After Game Activities
If you only have a few hours…
With curious flavors such as Mango Habanero Sorbet, Irish Whiskey, Pumpkin, Black Licorice and Cardamom, Big Dipper is well-known for their adventurous take on ice cream. Finish your afternoon adventure with a stop in to this downtown store.
Check Out The Historical Museum At Fort Missoula
The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula was established by community effort in 1975 to save what remained of original Fort Missoula, and to interpret the area’s history. The museum is located on 32 acres in the heart of historic Fort Missoula. Its collection includes 24,000 objects including 13 historic structures. As a major historical museum in Western Montana, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula provides a valuable educational and cultural experience for the community and entire region. The museum’s indoor galleries contain both permanent and changing exhibits that deal with topics of interest from the period of early exploration to modern times.
Building 322, Fort Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Summer (Memorial Day-Labor Day):
Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Winter (Labor Day-Memorial Day):
Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Everyone loves to bowl! Slip into a sweet pair of retro bowling shoes and pick out your favorite colored ball to hurl down the lane. If the kids are tired halfway through the second game, send them off to the video-games and pool tables and when everyone’s hungry order a large plate of nachos!
In Missoula we have lots of choices for the shopper in all of us. Visit our downtown shops with lots of uniquely Missoula products, or spend a day in Southgate Mall, where you can find all the contemporary looks at great prices. Remember Montana has no sales tax!
Started with a local cabinet-makers dream and made a reality by thousands of volunteers and countless hours, A Carousel for Missoula is the largest, fully hand-carved carousel built within the last 60 years, and the antique frame was last in operation on Ponderosa Ranch where “Bonanza” was filmed. Kids and adults alike will be thrilled when they mount up and speed round and round on these beautiful stallions!
The Caras Park Pavilion, located in the heart of Downtown Missoula on the Clark Fork River, is available for public and private events. The Pavilion can accommodate events ranging from a dinner party for 150 to a large concert for 3,500. It’s a perfect location for festivals and fundraisers, weddings and reunions.
Caras Park has been the site of many exciting events such as:
- Out to Lunch
- Downtown ToNight
- Garden City River Rod
- International Wildlife Film Festival WildFest
- Parks & Recreation Kids Fest
- YMCA Riverbank Run
- First Night Missoula
- Garden City BrewFest
- Hemp Fest
- Celtic Fest
- Concerts by Jewel, Chris Isaak, Los Lobos, Santana, Ziggy Marley and B.B. King
More info on Caras Park is located on the Missoula Downtown Association’s website.
Get Cultured At Downtown Art Galleries
From the Missoula Art Museum (MAM) to the Monte Dolack gallery, Missoula has an eclectic group of artists. Enjoy fine wine and great conversation during First Friday Gallery Night, an open-gallery event that takes place the first Friday of every month in the downtown area, bringing together artists, gallery owners and art enthusiasts for a night out on the town!
Reasons To Stay An Extra Day
Missoula was blessed with two new water parks in the last few years. Currents Aquatic Center, at McCormick Park, is an indoor facility complete with water slides, hot tub and spray features. Splash Montana, in the southeastern corner of town, is an open-air water adventureland open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Three slides, zero-depth entry pools, a log walk and many other fun features will keep the kids splashing all day!
Not much is cooler than getting a chance to pretend you’re a smokejumper! Tour the depot, climb into a 1930’s replica lookout tower, check out an opened parachute – all presented by a real smokejumper! Missoula is home to the largest operating base in the nation, and has been an integral part of the invention of jumping out of planes to fight forest fires. Located near the Johnson Bell Airport just a few miles west of town, the area is abuzz with aircraft flying in and out daily.
Drive Through The National Bison Range
The National Bison Range is home to about 400 American Bison and many other wildlife including elk, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, coyotes, black bears and over 200 species of birds, including Eagles. Founded in 1908, this 18,000 plus acre refuge is one of the oldest in the nation. Stop at the Visitor’s Center on your way in and check out the interactive map showing where you can expect to see these majestic beasts on that particular day. Get some great advice and facts from the knowledgeable park rangers and buy a map or book in the book store. After you’ve learned about the history of the bison, head out on one of two driving loops or four walking trails. Stay on the appointed routes and do not approach the bison, they are wild animals after all!
58355 Bison Range Road
Moiese, MT 59824
Visitor Center 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; closed weekends and holidays.
Winter Drive open daily from 7 a.m. to dark (weather and road conditions permitting)
Visitor Center open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and holidays.
Red Sleep Mountain Drive open daily 7 a.m.; start drive by 6 p.m. to finish before dark
Follow The Lewis & Clark Trail
Follow in the footsteps of the early explorers along US Highway 12 from Missoula, MT to Lewiston, ID. As you follow the same route that Lewis and Clark traveled, marvel in the rugged wilderness that the Corps of Discovery had to hack their way through. Consisting of thick timber and steep mountain climbs, this was by far the most difficult passage for the Corps. Stop for a picnic at Traveler’s Rest where the expedition camped from September 9 through 12, 1805 and again on their return trip June 30 through July 3, 1806. There is an interpretive sign near the junction of highways 93 and 12. Soak your bones at Lolo Hot Springs where the group camped and bathed on September 13, 1805 and June 29, 1806 and check out Howard Creek, just 18.5 miles west of Lolo on Highway 12. A half mile loop includes part of the original trail. There are interpretive signs about the expedition and Nez Perce and Salish tribes.
6550 Mormon Creek Rd
Lolo, MT 59847
Explore Garnet Ghost Town
Montana’s most intact ghost town was never built to last. Garnet endures along with the spirits of the rugged gold miners and their families who carved a community in the heart of the Garnet Mountain Range at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1898, some 1,000 people knew Garnet as home.
Garnet is open year-round. Wheeled vehicles are allowed on the road from May 1 through January 1. Please note that visitors may want to park in the designated parking lots and ski or snowmobile to the town instead of driving on snow-bound roads in late fall. In winter, the tour to Garnet is a popular snowmobile and cross-country ski trip.
Visitor Center Hours:
Summer: daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter: weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$3 a person over 12 years of age. The BLM uses entrance fees to help protect, preserve and interpret Garnet Ghost Town.
From MT Hwy 200, turn south at the Garnet Range Road located between mile markers 22 and 23, about 30 miles east of Missoula.
Visit A State Park
Along the Clark Fork River, seven miles west of Missoula on Mullan Road. Historical area where Gov. Isaac Stevens and members of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes signed the Hellgate Treaty of 1855. Picnic and recreational site. No fee. Day use only.
Directions: Council Grove State Park is located from Missoula on I-90 at Reserve Street Exit, 2 miles south on Reserve Street, then 10 miles west on Mullan Road.
This five-acre, spring-fed lake has a maximum depth of about ten feet. A variety of fish-sunfish, bass and bullhead provide fair catches during the summer. Frenchtown Pond is also a favorite place to practice boardsailing, kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling.
Directions: Frenchtown Pond State Park is located 15 miles west of Missoula on I-90 at Frenchtown exit, then 1 mile west on Frontage Road.
This area has one-half mile of Clark Fork frontage that provides fishing and floating opportunities. Boating is carry-in only. There are 28 developed campsites and tipi rentals. There is a one-hour walking nature trail through a thick canopy of cottonwoods.
Directions: Beavertail Hill State Park is located 26 miles southeast of Missoula on I-90 to Beavertail Hill exit #130, then .25 mile south on county road.
Located at a historic and contemporary crossroads, Travelers’ Rest State Park is a place where visitors can say with certainty that they are walking in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. The Park is at the core of a campsite used by the Corps of Discovery from September 9 – 11, 1805 and again from June 30 – July 3, 1806.
Directions:The park is located just south of Lolo, 1/2 mile west of Lolo on US Highway 12.