend a reservation. Masks are required for visitors over the age of 5, and the Children's Discovery Center is temporarily closed. There is also the Montana Science Center, formerly the Children’s Museum. They have a circuit studio, Farmer’s Market, a Bug’s World exhibit, STEAM lab, a maker place and so much more. They are operating on a reservation-only system at this point. You can make reservations on their website.
9. Go Swimming
The kids don’t have to wait until summer to go swimming! The Bozeman Hot Springs has 12 different pools, both inside and out with varying temperatures. Located just past Four Corners, this our pick for swimming during the chilly winter months. If you feel like heading out of town for a soak, Chico and Norris Hot Springs are both great options. The Bozeman Swim Center has family swim night on Friday’s from 6:00-8:30 pm, rec swims from 1-4 pm on Saturdays, and 11:30 - 5:00 pm on Sundays.
10. Go to the Movies
While Bozeman's main movie theatre is currently closed, you can still go see a movie at the Procrastinator Theatre on the MSU campus. The upside to the Procrastinator Theatre is that it is super affordable (we're talking $2 tickets) but the downside is they show just one or two movies at a time. Masks are required.