Cody, Culture and Kids…Education Looks a Lot Like Fun in Cody Yellowstone
CODY, Wyo., May 23, 2019 – Once the textbooks and report cards are stored away for the summer, kids may think they’re done with all that learning business. In Cody Yellowstone, there is no need to tell them otherwise. Because attractions in this northwestern corner of Wyoming disguise learning as fun.
“The region’s family-friendly cultural attractions are a terrific complement to our outdoor adventures like rafting, biking 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 attractions and adventures is that they capture the spirit of the American West and highlight the dreams of the town’s visionary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody. What is learned by families on vacation may very well be remembered for a lifetime.”
Here are examples of Cody Yellowstone’s family-friendly cultural attractions.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) – A world-renowned cultural powerhouse, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West features five museums under one roof with an array of interactive exhibits certain to inspire kids of all ages. The Buffalo Bill Museum features wall-sized displays spotlighting the showman’s life and times, including the legendary Wild West Show. The Draper Natural History Museum inspires youthful adventurers with displays that showcase the sights, sounds and even the smells of the region. The Cody Firearms Museum is completing a major renovation this summer, and exhibits will tell the story of the American West through the ever-evolving firearms used for protection and survival. The center also includes the Plains Indian Museum and Whitney Western Art Museum 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 WWII Interpretive Center – Children may still not fully understand why thousands of Japanese-Americans were incarcerated 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 prisoners, 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.
By Western Hands Museum & Design Center – Art-loving kids will find creative inspiration in this new museum’s displays of Western-made furniture and functional art. The museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Western design, and it celebrates the crafts of furniture-making, sculpture, saddlery and fine art using materials and motifs found throughout the American West.
Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West – This enclave of 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, 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 look 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.
Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue – Hailing from Nashville, singer Dan Miller entertains visitors with cowboy songs, poetry and jokes. Presented six nights a week during the summer, the show exposes children to a variety of Western music, from cowboy ballads to silly love songs.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.
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Mesereau Travel Public Relations