Montana Field Trips for Homeschoolers
As the fourth largest state in the U.S., Montana has plenty for families to explore. With a rich history that includes the Lewis and Clark Expedition and dinosaurs, majestic landscapes, and tons of indoor fun and learning opportunities, homeschoolers in the state have endless options for field trip ideas.
This page provides listings for educational field trips in all of Montana’s geographic regions. There is also a free printable map of Montana that can help your student learn about the state’s geography. Be sure to download the Time4Learning lesson tie-ins at the end of this post to help supplement your field trips in Montana. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Treasure state.
Field Trips in Montana’s Glacier Country
- Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, Arlee – Families studying world religions will love exploring this park, botanical garden and Buddhist center whose mission it is to “provide people of all faiths with an opportunity to generate profound merit and reduce global negativity”. In addition to self-led or guided tours, homeschoolers can take part in meditation classes, annual Festival of Peace, and more.
- Glacier National Park, near Columbia Falls – With over one million acres, more than 700 miles of trails, two mountain ranges, over a hundred lakes, and hundreds of species of animals, families will definitely want to make a day trip of this world-famous national park. Homeschoolers have tons of opportunities for learning with guided tours, ranger-led activities and more. Be sure to take the hike to St. Mary Falls.
- Montana Natural History Center, Missoula – Is your child learning about science? Be sure to take a field trip to this center that features exhibits on Montana’s ecosystems, fossils, geology, and more. A homeschool naturalist program is available as well as day camps, discovery days, and more.
- Historical Museum of Fort Missoula, Missoula – Learn about the area’s rich history at this museum that features exhibits, family programs, camps, special events, and more. There are also more than 20 building spread across 32 acres for homeschoolers to explore during either self-led or guided tours.
- Elk Country Visitor Center, Missoula – Elk play an important role in Montana’s ecosystem. Learn more about these mammals at this museum that features interactive displays and also hosts numerous free events for kids throughout the year. An outdoor walking trail allows families to take in the spectacular views and catch a glimpse of the wildlife in the area.
Field Trips in Southwest Montana
- The Berkeley Pit, Butte – Once an open pit copper mine that saw the extraction of millions of tons of copper ore, today, this pit is full of acids, heavy metals, and other dangerous chemicals. Surprisingly, many organisms and bacteria call it home. Families can learn about the pit’s history on educational tours or head to the viewing to stand for a bird’s eye view.
- Ringing Rocks of Montana, Whitehall – Ready to make rock music…literally? Bring a hammer and prepare to be wowed at this location where each huge boulder makes its own unique sound. Why? It is though to be due to the composition and erosion pattern of each rock.
- Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, Whitehall – This educational field trip has so much for families to explore at Montana’s first state park that was also a campsite during the Lewis and Clark expedition. Homeschoolers can join a guided tour of the limestone caverns, get some P.E. in by hiking or biking the trails, and check out the visitor centers and interpretive displays.
Field Trips in Central Montana
- Bear Gulch Pictographs, Forest Grove – Explore the ancient art and even more recent ones from American pioneers at this site that is home to more than 4,000 pictographs (painted images) and petroglyphs (carved images). Families can take guided tours of the park to learn about the images and those made their homes here.
- Cathedral of Saint Helena, Helena – Whether your child is studying religion or architecture, be sure to make a stop at this cathedral that is modeled after a well-known church in Austria. The cathedral was built in 1908 and features spires, domed ceilings, stained glass windows and more. Guided tours are available for groups.
- Children’s Museum of Montana, Great Falls – Many children learn best using a hands-on approach. If that’s the case for your homeschooler, you won’t want to miss out on the museum where all the exhibits are fully interactive and include Flight Zone, Reading Junction, The Tooth Booth, and more.
Field Trips in Montana’s Yellowstone Country Region
- American Computer & Robotics Museum, Bozeman – Founded in 1990, students can learn about the history of computers at this museum whose mission it is to “collect, preserve, interpret, and display the artifacts and history of the information age.” Visitors can view items like analog computers, robots, calculators, and learn about artificial intelligence, the role women played in computing, and more.
- Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail – Not only does this art center hosts classical music concerts at three venues spread among its 12,000 acres, but it’s also home to a sculpture collection that families can tour by van, by foot, or on bike. There are also geo-paleo tours that allow families to learn about the area’s geological features and history.
- Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, Yellowstone – Named for the two animal species that call it home, this center’s main goal is to “help visitors gain knowledge about grizzlies and wolves through educational programs.” Families can make a day trip of this wildlife park that features exhibits, a theater, various children’s programs, and more.
- Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman – There is so much to learn at this museum: science, history, art, and more. Established in 1957, the museum is home to one of the largest collections of dinosaur remains in the U.S. Families can explore the Siebel Dinosaur Complex to see the enormous fossils, learn about Yellowstone National Park, visit the Living History Farm, watch a show at the planetarium, take part in a number of educational programs, and more.
Field Trips in Montana’s Missouri River Country Region
- Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, near Malta – Established in 1936, this 15,000-acre refuge is home to numerous migratory birds, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Families can take self-guided tours, participate in ranger-led programs, or a15-mile, self-guided auto tour.
- Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Glasgow – Once the most important fur trade post in the area for numerous Indian tribes, today, this fort allows visitors to learn about its rich past through a number of special events, activities, and programs.
- Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station, Malta – Part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, homeschoolers can explore numerous dinosaur exhibits and view rare prehistoric fossils found in the area. Children can take part in various educational program such as the Junior Paleontologist and Dino Dig.
- Fort Peck Interpretive Center and Museum, Fort Peck – Homeschoolers can enhance their at-home lessons by exploring the numerous exhibits at this center that is home to a life-sized t-rex discovered in the area in the late 1990s. Interpretive programs, hands-on activities, and nature walks are also available for families to take part in.
Field Trips in Southeast Montana
- Medicine Rocks State Park, Ekalaka – In addition to its unique rock formations, this 330-acre park has a rich past that includes Native American tribes who either gathered or lived in the area. Families can hike, bike, have a picnic, and observe wildlife.
- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Crow Agency – Learning social studies takes on new meaning when families visit this monument where the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place in 1876 between numerous Native American tribes and the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry. Families can explore the visitor center and museum, listen in on ranger talks, take a self-guided tour of the battlefields, and walk along the graves at Custer National Cemetery.
- Carter County Museum, Ekalaka – Dinosaur enthusiasts will love all that there is to see and do at this museum that was established in1936. Students will be awed by the various dinosaur skeletons on display as well as exhibits on the area’s history and people. Families can take part in the annual Dino Shindig held every summer that features paleontologists, activities for kids, field expeditions, and more.
- Wise Wonders Children’s Museum, Billings – This STEM-focused museum has a mission to “engage curious, creative, and scientific minds in a playful learning environment for all children and families.” Homeschoolers can learn with all the interactive, hands-on exhibits, special events, and educational programs.
MT Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.
Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experience at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.
Makoshika State Park is incredibly inportant to Montana because of all the geology and paleontology. Please add it to your MT field trips sheet. I am shocked you added the medicine rocks and not Makoshika.
Hi Vanessa! Thanks so much for making sure our readers know about that one! 🙂