By LINDA McCARTHY
I am amazed at how many free and low cost things there are to do with kids in Missoula, Montana. This has really been emphasized for me since our family returned recently from Palmerston North, New Zealand, where we lived for the last six months. Nearly every event and activity – minus playing in the parks – charged an admission fee that oftentimes was financially prohibitive.
Returning to Missoula, our family has a much greater appreciation for all the different family-friendly things we can do in Missoula which are no cost or low cost activities. I am also incredibly impressed with how many admission-free festivals and events are held in Missoula.
My 11-year-old daughter Madelyn and I have created the following list of fun things for kids and families to do in Missoula, Montana that are either free or cost just a few dollars to do. We suggest you spend some time this summer checking these fun things off your To Do List. Additions to the list are always welcome.
30+ Things for Kids to Do in Missoula, Montana
- Attend a camp, class or drop in at Mismo Gymnastics
- Attend a City Band Concert at Bonner Park on Wednesday nights
- Attend a play at Missoula Children’s Theatre
- Attend one or all of Missoula’s four Farmers’ Markets
- Attend or be in one of Missoula’s 10 Parades
- Attend some or all of Missoula’s 30 annual events at Caras Park
- Bike, skate, walk or scoot on the Riverfront Trail System
- Go Bowling and Gaming at Westside Lanes
- Go Ice Skating at Glacier Ice Rink
- Go to a Missoula Osprey Baseball Game
- Go to the Western Montana Fair
- Have a meal at Out to Lunch or Downtown ToNight in Caras Park
- Hike the “L”
- Hike the “M”
- Learn about science at SpectrUM Science Discovery Center
- Paint a pot and more at The Clay Studio
- Play at Dragon’s Hallow Playground
- Play at Kiwanis Park or McCormick Park or Westside Park
- Play at the Children’s Museum Missoula
- Play on the Train and more at Southgate Mall
- Play or Walk the Trail at Fort Missoula or Maclay Flat
- Read and more at the Missoula Public Library
- Ride a skateboard or skates at MoBASH
- Ride the ponies at A Carousel for Missoula
- Swim at Splash Montana or Currents Indoor Water Park
- Take a class or drop in at Bitterroot Gymnastics
- Take a class or visit the Montana Natural History Center
- Take a class or visit Zootown Arts
- Take a stroll on The University of Montana campus
- Visit the Historical Museum and More at Fort Missoula
- Visit the Missoula Art Museum
- Visit the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- Walk the dog at Jacob’s Island Park
- Watch a Movie at Missoula Outdoor Cinema
For other ideas about things to do in Missoula this summer, check out Missoula Attractions, Things to Do, Outdoor Recreation, Explore It, Splash Montana, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Missoula Parks and Recreation, A Carousel for Missoula, Dragon Hollow, and Missoula Children and Nature Network.
Linda McCarthy has been a Missoula resident for more than 25 years and serves as Executive Director of the Missoula Downtown Association, a private non-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and enhancing the vitality of Downtown Missoula. She and her family live in the Farviews Neighborhood, and her husband, Tom Gallagher, is a computer science professor at UM’s Missoula College. Linda holds two degrees from The University of Montana and was the 2008 Montana Alumni of the Year.