Winter is a favorite with the kids, it’s the time of year where you can play in the snow and warm up with hot cocoa. Bozeman is the perfect place to be a kid in the winter because there is a lot to do AND it lasts so long!
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. It is steep and gets a lot of use which can make it icy, but also a lot of fun for the thrill-seekers. The hill at the 100-Acre Regional Park has quickly become the sled hill of the northwest part of town. 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 will have two ice rinks open this winter. Southside Park and Beall Park will both hopefully be open around Christmas time. Bogert is usually the third city rink but will be closed as work continues on the pavilion. 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. 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 (remember last February?!) 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. They also do birthday parties, a great choice for a winter birthday!
Photo credit Jump Time Bozeman
6. Arts on Fire
Another great indoor activity for the kids in Bozeman is Arts on Fire. They are 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 ones right in Hyalite Canyon. Click here for some of our favorite winter hikes.
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, as is the fantastic children’s area. A couple of the Planetarium shows are geared towards kids, which is always fun. 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. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, this winter is a good time!
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 6:15-8:30 pm, Rec swim from 1-4 pm on Saturdays and 11:15-3 pm on Sundays.
10. Go to the Movies
It’s hard to go wrong going to the movies in the winter. However, it doesn’t have to be taking the kids to the movie theater at the mall. The Ellen Theater downtown features family movies on many Sunday afternoons and don’t forget about the Procrastinator Theater! This MSU student-operated theater is located in the SUB and they offer a variety of movies, including ones for kids. And, you can’t beat the price at $2 per movie!