They don’t call Montana “The Treasure State” for nothing! It is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to see and do in the Capital of Helena!
No trip to Montana is complete without enjoying the great outdoors. There are plenty of places to hike, but we know that’s not always easy with small kids. Nestled half way between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks sits the Gates of the Mountains and a boat tour of this area is beautiful experience that will be a joy for adults, seniors, and kids alike. Bring some binoculars to better see the wildlife and don’t forget the camera!
For a fun way to see the city of Helena consider a ride through town on a train with Last Chance Tours! This is a great tour for parents as you will learn a lot of history and see some beautiful architecture, but the kids will enjoy the ride as well. As part of the tour you will get to see Reeder’s Alley, a charming restored miners’ village from gold rush days.
At the Helena town center you will find the Great Northern Carousel. This famous carousel features all animals native to Montana like carefully carved buffalo, trout, otters, bobcats, mountain goats and more. They also have a fabulous ice cream shop! You will also want to follow the Lewis and Clark history trail and learn some history!
ExplorationWorks! Science Center is a really nice children’s museum. Kids from toddlers to preteens will have a good time in this interactive playland. They often have temporary exhibits, my daughter and I really enjoyed the Women in Space exhibit which was visiting this summer. The Science Café was our favorite exhibit and it has nothing to do with food. It is very hands-on and features things such as a downhill race, garden smells, a checkerboard mirror, and much more.
If your family likes to swim like ours and you are visiting Helena in the summer, you’ll want to visit Spring Meadow Lake State Park. This is seriously one of the most beautiful lakes ever. There is a swimming beach, a dock with rails for fishing, hiking, and kayaking. In the winter they have ice fishing on the lake, but I have a fear of frozen lakes so you won’t find me ice fishing.
Steve’s Café is a great place to grab breakfast! It feels like a small town USA kind of place, is clean, and the Huckleberry stuffed French Toast is to die for! You might also want to check out Great Ape Crepes, if for no other reason that it is super kid friendly with a nice play area that is set off just the right distance from the dining area. Why can’t all restaurants have a children’s play area? The menu offers about 20 crepe options, sides, soups, salads, wine, beer, smoothies, and more.