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Calling all parents! Summer’s just around the corner, and we think the kids are ready for a Great American Adventure! Of course, we also think you could use a summer getaway as well. After all, it’s been a year of virtual learning, virtual working, virtual shopping, and virtual gatherings — now’s the time for something real, right here in Cody Yellowstone. This iconic Western vacation destination is home to classic adventures around every bend. There’s horseback riding and hiking, museums, and the magic of the world’s first national park. You’ll find something for everybody here, and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Here are a few exciting adventures families can have during a Cody Yellowstone summer that are kid-tested and parent-approved.

The (Really) Great Outdoors

Kids walking with parents through Yellowstone National Park

If getting outside and experiencing nature is high on your summer to-do list, you’re going to love it here in Cody Yellowstone. Here are a few ways you can explore the outdoors when you visit us.

HikingExperienced hikers and amateur strollers love the hiking options here in Cody Yellowstone. Whether it’s a meandering walk along our in-town trails, Riverside hikes through the Shoshone National Forest, boardwalk trots or serious mountain treks in Yellowstone National Park, there’s a path for everyone to follow here. 

Horseback riding – Saddle up and head out on the trails! There are multiple outfitters here in Cody Yellowstone, as well as numerous horse-centric dude and guest ranches. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bucking young bronco or this isn’t your first rodeo; young and old alike will have no trouble finding the perfect pony ride, trail ride, or multi-day horse-packing trip that suits your needs and skill level. (Psst, while you’re here, be sure to check out more ways you can unbridle your inner equestrian!) 

Biking – Put the pedal to the metal and explore the town of Cody and the surrounding area. We have plenty of bikeable streets, as well as trails in and around town that are perfect for every rider — from road racers and BMXers to off-road enthusiasts. You can find out more about biking in Cody Yellowstone here

Rafting, paddling, and boating – Make your way downriver on an unforgettable ride. Your family can enjoy a rafting trip on the scenic Shoshone River, windsurfing in Buffalo Bill State Park, and boating on Yellowstone Lake!  

Fishing –Look for a “reel” fun time? Cody Yellowstone is home to several outfitters who will help your family get geared up for a fishing day. Even better, some even offer guided trips to make sure you’ll find the best spots to land the big one! And if you’re a bit more experienced and looking for a challenge, Yellowstone National Park offers a handy tool for tracking real-time stream flows. 

The Cody Yellowstone Classics

Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls

Looking for something for the entire family that is pure, classic Cody? Here are some ways your family can experience the spirit of the West. 

Cody Nite Rodeo – Did you know that Cody is the Rodeo Capital of the World? It’s true! Every year, generations of visitors travel from far and wide to experience the Cody rodeo at our town’s revered rodeo grounds. Whether it’s your first rodeo or you’re an old pro, this two-hour performance is sure to be a highlight of any trip. The Cody Nite Rodeo runs every night from June 1 through Aug. 31. 

Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West – A trip to Cody Yellowstone can also offer a trip back in time when you visit Old Trail Town. This ingeniously staged “town” offers a look at what life was like back in the days of the Wild West. It features 26 authentic cabins and other frontier buildings from the 1890s. Come see why True West Magazine voted Old Trail Town “Best Tourist Attraction and Historical Site”!

Road-tripping on Scenic Byways – Nothing beats a road trip — and we have some of the best! Road-trippers have been hitting the road here in Cody Yellowstone since 1917, when the first private automobiles were allowed in Yellowstone National Park. You’ll find five fantastic Scenic Byways here in Cody Yellowstone, each of which offers a unique collection of classic Western stops and experiences. 

Learn Something New

Visitors stand on a giant map in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
(Photo: Center of the West)

Just because it’s summer vacation, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new! With hands-on exhibits and wow-inducing displays, area museums and attractions showcase the region’s history, the Western spirit, and Buffalo Bill — Cody’s larger-than-life town founder. Here are a few educational attractions you can’t miss.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West – The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, home to five incredible museums under one roof. You can explore the Buffalo Bill MuseumDraper Museum of Natural History, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, and Whitney Western Art Museum when you visit here. But that’s not all! The museum also features special exhibits and interactive programs such as Cowboy Rich’s Chuckwagon Dinners and a Live Raptor Experience.

Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center – Powerful and harrowing, this attraction tells the story of some 14,000 Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Confinement Camp during World War II. A fascinating look at an oft-forgotten part of our history, the Interpretive Center is not to be missed.  

Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center – Completed in 1910, the Buffalo Bill Dam was once the tallest concrete arch dam in the world! A visit here showcases the dam’s masterful engineering, as well as its important impact on both tourism and agriculture in the valley. 

Live From Cody Yellowstone!

Dan Miller is sitting next to a campfire and strumming an acoustic guitar and singing.

Cody Yellowstone comes alive in the summer. When you visit, you’ll find numerous entertainment options to choose from that are sure to have you humming “Home on the Range” long after you’re, well, home.

Wild West Spectacular – Every summer, for six memorable weeks, the Wild West Spectacular wows audiences with a musical extravaganza that shares the legend of Buffalo Bill Cody. 

Cody Cattle Company – Authentic Western dinners and live musical performances? Sounds delicious! This chuckwagon dinner features delicious local food and music by award-winning musician Ryan Martin and the Triple C Cowboys band. 

Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue – Dan Miller is a Cody Yellowstone legend. For more than 15 years, Dan and his talented band have been entertaining Cody audiences. This family-friendly production features songs, comedy, and even a little bit of cowboy poetry! 

Concerts in the Park – We love our music here in Cody Yellowstone, which is why we’re always looking forward to the summer concerts in the park. These free weekly performances — a hit with locals and visitors alike — take place throughout July and August at the City Park bandshell. 

Parents, let’s give the kids what they want this summer — an amazing family vacation in Cody Yellowstone! Start planning your summer getaway today