July 21 2011 by Amy Graff
We spend the sixth day of our trip exploring Bozeman. Here are the highlights:
1) Best Western Plus GranTree InnThis hotel is right off the freeway and only a couple minutes from downtown. The staff are friendly and helpful and the rooms comfortable and clean. And the indoor pool is heated--and super fun. At least that's what my kids would tell you. They spent the entire morning making up synchronized swimming dances in the pool.
2) Sola CafeThis cafe, across from the Museum of the Rockies, is the place to eat lunch on a sunny afternoon. The patio is spacious and filled with several tables--and the food's good, too. Everything here is made from scratch with Montana grown fruits and vegetables. At the counter, you can choose from an array salads, soups, and panini sandwiches. We try a Yellowstone salad made with grass-fed steak and a vegetarian chili served with corn bread.
3) Museum of the RockiesA stegosaurus skull the size of a Ford Fiesta. A frog that glides through the air. Indian arrowheads and weapons. There's so much cool stuff in this museum.
We start in the hands-on kids' area that teaches little ones about Yellowstone. You get to fish for salmon in a stream, identify flowers, camp out in a tent, and even watch Old Faithful blow.
My kids are also intrigued by a special exhibit on frogs, where we learn all about the nearly extinct Golden Frogs of Costa Rica and try to find camouflaged frogs that look exactly like leaves hidden in a large tank.
But our most favorite part of the museum is the dinosaur hall where you'll find the world's largest Tyrannosaurus rex skull in the world and most complete collection of stegosaurus specimens. The kids even get to touch a real dinosaur bone.
The dinosaur program here is overseen by paleontologist Jack Horner, who was the inspiration for the Jurassic Park character, Dr. Alan Grant.
4) Living History FarmThe Tinsley House is part of the Museum of the Rockies and offers the chance to step back in time to 1890 and experience the daily life of homesteaders. Volunteers wear long dresses and bonnets and on the day we visit, they're knitting and baking bread in the kitchen. My daughter was excited about learning how to use a loom.