Schools out! Now what to do with the kids for the next three months?! Luckily for kids in Bozeman, there is no shortage of things to during the long summer months.
1. Go to the Beach
It’s Bozeman so we use the term “beach” loosely. However, kids just want to swim so they don’t care! At the 100-Acre Regional Park, there is a small pond with a nice sandy beach area that has become a popular swimming spot for summer. The East Gallatin Recreation area is a more well-known swimming pond in the summer, especially with its proximity to MAP Brewing. There’s a big beach area, small dock, volleyball nets, climbing rock and restrooms making it a great spot to cool off in the summer. Behind Costco on Davis Lane is another small pond, perfect for fishing and kayaking. There isn’t a beach area here, but a trail goes around the pond and you can find a spot to get into the water.
2. Bogert Pool
Going to the local pool is childhood classic. Although our city pool is old, the “Friends of Bogert Pool” have worked hard to raise money to fund repairs that are needed and keep it usable. We don’t have a lot of options for swimming pools in Bozeman, so we’ll take what we can get!
3. Take a Hike
We are surrounded by mountains, so this is an easy one. Getting kids out of the house and into nature is a game changer. No matter their ability, you can find a hike to keep everyone happy. It’s nice with kids to have a destination so a hike to a waterfall or lake is always fun. If you have older children or are looking for a challenge, here are some great hikes to peaks.
4. Go to the Library
Our public library is awesome and they have a fantastic children’s area and teen corner for the kids. They have summer reading programs to keep them reading all summer. The library also will be doing Music on the Green again this summer, which we are very excited about! Starting in July they have music and food vendors on the lawn on several Sunday evenings. This is a free event and very family friendly!
5. Head to a Park
We have so many fantastic city parks in Bozeman! Kirk Park near Town & Country has the stream for kids to cool off in, a skatepark and wide open space for a frisbee game. Lindley Park, on the other end of town, has huge trees for shady picnics and a recently updated playground. Beall Park has a basketball court, a large field, and lots of play equipment. Bogert has the Bozeman Creek running through it and is a great place for a picnic before heading to the pool. Not to mention all the neighborhood parks throughout town! There are probably not enough days in the summer to go to all the parks Bozeman has, but you can certainly have fun trying!
The school year is busy for kids, so summer is the perfect time for volunteering. Teaching kids while they are young to give back to the community will help make them more compassionate and giving adults. There are plenty of easy ways to volunteer with kids in Bozeman. The Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter is a wonderful place to start. For the younger kids they have a cat cuddler program and canine storytime. For older kids, there are more options for working with dogs. The Gallatin Valley Food Bank also has opportunities to volunteer with kids. Things like helping in the garden, serving lunches throughout the community or helping at Fork and Spoon are all kid-friendly.
7. Museum of the Rockies
The Museum is always a good option for those rainy days or when you just need a break from the sun (after the winter we had it’s hard to even say that!) Go check out the latest exhibit, walk through the living history farm or just let the kids play in the children’s area.
9. Belgrade Splash Park
It’s worth the short drive to Belgrade to cool off at the splash park in Lewis and Clark Park. There are several water features and it’s usually full of squealing kids as the buckets dump and drench them. Lewis and Clark Park also has a playground, skate park area and lots of mature trees so be sure to take a picnic with you and make a day of it.
10. Take a Day Trip
There are plenty of fun places to go for the day that are close to Bozeman. Lewis and Clark Caverns is a very cool experience and after the initial hike to the entrance, is cool throughout the tour. If you’re looking for water Chico or Norris Hot Springs are good nearby options. Grabbing tubes and floating the Madison River is always family fun (and good people watching!) Go to Livingston and play at the Sacajawea Park for a change of scenery, but first, you have to get a milkshake at Marks In & Out. There are so many choices just a short drive away!