Top 10 Bozeman Spring Break Staycation Ideas
by Angie Ripple
March is Spring Break for Bozeman’s elementary, middle, high school and MSU students [March 16-24]. If you are staying home this spring break and are looking for some fun stuff to do around town, here is a quick list of staycation ideas for any Bozemanite:
Take a Soak
The Bozeman area is home to amazing hot springs! Take a drive to the Paradise Valley for a soak in Bozeman’s Choice developed hot springs - Chico Hot Springs. Chico is nestled at the foot of beautiful and quiet mountains. The restaurants and bar will keep you comfortable, and the outdoor pools are hot and cozy. Make your reservations for next spring break now!
Just down the road from Chico is our area’s newest hot springs, Yellowstone Hot Springs. Open in early March 2019, YHS is located just minutes away from Yellowstone Park’s north entrance (Gardiner), and is “the perfect point of relaxation in your Montana adventure!”
Another quick road trip in the opposite direction to Norris Hot Springs will allow a soak in the “Water of the Gods.” The small, wooden, outdoor pool is hot, hot, hot. Immerse yourself in nature at Norris; have a homegrown meal and regional drink in the pool to top it off.
Bozeman Hot Springs in Four Corners is an obvious choice for locals. The major renovation in 2016 added three large outdoor pools, seating areas, a stage, and accenting fire walls. Catch some music from the outdoor stage several nights a week, enjoy the sauna, indoor pools and even get some reps in at the gym if you’d like.
Go to the Theater
Of course you can take in a movie at Bozeman’s Regal Cinema, but Bozeman has a diverse group of theater companies offering a wide variety of live theater productions throughout the year as well. Check out Verge Theater, Kaleidoscope Youth Theater, The Ellen Theatre, Black Box Theatre, Open Door Theatre, Bozeman Actors Theatre and Shakespeare in the Parks for funny, entertaining, thrilling and expert theater. The Emerson, Willson Auditorium and Warren Miller Performing Arts Center are also venues that host local school and travelling productions. bozemanmagazine.com/events has the scoop for each venue.
GO Skiing OR SNOWBOARDING
An obvious choice for local spring breakers is a trip to home mountains Bridger Bowl and/or Big Sky Resort. Spring break is a great chance to take a day trip to resorts a little further from home: Red Lodge Mountain Resort, Showdown, Discovery, Great Divide or Grand Targhee. March is a great time to get some spring turns in!
GO ICE Skating
Both Haynes Pavilion and Ressler Motors Ice Rink at the Ice Barn [901 N. Black Ave] will be open during spring break with many skating options. Try out the Adult Puck Lunch, All Ages Stick and Puck, Public Skating (No Sticks & Pucks), or take in an adult league game. For a full schedule of events go to: https://www.bozemanhockey.org/schedules. The City of Bozeman also has three outdoor ice rinks skaters can enjoy any time for free (Beall Park, Southside Park, & Bogert Park).
Go For a Hike
If the snow has cleared enough to make hiking comfortable, the Top 10 Hikes Around Bozeman list on our website will get you on the trail. From 1.6 to many, many miles, we’ve got you covered. Just starting out with an easy meander? Hit the Gallagator Trail - easy to access and a cool way to check out Bozeman. Drinking Horse Trail & the M Trail are both a great way to get a good look at Bozeman from above and not too difficult to hike. South Cottonwood Creek Trail is great for hikers and mountain bikers. Hiking is always free and refreshing!
Visit a Museum
Bozeman has one of the greatest museums in the Rocky Mountains, the Museum of the Rockies [600 W Kagy Blvd]. MOR’s newest exhibits Childhood Classics Exhibition: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustrations and Mindbender Mansion will delight audiences young and old. The Childhood Classics exhibition explores the art and history of popular children’s books from 20th-century pen and ink to modern digital creations. Mindbender Mansion is full of brainteasers, puzzles, and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brain power and problem-solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers.
The Gallatin History Museum [317 W Main St] is a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon learning about the history of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. From gallows to jail cells (the Museum used to be Bozeman’s jail!), local beer, wedding dresses and forts, you’ll learn a lot here! Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Children’s Museum of Bozeman [202 S Willson Ave] will keep the kids entertained for hours, and teach them something too. The bubble bar is a favorite for young and old. Science, art and fun are all wrapped into one fun place at the CMB. Closed Sundays.
The American Computer & Robotics Museum [2023 Stadium Drive] is the world’s oldest continually operating museum dedicated to the history of the information Age. You will find stuff here you never thought you’d see again! Closed on Mondays.
Save a little dough and check out an Explore Bozeman pass with your library card at www.bozemanlibrary.org or visit the Information Desk at the Bozeman Public Library. Must be 18+ and have less than $10 in library fines.
Visit a Brewery
Bozeman is home to nine breweries, two distilleries; several others are just outside of town. Many of our local breweries are family friendly and have space specifically to keep kids entertained. All that offer food are a great fit for lunch or dinner with the family. Several area breweries have a pint night on Mondays where a portion of sales go to a local non-profit. Bozeman Magazine put out a Brewery, Bar and Distillery Guide in late 2018 with a map and ads from great places to visit. Grab one at the Museum of the Rockies, Chamber of Commerce or another local distribution site. www.bozemanmagazine.com also has all tasting rooms listed in our Food Scene section. Please do not drink and drive!
Eat Out at a New Restaurant
Whether it’s new to town or new to you and your family, going out to eat at a Bozeman restaurant can be a great way to get out of doing dishes and enjoy something different. Bozeman boasts 30 styles of food in hundreds of restaurants, all of which are listed on bozemanmagazine.com/restaurants where you can search by food type or accomodations such as wi-fi and outdoor dining. Getting out to share a meal can be a real adventure!
SEE Live Music
If you can leave the kids at home, there are a lot of options for live music in Bozeman during spring break. Many Bozeman music events begin at 8 p.m. or later. Check the Greater Yellowstone Events Calendar at bozemanmagazine.com for the most complete list of local music events; you can even select Music and narrow down the listings to only show music-related events. Keep an eye out for events at the Filling Station, American Legion, Rialto Theatre and all local hot springs this spring break.
Yellowstone National Park is a snowy wonderland in mid-March. The only open road in the park is between the northeast entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs, which is open to regular traffic all year. Snow removal will be happening in mid-late March, preparing for roads to reopen on April 19, 2019. It is important to plan ahead for a trip to YNP this time of year; check road conditions and closures via the park’s website. For much of the winter, snowcoaches and snowmobiles can be booked for guided tours. Entering on skis or snowshoes is a great option for a quiet day in the park. This will be a trip to remember!
Whatever you choose to spend your time doing this Spring Break, I hope it’s awesome, and be sure to check out our Events Calendar with all the up-to-date info. for fun events anytime: bozemanmagazine.com/events/calendar