Billings Montana is full of really amazing summer activities for those who love to get outdoors and be active. Montana has some of the best fishing, hunting, hiking, and biking anywhere in the United States. But, Billings also offers an extensive list of urban activities for those who prefer it. Billings has a very cool, laid back culture that offers tons of local food, brew, and friendly residents. Whether you are a local or just traveling through, this list should give you an idea of the best ways to spend your time this summer if you are in Billings. Please keep in mind that these are not in order of importance, and by no means is this ALL there is to do in Billings!
This park holds winter hours but is a much more enjoyable trip through the summer months. The park, which is outside of Billings, is home to Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost caves. The caves allow visitors to explore an ancient past by viewing rock paintings called “pictographs” left behind on the cave walls by prehistoric hunters. The park also holds classes, walks, and many other events throughout the summer that can be viewed on the parks website.
This all-new event at the Yellowstone Art Museum offers free music, art, and drink at the beginning and end of the month in summer months. The event allows patrons to browse current exhibitions at the museum while also enjoying local music and receiving one free* drink ticket for beer or wine. Check out the museum website for a full calendar of dates for the summer season.
This famous sandstone monument allows visitors to step back in time 200 years to when Lewis and Clark made their way through the Yellowstone Valley on their way back to the United States in 1806. The face of the butte bears the carved out name of Captain William Clark, one of the last remaining physical evidences left by the courageous group. The monument allows visitors through the summer for a small fee. Check out this pillar and learn about the fascinating history of the monument.
The weekend farmers market in Billings is a great chance to celebrate local food and art as well as get some fresh air on a Saturday morning in the city. The market offers a variety of fresh seasonal food including; jams and jellies, local meat, baked goods, and a wide choice of produce. Head downtown on Saturday morning in the summer to check it out and stop by Stella’s for some breakfast while you’re downtown!
This is a must see event for anyone in or around the Billings area in summertime. The BMC’s Great American Championship Hill Climb is truly an epic event featuring a gnarly vertical mountain climb with the winner taking a purse worth $30,000 dollars. The hill climb brings professional motorcyclist from around the world. This is a three-day event, so you have time to prepare yourself to witness the “Bentonite Nightmare”.
The Mustangs, a minor league baseball team, draws crowds at Dehler Park in the summers where patrons can watch a great game and eat some all American ballpark food. While the Mustangs have produced many major league players, these games are also known for the “beer batter”. Each game one player is designated as “beer batter” and if that player gets a hit, ball-park fans can buy 4 beers for 10 dollars. Many eager beer drinkers stand by the stairs in anticipation.
This summertime street party features new musicians every Thursday in downtown Billings. The street party combines stores, breweries, and restaurants to offer something for everyone. Alive after 5 features concerts every Thursday in the summertime. This event starts at Montana Brewing Company, which on its own makes it worth your time.
Catch a show at the Alberta Bair Theatre this summer in Billings. This venue consistently brings big name acts to the Intermountain West and provides entertainment for every type of audience. The Alberta Bair features classical and popular music, country music and jazz, opera, ballet, modern and ethnic dance, comedy, drama and musical theater. The Bair is also home to a Montana Renaissance festival in the summer for those of us who prefer whimsy and roasted turkey legs to the more conventional summer activities.
This extremely unique drive-in movie theatre shows movies on both sides of the screen and allows movie lovers to step back in time and watch a movie under the Montana Stars. This theatre doesn’t just provide one source of entertainment though, there are several amusement park rides and of course plenty of snacks. Take your honey to this unique drive-in which is open 7 days a week in the summer.
10. Float the Yellowstone River
Bring some tubes, friends, and sunscreen to float the Yellowstone River from Billings. Riverfront Park to Josephine Park, are the areas you can start and finish your journey down the last free flowing river in the lower 48 states. Known for its scenic beauty and fantastic fly-fishing, the local’s love floating the Yellowstone during the summer months, once the water has warmed to a tolerable refreshing temperature.
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Photo Courtesy of Ron Reiring