Children’s Museum of Montana |22 Railroad Square | 406-452-6661
The Children’s Museum has dozens of interactive learning activities your children ages 2-10 will love. Meet a life-sized Montana Maiasaura, board a child-sized pirate ship, dig for dinosaur bones, or explore a life-size fuselage. Emphasizing history, STEM, health, performing arts, and regional culture, the Children’s Museum of Montana museum provides learning and exploration in a fun and safe environment.
CM Russell Museum | 400 13th Street N | 406-727-8787
Dedicated to the famed cowboy artist’s work, you can find the most complete collection of Charles M. Russell art and memorabilia in the world in Great Falls. The CM Russell Museum draws visitors and acclaim world-wide. Voted Montana’s best museum worth traveling for, the museum has over 2,000 Russell works of art and artifacts in its permanent collection, as well as an impressive Browning firearms collection and artworks of OC Seltzer, Gary Schildt, and other Western artists. Next to the museum is Russell’s log art studio, built of red cedar poles in 1903. Walk inside and experience a time when the West was young, and Charlie’s paints and easel sat waiting for his touch. The Russell home underwent an extensive renovation and re-opened to acclaim. Built in 1900 for $800, Nancy Russell supervised its construction and decorated the home with the best furnishings of the day.
First People’s Buffalo Jump | 342 Ulm Vaughn Rd, Ulm Montana | 406-866-2217
First Peoples Buffalo Jump tells the story of one of the largest prehistoric bison kill-sites in the United States and captures a portrait of daily life for Montana’s first peoples. For more than 600 years, native peoples stampeded buffalo over the cliffs on three sides of the enormous u-shaped jump, risking their lives to obtain life-sustaining buffalo meat and hides. First Peoples provides a glimpse of the plains they called home. Atop the cliff, accessed by a 3.5-mile (5.5 km) hiking trail or a short drive, you can take in a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountain Front, the Missouri River Valley, and the buttes that make this Montana landscape so memorable. Enter a full-sized tipi and listen to the murmur of the plains and the song of the meadowlark. Try your hand at wielding an early Indian weapon, the atlatl, a dart-throwing tool that uses leverage to increase the speed of the dart.
Galerie Trinitas | 1301 20th Street South | 406-791-5367
The Galerie Trinitas, located on the campus of the University of Great Falls, preserves the art of Sister Trinitas Morin, a University of Great Falls art and French professor for nearly 33 years. As a multi-media artist, she inspired her students to go beyond the ordinary to explore and create art in numerous forms. Her talent is masterfully displayed in oil paintings, watercolors, fabric art, ceramics, graphic arts, mixed media, silver chalices, enameling, and silk screening. The artwork of other sisters and University of Great Falls students is on display in this exquisite gallery.
The History Museum | 422 2nd Street South | 406-452-3462
Delivering history with personality, this museum preserves documents, records, and artifacts crucial to the heritage of central Montana. The museum archive houses over 400,000 historic photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts. Painstaking re-creations of the original downtown including retail shopping, hotels, and restaurants take you back to the founding of Great Falls, and the dynamic culture that developed from Paris Gibson’s vision. Separate exhibits celebrate Great Falls’ rodeo, farming, and military service. The 1904 Fort Shaw Women’s basketball team, who played for the world, have their own display that includes the original team basketball. Cornerstone to this museum is the Ozark Club Room, showcasing the jazz history of the region, where Red Foxx, and Miss Wiggles performed and is now home to a 1925 Chickering grand piano.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center | 4201 Giant Springs Road | 406-727-8733
Artfully positioned on a scenic bluff overlooking the Missouri River and designed to blend into the landscape, the interpretive center offers North America’s most extensive display of exhibits detailing the Lewis and Clark expedition. Journey through each part of the expedition, beginning in St Louis and ending at the Oregon coast. Choose your return trip by following either Lewis or Clark. The centerpiece of the museum is a dramatic 2-story diorama of the vessel that carried the explorers. Interactive learning and spectacular views engage visitors of all ages. A bronze sculpture celebrates Seaman, the brave Newfoundland that accompanied Lewis and Clark across the American West, outside as well as an amphitheater. The 100-seat amphitheater hosts summer programs, including a monthly star party in partnership with the Central Montana Astronomy Society, and the River’s Edge Trail links the interpretive center to Giant Springs State Park. Every year in June, The Lewis and Clark Festival celebrates Lewis and Clark through historical re-enactments, music, and historical storytelling. Hear the roar of the black powder cannon that marks the beginning of the festivities. At the festival, dig into the children’s discovery area with games, stories, and the famous Newfoundland dogs.
Malmstrom Air Force Base Museum and Air Park | 90 Whitehall Dr | 406-731-2705
Malmstrom Air Force Base was established in 1942 during World War II. Great Falls has a rich military history, captured at Malmstrom Air Force Bases’s Museum. Great Falls was the training ground for the Berlin Airlift humanitarian effort at the end of World War II. Additionally, nearly 8,000 aircraft flew between Great Falls and Fairbanks to deliver air equipment and supplies to the Soviet Union between 1942-45. The base continues to be a strategic national defense location with its current Minuteman III ICBMs mission and a stationed combat engineering squadron for military and humanitarian operations worldwide. The museum depicts, displays, and interprets the historical significance of Malmstrom in peacekeeping operations over the last 75 years. The outdoor Air Park displays aircraft and ground transportation of years past. It even contains some history about the first military mission in Great Falls, the Lewis and Clark Expedition!
Montana Museum of Railroad History | 400 3rd Street NW
A great place for family fun, the Montana Museum of Railroad History tells the story of Montana’s railroads, the people who built and operated them, and their role in the development of Montana. In addition to railroad artifacts, the museum displays 3 large, operating, scale-model railroads. The ever-expanding exhibit details towns and landscapes from the surrounding area and railroad lovers of all ages watch intently as the trains maneuver over trestles and through tunnels. Outside is a full-size Burlington Northern Railway Caboose for a hands-on experience.
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art | 1400 1st Avenue N | 406-727-8255
The stately sandstone structure that serves as the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is a nationally registered historic site named for the founder of the city of Great Falls. Established in 1896 as a high school, the building was refurbished in 1977 and now is a community center with a growing outdoor sculpture garden. The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art celebrates local history, culture, and modern art. Ever-changing displays explore contemporary issues, spark humor, and inspire contemplation. The exhibits have an astonishing variety of media, such as Lee Steen’s wooden stick figure sculptures that once graced Montana roadsides and Jean Price’s exhibit, 3,000 and Counting, that commemorates the sacrifices made by US troops in Iraq who have lost their life in the war, represented by an aluminum foil dog tag that includes name, rank and age.
The Ursuline Center | 2300 Central Ave | 406-452-8585
Built in 1912 as a school and boarding academy, then used as a convent for the Sisters of Providence, the Ursuline Centre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Today, the Ursuline houses antiques and Indian artifacts in the Art Tower and Museum. The museum features a treasury of Indian relics, antique furnishings, musical instruments, and other artifacts, given as gifts to the Sisters of Providence. The chapel is a jewel that displays Mother Raphael Schweda’s towering murals, hung in 1927. Before you enter the building, look up and see Montana’s only functional gargoyles. These structures act as rainspouts and are impressive during a rainstorm. On sunny days, they stand as a testament to the craftmanship of the building and the history inside. The Ursuline Center’s instrument collection includes an 1840 harp and a Steinway baby grand piano. The auditorium houses private piano rooms that were used for instruction, each still equipped with pianos.
Brother Van House | 113 6th Street N | 406-453-3114
Friend to Charlie Russell and known as the “Most loved man in Montana,” William Wesley Van Orsdel, Brother Van, came to Montana on the Far West steamboat in 1872. In a career spanning 50 years, Brother Van worked on behalf of the rich and famous, the poor, and with the pioneers of the West. The historic Brother Van House was built in 1910, and stands as a testament to Brother Van, who helped build hundreds of churches, 7 hospitals, a children’s home, and a college. Stories told by docents of his adventures will raise the hair on your neck and bring a tear to your eye. Learn about the settlement of Montana and the part that Brother Van played in making this the wonderful state it is.
Montana’s Veteran’s Memorial | 25th Street North and River Dr | 406-454-9070
The Montana Veterans Memorial honors and recognizes all veterans of all branches of military service to the United States of America. This place of honor is a solemn location that honors men and women, living and deceased. Montana has one of the nation’s highest veteran populations and the Montana Veterans Memorial has more than 6,000 tiles with names of veterans who have served the country, including 160 members of the Blackfeet Nation.
Mehmke Steam Tractor Museum | 8244 US Highway 89 | 406-899-8244
The Mehmke Museum houses one of the largest collections of antique tractors in the country with over 60 machines, 20 of which are steam tractors. Located east of Great Falls, the Mehmke Museum has been a fixture in Central Montana since Walter Mehmke began collecting machines in the 1950s. The collection includes tractors from as far back as 1898 to the 1920s in every brand you can imagine. In addition to tractors, the Museum houses historical and antique artifacts that will transport you back to a bygone era. The property’s outbuildings feature a homestead shack, a display on African-American women in Montana with reproductions of women’s clothing from different eras, a “bar building” with a complete bar that was brought up the Missouri River on a steamboat, several vintage cars, wagons, buggies, a sleigh and a portable jail cell used by police to house the rowdies at rural Montana events in the 1900s as Montana transitioned from a territory to the Treasure State.
Grab your Montana Brewery Passport and explore the refreshing local brews of Great Falls Montana. The barley used in the brewing process is grown within 50 miles of Great Falls and malted within minutes of the breweries front door.
The Mighty Mo Brew Co | 412 Central Ave | 406-952-0342
Located in the middle of Downtown, The Mo, as it’s called by locals, gives patrons a family-friendly, hip, and vibrant atmosphere. Mighty Mo has a full kitchen, offering pizza, wings, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers to go with your high quality, flavorful craft beer. Mighty Mo was designed to be a place where new and old friends can meet to enjoy quality beer, great food, and live music.
The Front Brewing Public House | 215 3rd St NW | 406-952-0872
The Rocky Mountain Front provides the inspiration for this brewery. The Front is a spectacular stretch of Montana where the prairies and mountains converge. The Front has many brews, but Mountain Man, an award winning Scotch Ale, is by far a local favorite.
Black Eagle Brewery | 1600 25th Ave NE | 406-315-3082
Located in the historic neighborhood of Black Eagle, this brewery celebrates its blue-collar roots with 6 beers for any taste. Overlooking the Missouri River and offering views of Great Falls, the Pit Stop Tavern houses the Black Eagle Brewery. Unwind, join friends, and catch the game in the spacious restaurant that offers a full menu.
Harvest Moon Brewery | 7 5th St S, Belt MT | 406-277-3188
Harvest Moon Brewing set up operation in Belt, a rural community located 20 miles southeast of Great Falls, in 1996, and produce some of Montana’s well-known beers, Beltian White, Pigs Ass Porter, and Charlie Russell Red.
Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts | 2 Park Drive South | 406-455-8510
The historic Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts is one of the key contributors to the cultural and economic vitality of Great Falls. The plush Mansfield Theater, located at the front of the Civic Center, showcases its historic elegance through intricate architecture and acoustics that are unrivaled in the state. The intimate 1,782-seat venue is adaptable for concerts, ballet, grand opera, road shows, country and rock music spectaculars, musicals, stage productions, travelogues, conventions, and lectures. True to the beauty of Great Falls, the Mansfield Center is flanked by two lush parks and hosts the Great Falls Farmers Market every summer. The Mansfield Center is a preferred destination for travelers that want to experience the best of Montana. The Mansfield Center features an annual Christmas Show, a Halloween spectacular, an Easter performance, and Great Falls Symphony performances. There is always something for everyone.
Great Falls Community Concert | 2 Park Drive South | 406-453-9854
The Great Falls Community Concert Association has celebrated over 80 seasons of bringing high-quality concerts in Great Falls since 1929, not missing a single year. The Great Falls Community Concert Association features an eclectic group of musicians that infuse the Great Falls community with culture and vibrancy not expected in Montana. The Great Falls Community Concert Association performs in the plush Mansfield Theater, a venue with unrivaled beauty, elegance, and acoustics in Montana. The Great Falls Community Concert Association is a partner in the reciprocity program, so if you’re a member of another community concert association, call to see if your membership will allow you to experience Montana’s best in arts and culture.
Great Falls Municipal Band | 400 Park Drive North | 406-231-4770
A long-standing Great Falls tradition, the Great Falls Municipal Band performs during the summer’s each Wednesday at 7:30 pm in Gibson park throughout the summer. Performing under the bandshell, the Great Falls Municipal band has performed free summer concerts since 1897. Each week, a different medley is performed, so you’ll never hear the same show twice! Entertaining for all ages, concerts are free to the public and sponsored by Park and Recreation Department and free-will donations. Limited bleacher seating is available, but you can bring your own chair or blanket to enjoy the music on a warm summer night.
University of Providence Great Falls Performing Arts | 1301 20th Street South | 406-791-5367
Founded in 2011, the University of Great Falls Performing Arts is the home to Central Montana’s premier student theatre troupe. Recent performances have included 1776, Jekyll and Hyde, and Baskerville.