Kids' Educational Adventure in Lewistown and Central Montana

Educational Adventures for Kids

Have someone that loves to learn? Let them explore this corner of the world through these hands-on educational adventures!

Stop 1: Take in a local museum

Central Montana has two fabulous museums: the Central Montana Museum located in Lewistown and the Winifred Museum out in Winifred. If your kiddo enjoys old pictures, books, fossils, memorabilia, and locally made products, take them to the Central Montana Museum. This museum is also located next to an actual Minuteman Missile and a Howitzer in Symmes Park. For antique guns and tools, old cigarette cartons, outdated maps, saddles, soldiers’ uniforms, over 400 salt and pepper shakers, what is claimed to be the largest collection of Tonka toys in the world, and a dinosaur fossil named “Judith," head over to the Winifred Museum.

Both museums are fairly active during the summer months but can be visited in the off-season if you call ahead of time.

  • Winifred Museum | (406) 462-5425
  • Central Montana Museum | Shirley Barrick (406) 535-9289

Stop 2: Enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of the Bear Gulch Pictographs

Bear Gulch is a well-preserved Plains Indian rock art site that displays more than 4,000 pictographs and petroglyphs that date back as early as 1000 CE. The drawings depict different scenes from everyday life, including warriors with shields, birthing rituals, and spirit animals. The tour can be tailored to include a hands-on activity for the kiddos. The roughly 2-hour long tours are hosted by the family that owns the property and are available Wednesday-Sunday throughout the summer months. Although the hike is simple and slow, hats, sunscreen, and hydration are recommended as there is little shade on the tour.

Stop 3: Do some art at the Lewistown Art Center

The Lewistown Art Center (LAC) promotes and provides engaged access to the arts, arts education, and cultural experiences in Central Montana. This includes Hands on Art (a 3-day-a-week after-school program), Youth Programming in the Summer, Adult Social Nights, and cultural events like monthly gallery receptions (First Friday of the month!), Shakespeare in the Park, WinterSongs, and so much more! The Art Center is a hub of activity Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is always free for monthly gallery shows featuring a wide range of Montana and intermountain artists. The Gift Shop, located inside the Art Center features art and hand-crafted giftware from local and regional Montana artists consigning ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, paintings, prints, photography, books, CDs and much more.

Call and see if they have any classes going on while you're in town: (406) 535-8278

Stop 4: Have a picnic out at the Judith Gap Wind Farm

The Judith Gap Wind Energy Center was built in 2005 between Harlowton and Judith Gap. Ninety towers rise 262 feet above the prairie, supporting General Electric turbines which are powered by three 126-foot blades. Each turbine is capable of producing 1,500 kilowatts of power. Expected annual output is 450,000,000 KW hours. All power is sold to Northwestern Energy under long-term contract. There are plans for visitor kiosks to be located at the Wind Farm entrance and at what is to be called Blade Park in Judith Gap. 

Stop 5: Check out some wartime memorabilia

Lewistown is home to the Lewistown Satellite Airfield, one of just four training facilities for B-17 Flying Fortress crew members from the 1940s. This site also included a storage site for the top secret Norden Bombsight. The Norden Bombsight, a synchronous stabilized bomb-aiming device, was considered fundamental in America's precision bombing doctrine. The extant bombsight storage shelter which housed the bombsight is one of a few known buildings of this type remaining in the United States. Walk around the airfield at your leisure and pick up a Tour of Historic Lewistown brochure for more information on the 17 different sites. 

Symmes Park, also located in Lewistown, is home to the Veterans Memorial Walk, featuring a Minuteman Missile, a Howitzer, and several other items. Down the road and across the street from Central Feed Grilling Co. is the Veterans' Memorial Park, which features statues of notable wartime heroes and flags.

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