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When it comes to summer adventures, there’s no place on Earth quite like Cody Yellowstone — and that’s no exaggeration! After all, where else can you find powerful geysers and colorful hot springs? Towering waterfalls and incredible wildlife? Nightly rodeos and five museums under one roof? Entertainment, education, outdoor recreation — we’ve got it all right here in the Wild West. With so much to see and do, Cody Yellowstone is a perfect destination for parents looking for an unforgettable vacation location for their kids.

Looking for things to do in Cody with kids? Here’s what we suggest you include in your itinerary when traveling with kids on your Cody Yellowstone family vacation this summer. 

What Are Some Good Educational Activities for Kids in Cody Yellowstone? 

A family enjoys exploring the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody Yellowstone(Photo: Buffalo Bill Center of the West)

Just because school’s out, it doesn’t mean the learning has to end — you just might have to get a little creative about it! And there’s no better place to mix learning with fun than at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. A Smithsonian Affiliate, the Center of the West is home to five fascinating museums under one roof: 

The Buffalo Bill Museum: Here, you can learn all about the life and times of the legendary showman, Buffalo Bill Cody. You’ll see some of his possessions (as well as the belongings of other Wild West legends like Annie Oakley), learn about his iconic Wild West show, and be dazzled by thrilling true (and true-ish) stories of the American West. 

The Plains Indian Museum: This museum tells the stories of the Indigenous peoples of the West. Through a series of timeless artifacts, modern works, and stories shared between generations, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures, traditions, trials, and triumphs.  

Cody Firearms Museum: Home to over 10,000 artifacts, the Cody Firearms Museum is designed to share history, as well as spark meaningful conversations for everyone from firearms enthusiasts to the more casual and curious among us. 

Draper Natural History Museum: Cody Yellowstone is well known for its diverse ecosystem, and it’s on full display at the Draper Natural History Museum. Here, kids can take in the look, the sounds, the feel, and yes, even the smells of Yellowstone. It’s a perfect primer for before your visit to Yellowstone National Park. You can also see real live birds of prey up close and personal at the Draper Museum Raptor Experience.  

Whitney Western Art Museum: Works by Remmington, Russell, Bierstadt, and Moran are all on display here. This colourful collection of Western art is sure to dazzle and delight visitors of all ages. 

Looking to learn a little more? Make your way to the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center for a deep dive into the history of what was once the tallest concrete arch dam in the world. At the Visitor Center, you can enjoy a mix of film, written accounts, and even taxidermy that tells the story of the dam. Plus, the views are incredible and sure to wow your little ones. 

A Family visits Old Trail Town in Cody Yellowstone.

For an immersive learning opportunity with the kids, travel back in time at Old Trail Town! Nestled on the original site of the town of Cody, this open-air museum boasts 28 carefully preserved buildings that transport you straight to the 1890s.  Wander through Butch Cassidy’s infamous Hole in the Wall Cabin, visit the grave of Jeremiah Johnston, and marvel at the monuments dedicated to the famous Mountain Men of the Old West.

In Cody Yellowstone, you can even learn a thing or two when driving with the kids in the back seat! Download the Travel Storys app and load up the four fantastic Cody Yellowstone offerings: 

The app acts as your own personal tour guide, offering directions and a seemingly endless collection of fascinating stories, anecdotes, and historical tidbits to ensure each journey is as insightful as it is exciting. 

What Are Some Good Outdoor Activities for Kids in Cody Yellowstone? 

With the world’s first national park in our backyard, it should come as no surprise that Cody Yellowstone is a fantastic destination for families with little ones eager to discover just how great the great outdoors can be. Located near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park, Cody Yellowstone offers easy access to iconic sights like the Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Of course, Yellowstone is always the perfect place to catch a glimpse of some of our region’s famous wildlife, including eagles, elk, bears, and America’s National Mammal, the mighty and majestic bison. Remember, the animals of Cody Yellowstone are Wild, which means it’s important to familiarize yourself — and your family — with the dos and don’ts of animal encounters

The crowd at the Cody Nite Rodeo in Cody Yellowstone

If you’re looking to stay outdoors after the sun sets, saddle up for a fun-filled family night under the Wyoming stars!  Head to the rodeo grounds for the Cody Nite Rodeo, the world’s longest-running nightly rodeo since 1938. Witness two hours of thrilling Wild West action — perfect entertainment for all ages. Arrive early to meet the courageous cowboys and bullfighters and maybe even snag a photo opportunity with Mongo the Bull!  The Cody Nite Rodeo runs nightly from June 1st through August 31st at 8:00 pm.  Tickets are conveniently available at the gate, the Stampede office (located at 1031 12th Street), online, or from local vendors.

Explore more outdoor recreation options for the whole family in Cody Yellowstone. 

Are there Entertainment Options for Kids in Cody Yellowstone? 

Wild West Spectacular The Musical

In a town named after the greatest Wild West showman to ever live, you can bet there are entertainment options for kids (that adults will love as well!). And speaking of Buffalo Bill, the whole family can watch his legend come to life in the award-winning comedic musical, “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Spectacular The Musical”. Performed at the historic Cody Theatre in downtown Cody. This entertaining live show is a must-see full of action-packed adventure, romance, thrills, laughs, toe-tapping music, enthusiastic hoots and hollers, and much more. Running June 27 – August 10, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Spectacular The Musical should top any family’s itinerary. 

Looking for dinner with a heaping helping of entertainment on the side? Mosey on over to the Cody Cattle Company! This dinner and show experience is a hit for the whole family. Fill your plate with a delicious nightly buffet featuring beef brisket, pulled pork, baked beans, mac & cheese, cornbread, and more. Then, settle in for a toe-tapping good time with Ryan Martin and the Triple C Cowboys. Lively music, classic cowboy tunes, and a rootin’ tootin’ good time — this is the perfect spot for a family night out! Plus, it’s just steps away from the rodeo grounds, so you can fuel up for an evening spent cheering on the great cowboys and cowgirls of the Nite Rodeo. 

For a taste of the Old West in the modern day, make your way to the Irma Hotel on Sheridan Avenue, where every night at 6 pm June – September, The Cody Wild Bunch takes to the streets for a thrilling interpretation of a Wild West showdown. These exciting reenactments feature legendary Wild West figures like Buffalo Bill Cody, Teton Jackson, Sundance Kid, and Wyatt Earp, all brought to life by skilled gunfighters.

Explore more arts and entertainment options for the whole family in Cody Yellowstone. 

Are There Fun Ways to Explore Cody Yellowstone With Kids? 

Yes! In fact, we’ve made exploring Cody Yellowstone easier and more fun than ever for kids with our new Bears in the Basin Scavenger Hunt! This challenging (but not too challenging) sends participants off on an adventure like no other. The goal? To find as many bear statues hidden around Cody, Meeteetse, and Powell as possible — all for a chance to win fantastic prizes. These nine-inch tall statues can be found all around the downtowns of Cody Yellowstone communities, offering a fun activity for kids and parents while also providing a lay of the land for further exploration throughout your vacation. 

Best of all, joining the hunt for Bears in the Basin is easy. Simply:

  • Sign up online 
  • Explore the towns
  • Check-in & Earn Points

 You can learn the bear necessities about Bears in the Basin here

Bring the Kids to Cody Yellowstone for a Wild Summer Adventure 

A Kid sitting outdoors in Cody, Yellowstone

With fun, education, entertainment, and more for all ages, there’s no better place to be this summer than Cody Yellowstone. Get your free 2024 vacation guide today and start planning your Cody Yellowstone family vacation.