It’s the start of the week once again. And even if we’ve just started the week, we’re sure most of you are already looking forward to the weekends for some relaxation. Have you plotted a new travel destination yet? Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait long for the weekend as there are a lot of attractions around us that you can visit even just for some time this weekday. Montana alone has a number of sites for those looking even for just a short trip.

You may have known Montana as a state rich in deposits of minerals, including gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, and oil. But did you know that it is also rich in museums, particularly paleontology museums? In fact, it has an unusual number of it filled with discoveries from within the state. And if you’re looking for a destination for a quick getaway this weekday, why not choose Montana?

Because of the uncommon number of museums in Montana, it can be a bit overwhelming, though. But if you’re going to ask us, one of the first museums in Montana that you need to see is the Museum of the Rockies. It has a lot of things to offer – from learning to entertainment, it’s definitely one of the museums that should be on top of your travel list.

But what’s in it that makes it one of our highly-suggested museums? Let’ take a closer look at the Museum of the Rockies.

Inside Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies has a lot in store to offer its visitors. And this makes it one of the top reasons why it’s a must-visit spot in Montana. In case you’re planning for a visit to this museum, here are some of the things you can find inside that we’re sure will make you say yes to it all the more.

1Exhibitions

A peek inside the Museum of the Rockies’ Genghis Khan exhibit (Source)

The museum houses a lot of exhibitions. And these exhibitions frequently change, which makes it unique. Because of this, you’re assured that your every visit is different. Of course, you can also expect that with its changing exhibitions, you can bet that you will learn different things every time you visit as the exhibitions the museum features are of different fields – from history to food. In case you’re wondering what kind of exhibitions you can see at the museum, here are some of the museum’s past exhibitions.

  • Light on the Land: The Photographs of Albert Schlechten – this exhibition let people know how Albert Schlechten see the state through his eyes as it featured his series of dramatic and beautiful landscape photos that expressed his love for the Southwest Montana and Yellowstone National Park.
  • Amazing Butterflies – this one is an exhibition filled with adventures as it educates people on butterflies – from being a caterpillar to becoming the one of the most extraordinary creatures on earth.
  • Mindbender Mansion – a fun exhibit that visitors of all ages enjoyed as it featured cool and unique puzzles, brainteaser, and interactive challenges that tested everyone’s brain power and problem-solving skills.
  • The Real Genhis Khan – an exhibit that tells unknown stories of Genghis Kahn. But it’s not just about him. The exhibition also told some stories about the history.
  • Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustration – an exhibit that celebrated children’s books, as well as its illustrators.
  • Into the Arctic – here, people saw the works of Canadian painter Cory Trepanier that features the world’s most spectacular yet fragile landscapes.
  • Polar Obsession – an exhibit that featured striking images of the earth’s polar regions from the perspective of National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen.
  • Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World – an exhibition about the guitar. But it’s not just about the parts that make it but it also talked about the science, sound, and the history behind it, as well as the cultural impact that it has done around the world.
  • Julius Caesar: Military genius and Military Machines – an exhibition that took people back in Julius Caesar’s time to get to know him, his time, and the clever technologies of the Roma Empire.
  • Memory on Glass: D.F. Barry on Standing Rock, 1878-1891 – an exhibit that featured David F. Barry’s photos of native American men, women, frontier, scouts, soldiers, trappers, missionaries, and other pioneers.
  • Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science – here, people were taught about the ecosystems. It also helped them understand the important issues that indigenous cultures face and more.
  • Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World – complete with interactive displays, artifacts, and even live crocodiles, this exhibition was one of the most engaging and entertaining experience that the museum offered that even the adults loved too.
  • Oplontis exhibitions – a series of exhibitions that told stories about Oplontis with lecture series.
  • National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photos – as its name suggests, this exhibition was about 50 of the most striking photos that photographers of National geographic has ever captured on film.
  • Across the Andes – this one, on the other hand, showcased the beautiful photos captured by Deia Schlosberg and Gregg Treinish as they trekked the Andes Mountains (hence the exhibit name) from the equator south.
  • The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons – cartoon lovers, as well as fans of Warner Bros. cartoons got a peek of how the animation studio produced its cartoons.
  • Chocolate: The Exhibition – an exhibition that engaged the visitors’ senses and revealed facets of the favorite sweet treat. From the plant where it came from to the science involving chocolate, this exhibition didn’t just entertain chocolate lovers but also filled them with sweet knowledge.

The learning never stops with just these exhibitions. Since the Museum of the Rockies’ exhibitions frequently changes, there’s still plenty of them to come. But as for now, here are some of the exhibitions that the museum has revealed that you can look forward to.

  • Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly – as its name suggests, this exhibition will feature reptiles. And aside from live reptiles on exhibit, you will also be guided by an experienced zoo professional.
  • Big Mike – nope, this exhibit is not about someone named Mike. Rather, a T. rex discovered in 1988. However, what you will see is its replica made with bronze. Still, you will surely learn more about it during your visit.
  • Siebel Dinosaur Complex – Speaking of dinosaurs, you can also see more of them in this exhibition. Apart from that, you can also get to see fossil operators at work.
  • Yellowstone Exhibits – you can also look forward to exhibits about the Yellowstone country. Here, you will be taken to a trip back in time through the artifacts and photos of the past.

As the pandemic ends, these exhibitions are one of the things to look forward to in this museum.

2Planetarium

Inside Museum of the Rockies’ Taylor Planetarium (Source)

The Museum of the Rockies also houses a planetarium. Here, you can get more knowledge about what’s outside our universe and more. See the world and what’s beyond it through the Museum of the Rockies’ Taylor Planetarium’s 4K digital projection on a 40-foot dome. Here’s a peek to the previous planetarium shows.

  • The Big Sky Tonight – an original Museum of the Rockies production that includes live narration, this film investigates winter and spring stars, constellations, planets, as well as other deep space objects. You can take a look at galaxies and asterisms, as well as supernova remnants and planets.
  • The Little Star that Could – this film is more dedicated for the kids in the audience. It tells a story about an average yellow star on a search for planets of his own to warm and protect. As he searches for a planet, he encounters other stars and learns what makes each of them special. Its combines a fictional story with science which will not just entertain kids but will also make them learn more about stars.
  • Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the edge of the Universe – this, on the other hand, is catered even for adults. Aside from gaining knowledge on neutrinos (the small and elusive particles that scientists found deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica), stars, galaxies, and blackholes, you can also get to see stunning views of the most remote locations on earth even to the unexplored regions of the cosmos.
  • Supervolcanoes – the films shown in Museum of the Rockies’ Taylor Planetarium isn’t just about stars. It also had a film about supervolcanoes, hence the title. This film takes you back to the past when a supervolcano erupted back in 1980. It also makes people learn from it, learn more about volcanoes, what will happen if one erupts in our time, and more.

As of now, though, the museum hasn’t revealed the films it’s about to unveil soon. But rest assured that the films it’s going to show next will surely be equally exciting, intriguing, and educational.

3Camps and More Events

Rocky Rex, Museum of the Rockies’ famous mascot, receiving some love from one of the museum’s visitors (Source)

The Museum of the Rockies also offers different programs for its visitors. Here, everyone from different age groups can join as the museum has different programs and camps dedicated to people of every age. The whole family can join too. Through these programs, you, your friends, and/or family will not only have so much fun but will also get to gain more knowledge.

The museum even has wine and culinary events. You can also get to enjoy performances up for viewing. One of the recent performances that the museum featured is the Haunted Mounted Theater – a performance that talks about the spooky history and folklore life in Montana. This 50-minute production includes traditional legends, mining tragedies, natural disasters, unsolved murders, and more.

But before you hop in your car and drive to the Museum of the Rockies, it would be best to get to know some important details to maximize your visit, including the schedule and the rates of its admission tickets. Here are some more details that you need to know.

RELATED: Top 7 Reasons to Visit the Florida Museum of Natural History and Some Stats to Help You as You Plan Your Visit

Museum of the Rockies Hours

It’s always best to know the operational hours of an attraction. In this way, you can plan your quick getaway very well. As for the Museum of the Rockies’ schedule, you don’t have to worry about the day of the week you’re available for a short visit as it is open daily (except on holidays, including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). Also, note that the museum opens usually at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM. However, just this September, the museum changed its operational hours – from 8 AM to 6 PM. We’re still unsure if it’s going to be the museum’s new and permanent schedule, though. But rest assured, we’ll keep you posted. Or you can also check out the Museum of the Rockies’ official website here for updates on its operating hours and more.

Museum of the Rockies Admission Rates

Unlike other museums, the Museum of the Rockies gives its visitors unlimited access for two consecutive days.  Yes, you read that right and all of the exhibits and attractions are included in the price of the admission tickets. Cool, right? So there’s no need to wait for the weekend to make a visit here. If you run out of time on your first visit, it’s fine as you can just come back tomorrow to maximize your visit.

However, not all good things come for free as you’d have to buy your admission tickets at a certain price. For adults, you’d have to allot $14.50 for your admission tickets. Visitors with kids aged five to 12, on the other hand, can purchase tickets for them at a rate of $9.50. Meanwhile, children aged four and under can enter the museum for free.

Senior citizens (aged 65 and up) don’t have to worry about the price of their tickets. The Museum of the Rockies only charges $13.50 for the admission tickets of senior citizens.

And if you’re a Montana State University student, you’d only have to pay $10 for your admission ticket. However, make sure that you bring a valid ID to get discounted.

There are also other discounts for other visitors.

If you’re a member of a science center or museum that participates in the ASTC Travel Passport Program, you are eligible for complimentary admission tickets for two adults and children or grandchildren who are under the age of 18. The museum also offers a 10% discount for valid AAA membership card holders. In addition to that, the museum offers a $1 (per person) discount for active military personnel together with their spouse and children.

More Things to Remember

As you visit the Museum of the Rockies, note that there are a number of rules to remember. In this way, you can help the museum preserve the artifacts and other works up for viewing. This helps you enjoy your visit, as well as others, better. Here are some reminders.

  • Food and beverages – If you plan on bringing snacks, note that you can consume them anywhere in the museum. But you can consume them in the main lobby and in the downstairs lobby. If you feel hungry in the middle of your museum tour and forgot to bring a snack, you can purchase some healthy snacks in MOR’s own Museum Store. There are also vending machines located on the lower level. But then again, note that you can’t bring them inside where the exhibitions are.
  • Animals – Pets are not allowed in the museum. However, there is an exception for trained service animals; just make sure that you make them wear their appropriate service animal vest or identifier.
  • Walking Aids – If you’re touring the museum with senior citizens that require walking aids, don’t worry as the museum has wheelchairs to provide for those who are in need. However, they’re only available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For children, on the other hand, you can bring their own strollers.
  • Visitors with Special Needs – In case you or you’re traveling with others that require special needs, note that you can request accessibility accommodations for free. This means visitors who are blind, have low vision, or even deaf can request for an interpreter. You can call the museum at 406-944-6618 or send them an email to [email protected]
  • Bags – We don’t think MOR is strict when it comes to bags. However, the museum highly suggests not to bring backpacks or other large bags. This is because MOR doesn’t have storage for such bags.
  • Photos and Videos – Photos and videos are allowed but only for non-commercial use. Working members of the media, freelancers, marketing agencies, etc. should ask for permission first from the museum’s Director of Marketing. And while the museum did not say anything about flash photography, we suggest that you refrain from it, especially for exhibits featuring artifacts. This is because the flash can negatively affect delicate paintings, artifacts, and other objects. Selfie sticks, tripods, and monopods are not allowed as well. This is for the safety of the museum’s visitors and, needless to say, its collections. Also, during your visit, you might experience being filmed, photographed, or recorded by the museum’s staff. But don’t worry, this is just for the museum’s promotional uses, including for posting on the museum’s social media platforms, website, as well as other marketing efforts.

Attractions Near Museum of the Rockies

MOR is also near some nice attractions and other sites. Visiting them will surely make your MOR even more memorable. If you have more time, you might want to check some of them out before or after your visit to the Museum of the Rockies.

If you’re hungry, here’s where you can grab some good food – from snack to heavy meals.

  • Gallatin River Grill
  • Blacksmith Italian
  • Feast Raw Bar and Bistro
  • Bridger Brewing
  • Granny’s Gourmet Donuts
  • Storm Castle Café
  • Seven
  • Rosa’s Pizza
  • South 9th Bistro
  • Paulie’s
  • Jam!
  • I-Ho’s Korean Grill
  • Main Street Overeasy
  • Western Café
  • Montana Ale Works
A peek at the Blackbird Kitchen, one of Montana’s popular restaurants (Source)
  • Blackbird Kitchen
  • Plonk
  • The Nova Cafe
  • Dave’s Sushi-Off Main
  • Pickle Barrel
  • Starky’s Authentic Americana
  • Roost Fried Chicken
  • Sweet Chili Asian Bistro
  • MacKenzie River Pizza Co.
  • Cateye Café
  • Spectators Bar and Grill
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill
  • Ted’s Montana Grill
  • Z’s
  • Community Food Co-op West Main
  • Whistle Pig Korean

RELATED: Denver Food and Accommodation Guide: Best Places to Eat and Stay in Denver , Colorado

If you have more time left exploring Bozeman or the nearby areas, don’t worry, there are still some more attractions that you can visit. Most of them are just like MOR too, museums that will fill you with knowledge while entertaining you. Here are some of them, in case you’re looking for some more sites to visit around Bozeman.

  • American Computer and Robotics Museum
  • Gallatin History Museum
  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
  • Montana Science Center
  • Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Nothern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage
  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

RELATED: 20 Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Denver City, Colorado

Although this week has just started, it’s not bad to plan another short trip. The day for your quick getaway shouldn’t always have to be a problem as there are museums and other attractions like the Museum of the Rockies in Montana. With such sites, you won’t have to worry about missing out on the best places that every city has to offer. Montana alone has a lot of attractions to offer that you can visit even on weekdays. But what makes these sites unique is that nearly all of them will fill you with knowledge and not just entertain you; which makes it a nice place to visit with the whole family and/or squad. Of course, the Museum of the Rockies is one of the first places in Montana that you should consider. with its various collections and exhibitions, you sure will have a lot to learn even in just a day. It’s worth the price and the drive.