Cody, Culture and Kids… Education Looks a Lot Like Fun in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country
CODY, Wyo., June 27, 2017 – Once the textbooks and report cards are stored away for the summer, kids may think they’re done with all that learning business. In Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, there is no need to tell them otherwise. Because attractions in this northwestern corner of Wyoming disguise learning as fun.
With an array of “please touch” exhibits and wow-inducing displays that showcase the region’s history and Western spirit and introduce Cody’s larger-than-life town founder, area museums and other attractions will resonate for learners of all ages long after they return home.
“Yellowstone Country’s family-friendly cultural attractions are a terrific complement to our destination’s outdoor adventures like rodeo, fishing and horseback riding,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region. “The common denominator for all these cultural attractions is that they capture and showcase the spirit of the American West. And many of the experiences can be directly traced back to the influence of the town’s visionary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody.”
Here are examples of Yellowstone Country’s family-friendly cultural attractions.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) – Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a world-renowned cultural powerhouse. The Buffalo Bill Museum features wall-sized displays and interactive exhibits spotlighting the showman’s life and times, including the legendary Wild West Show. The Draper Museum of Natural History inspires youthful adventurers with displays that showcase the sights, sounds and even the smells of the region with interactive, innovative exhibits. The center also includes the Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and Whitney Western Art Museum, all with exhibits that will prompt the imagination of youthful visitors. The museum also hosts special events like the Plains Indian Powwow, an annual June event that showcases the talents of dancers, drum groups and artists from Northern Plains tribes.
Heart Mountain Interpretive Center – Children may still not fully understand why thousands of Japanese-Americans lived in internment camps during World War II, but they will remember how they lived after seeing this powerful, award-winning museum situated at the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp. Designed to resemble the typical barracks-style accommodations that housed its 14,000 internees, the center depicts how families lived in poorly lit rectangular buildings, slept on cots and endured a harsh climate and lack of privacy. There are also displays highlighting poignant stories of friendship, endurance and patriotism.
Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West – Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings includes one used by Butch Cassidy and his infamous Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. One of the town’s many gravesites belongs to Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 film. There is a built-in teaching moment too as young visitors are often heard commenting about how small the houses were back then.
Irma Hotel – Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and celebrating its 115th anniversary this year, the Irma Hotel was built by Buffalo Bill and named for his daughter. The hotel’s famous room-long cherry wood bar – still in use today in what is now the hotel dining room – was presented to Buffalo Bill by England’s Queen Victoria.
Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center – Completed in 1920, the Buffalo Bill Dam was once the tallest concrete arch dam in the world, and its visitor center showcases not only the dam’s masterful engineering but also emphasizes its impact on tourism and agriculture in the valley. Kids with a penchant for science will learn how water was as much a concern in the days of Buffalo Bill Cody as it is in the West today.
Pahaska Tepee – Children whose imagination is sparked by stories of the American West will love stepping inside Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee. Buffalo Bill brought his hunting pals – including Theodore Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco – to this rustic lodge just outside of the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Cody was nicknamed “Long Hair” by American Indians in the region, which in their tongue was pronounced “Pahaska.”
Cody Mural Visitor Center – Budding artists will enjoy a peek at the murals on display at the Cody Mural Visitor Center located in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The center features an extensive exhibit of paintings and displays that depict the history of Mormon pioneers who immigrated from Utah and Idaho to Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. There is also the massive Cody Mural on a domed ceiling depicting the history of the first 70 years of the church.
Cody Dug Up Gun Museum – Opened in 2009, this museum displays hundreds of relic guns and weapons used throughout American history. The museum is located right in the center of town and is a fun and family-friendly stop.
Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue – Hailing from Nashville, singer Dan Miller and his Empty Saddles Band entertain crowds with cowboy songs, poetry and jokes. Presented six nights a week during the summer, the show – which includes an optional dinner – exposes children to a variety of Western music, from cowboy ballads to silly love songs.
Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself.
Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations