Billings, Montana is the largest city in the state. There are plenty of indoor things to do in Billings, MT. This includes checking out popular attractions like Yellowstone Art Museum, the Western Heritage Center, Yellowstone County Museum, and The Reef Indoor Water Park. The entire family won’t be bored thanks to this list of fun indoor activities in Billings, MT. But don’t worry, there are outdoor attractions near Billings as well, like Pictograph State Park and the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range.
Speaking of the outdoors, if you’re instead searching for romantic things to do in Billings, MT, enjoy a picnic at Zimmerman Park. Sitting atop the Rimrocks in Billings, MT, it offers scenic views across the city. Listed below are even more amazing things to do in Billings, MT.
1. Pictograph Cave State Park
Pictograph Cave is a designated National Historic Landmark, thanks to both its historic and archaeological significance. Located five miles from Billings, there are over 100 pictographs and rock paintings within Pictograph Cave State Park, which are between 200 and 2000 years old. Visitors can follow an interpretive trail to the state park’s three main caves: Pictograph, Middle and Ghost Caves. The visitor center at Pictograph Cave State Park also has interesting displays, as well as a gift shop.
2. Moss Mansion Museum
Renowned New York architect, Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (who designed the original Plaza Hotel), designed the Moss Mansion for entrepreneur, Preston Boyd Moss and his family in 1903. The 28-room mansion was built with red sandstone from Lake Superior. It still has original features and furnishings, such as servant call buttons, marble fireplaces, and Mrs Moss’ paintings. Today, you can visit the Moss Mansion Museum throughout the year and do either a self-guided and guided tour.
ZooMontana is the state’s only zoo. The wildlife park is home to nearly 100 animals, which live in natural settings that reflect their original habitats. Some of the animals at ZooMontana include an Amur tiger, a wolverine, several different reptiles, and a Sichuan takin. ZooMontana also has a botanical park with a variety of different gardens and features, including a sensory garden and arboretum. ZooMontana is definitely one of the most family friendly things to do in Billings, MT.
4. Yellowstone Art Museum
Yellowstone Art Museum is Montana’s largest contemporary art museum. Established in 1964, the museum’s main building focuses on exhibiting art specifically from Montana and its surrounds. Its permanent collection features over 7000 pieces of historic and contemporary artworks. This includes the largest collection of work by renowned artist and writer, Will James. Yellowstone Art Museum is also home to the Visible Vault, which is an art storage facility where visitors can see art being preserved before their own eyes.
5. Lake Elmo State Park
Located on the city’s outskirts, Lake Elmo State Park is a state park that surrounds a 64-acre reservoir. A visit to Lake Elmo State Park is one of the best things to do in Billings, MT in summer, as you can go swimming and kayaking on the reservoir, and fishing from Roger’s Pier. Lake Elmo State Park also has plenty of green space for picnics, as well as a playground and a 1.4-mile hiking and nature trail.
6. Western Heritage Center
The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum that aims to collect, preserve and share the stories of the people from the Yellowstone River Valley and the Northern High Plains. Its collection includes over 35,000 historic artifacts and photographs. The Western Heritage Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and is housed in the former Parmly Billings Memorial Library. The sandstone building, with twin towers, was built in 1901 and constructed in the Romanesque style.
7. Yellowstone County Museum
Housed inside the historic McCormick Cabin at Billings Logan International Airport, Yellowstone County Museum is one of the city’s best free attractions. It has a similar purpose to the Western Heritage Center, in that its collection features over 23,000 artifacts that reflect the history and diverse cultures of the Yellowstone River Valley and Northern Plains. Some of the things you’ll find at Yellowstone County Museum include a 1901 steam engine train, a Montana baseball exhibit, and a Western room.
8. Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park is a scenic waterfront park located on both Lake Josephine and Yellowstone River. Popular things to do in Riverfront Park include having a picnic on the grass or under one of the park’s three shelters; going for a walk on one of its many nature trails; and fishing and swimming in the Yellowstone River. The Riverfront Park Loop is a 2.9-mile easy loop trail that takes you through the park’s woods and past different waterways.
9. The Rimrocks
The Rimrocks (also known as simply the Rims) are rimrock sandstone formations that stand tall around Billings. Head to Zimmerman Park, which sits atop one of the Rimrocks on the city’s outskirts. It’s home to several hiking and mountain biking trails, rock climbing routes, flat spots perfect for a picnic, and some of the best views in town. Two other places to see/climb/hike the Rimrocks include Phipps Park (known for its awesome Diamond X Disc Golf Course) and Four Dances Natural Area.
10. DanWalt Gardens
DanWalt Gardens calls itself Billings’ best-kept secret. The garden is home to a magnificent and colorful display of flowers, as well as water features, a memorial garden, and statues. DanWalt Gardens is also ever-changing, with different flowers in bloom every two to four weeks. Its website has a What’s in Bloom section, but you can see tulips and daffodils in the spring, the multi-colored hardy hibiscus and hydrangeas in summer, and chrysanthemums come fall.
11. Dehler Park
Dehler Park is the city’s premier multi-use stadium. With a capacity of just over 3000 people, it’s mainly used for baseball games. It’s the home field for the Billings Mustangs in the Pioneer League, and the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets. Local businessman, Jon Dehler purchased the naming rights for the stadium to honor his father, Bill Joe Dehler. So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Billings, MT this summer, head to a Mustangs game at Dehler Park.
12. Yellowstone Cellars & Winery
Yellowstone Cellars & Winery has been recognized as the state’s best winery. The locally owned and operated winery produces wines in Montana, but they are created with premium grapes from family vineyards in Washington State’s Yakima Valley. Stop by their tasting room and deli for free wine tastings, which you can pair with their array of gourmet cheeses, deli meats, crackers and condiments. Their wine list includes a selection of reds and whites, including a popular white summer blend.
13. Reef Indoor Water Park
The state’s largest indoor water park, The Reef Indoor Water Park is located at The Big Horn Resort. It has an interactive playground with a 250-gallon dumping water bucket; two different water slides; a wave pool and an activity pool with basketball hoops; and a hot tub for the adults. Outside the water, there are arcade games and a patio for sunbathing. The Reef Indoor Water Park is another one of the most family-friendly things to do in Billings, MT year-round.
14. Pryor Mountains
The Pryor Mountains are a large and rugged mountain range located south of Billings. The mountain range’s distinctive natural features include mountains made from ancient limestone rock, ice caves, red arid desert, and pine forests. People primarily visit the area to see the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, which is the first nationally designated area to provide a home for over 100 free-roaming wild horses. There are also quite a few hikes to enjoy in the Pryor Mountains.
15. Rimrock Mall
Rimrock Mall is the city’s main indoor shopping mall, and Montana’s largest shopping destination. It’s home to over 100 specialty shops, including renowned retailers like Dillard’s, H&M, JCPenney, Eddie Bauer, and American Eagle. Rimrock Mall also has both full-service restaurants and takeaway food options, including Audrey’s Pizza Oven, Brazilian cuisine at Five on Black, and Billings Freefall Brewery. Along with a 10-screen movie theater, Rimrock Mall is one of the city’s top attractions.
MetraPark is Montana’s premier entertainment and trade center. The multi-facility events venue is home to First Interstate Arena, with a capacity of 12,000 people; Montana Pavilion; Expo Center, a multi-purpose exhibition building; and Grandstands for outdoor events. Some of the events held at MetraPark throughout the year include concerts, conventions, rodeos, sports games, trade and agriculture shows, and horse racing. However, the biggest event on the calendar is the MontanaFair, which happens annually on the second week of August.