West with children

Jan 12th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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West with children

We are planning a several week road trip from the East Coast to Idaho through South Dakota and Wyoming--Yellowstone, Tetons, Badlands, Jewel/Wind Dave, Devil's Tower, Craters of the Moon, etc. We have made this trip before and are familiar with the National Parks. But this time we are traveling with our 6, 8, 10 yr olds and are looking to break up the drive with some additional kid friendly "Western" activities (even "cheesy" ones). We are looking for places to pan for gold, ride horses, see a rodeo, participate in a powwow, etc. We know Wall Drug and the Corn Palace...what else do you suggest?
marciegm is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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I took my boys (ages 6 & 9) last Spring. Unfortunately, that was on our return trip so we rushed a bit more to get home. But they thought Battle of Little Bighorn was interesting. Do they like to fish? Lots of great fishing in WY & ID.

If you are in the Mt. Rushmore area I highly recommend going to the Crazy Horse monument (if you haven't already). I think it's much more impressive than Rushmore.

What time of the year are you taking the trip?
gardengrl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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We are traveling either late June or late July.
Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse are on the itinerary.

We are undecided about the time tradeoff of traveling into Montana for Little Bighorn, Bighorn Canyon NRA, Nez Perce, etc. We are open to suggestions.
marciegm is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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In Idaho I was in the vicinity of


last summer. It's beautiful, but kind of remote and not really "on the way" to anywhere else.
musicfan is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody www.bbhc.org

Cody Rodeo - My boys were so excited to participate in the calf chasing contest. Make sure your children wear sneakers.

Cody Gunfitters in front of the Hotel Irma

Probably out of your way unless you are going to do the Beartooth Hwy but my kids loved Red Lodge, MT and the following activities:

Bear Creek Downs Pig Races

Beartooth Nature Center

Montana Candy Emporium
wtm003 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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I wouldn't say Battle of Little Big Horn is that interesting that I'd choose that over some sites in WY. We were there early and couldn't drive straight through Yellowstone, so that pushed us up and around to go through MT on our way home. Hence, making a stop at the battle site. I think some of the places the poster above mentioned in WY might be more interesting.

Regarding Rushmore and Crazy Horse, I'd suggesting seeing Rushmore first. You are definitely "closer" to it than with Crazy Horse, but the scale of Crazy Horse is so much bigger I think RM seems skimpy in comparision. While at CH, definitely watch the movie about it. Talk about a life long dedication!

I'm jealous, we had such a great trip. My kids can't wait to go back to Yellowstone.
gardengrl is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Search my user name--we just did a Yellowstone/Jackson trip in july 2012 with 2 kids.
StantonHyde is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Depending on how far you want to venture into the state, in the central area is the town of Thermopolis which prides itself on being the World's Largest Mineral Hot Springs. Lots of small town charm and relaxing activities for the kids and parents. Or even better, venture down to Casper (4hrs from Jackson...about 2 1/2 from Devils Tower) and take the kids on a fishing trip down the Platte River. Not as pricey as in the Jackson/Yellowstone area...but every bit as fun. Cheyenne Frontier Days (held the last full week in July) offers a real "west" experience complete with awesome night shows, rodeos, a carnival, parades, and even a pancake breakfast completed with hay bails and country entertainment! (Cheyenne is in the southeast corner)

Have fun....one you visit...you won't want to leave our wonderful state!
ilovemaui is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Here is the link to StantonHyde's TR . . .

janisj is online now  
Jan 19th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Here is a link to my trip report from June 2010:
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...d-gorgeous.cfm We broke up the trip home with an overnight in Thermopolis, which ilovemaui mentioned, and had fun there.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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Horseback riding in the Tetons.
lkinna is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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We camped with our 2 kids, aged 5 and 8 at the time, in those states 2 summers ago. We loved river rafting out of Redfish/Stanley, Idaho and hunting for natural hot springs throughout the mountains. When you get to your destinations you will likely find info on the local happenings, whether they be rodeos, gold mining, pow wows etc. we tend to travel on the fly, so make our plans when we arrive at our destination. Have fun!
lkinna is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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This is a bit of a shotgun approach but they are the things in our area that come to mind.

Jackson Hole has a "shoot out" every afternoon in the square.

There is a little rodeo most nights just outside of West Yellowstone.

Rexburg Idaho has a new water park that all the kids are talking about.

Our zoo in Idaho Falls is really good and there is a very small amusement park right there, picnic areas and skateboard. We also have a nice rookie league baseball park.

When I was a kid we used to love to go to Virginia City Mt and we really liked Lewis and Clark Caverns.

Chico Hot Springs is a good place to stay were the kids can swim or just go swimming there.
jnjfraz is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 576
Oh and you can rent horses at the Diamond P just across from the rodeo by West Yellowstone.

I'm pretty sure there is also horse rental by Jackson.
jnjfraz is offline  
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