Kid Tested, Parent Approved Adventures for Every Child in Cody Yellowstone
CODY, Wyo., April, 14, 2022 – One of the best things parents can do for their children is to provide them with memories of vacation adventures that they will cherish forever. In Cody Yellowstone, home to the world’s first national park, abundant wildlife and a rich and sometimes-raucous history, there is an adventure around every bend.
“’Remember when’ is how my own extended family’s dinner conversations often begin, and the rest of the sentence is usually about a shared adventure we had when I was growing up,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yellowstone. “It’s easy to make those kinds of lifelong memories here in Cody Yellowstone where there is such an array of adventures.”
Regardless of whether kids love to get dirty in the outdoors, see entertaining shows or learn about history, there’s an adventure for every child, Hauck said.
Here are a few of the kid-tested, parent-approved adventures families can experience this summer in Cody Yellowstone.
For Nature Lovers
Hiking – Families will find meandering in-town walking trails, riverside trails in the Shoshone National Forest and everything from easy boardwalks to serious mountain treks in Yellowstone National Park.
Horseback riding – Cody Yellowstone is home to the Dude Ranches Association and multiple dude and guest ranches. The term “dude” even originated in the area and was used to describe Easterners who paid to work ranches for their vacation. Multiple outfitters and numerous horse-centric establishments offer pony rides, trail rides or multi-day horse-packing trips perfect for multi-generational equestrian fun. There are also numerous guided horseback riding trips in Yellowstone National Park.
Biking – Biking is great way to explore the town of Cody and the surrounding area. There are numerous bikeable streets and trails in and around town. With more than 10 miles of trails, Beck Lake Bike Park is another option for pedaling families. Spring and fall are the prime pedaling seasons in Yellowstone National Park.
Rafting, paddling and boating – There are several places in the region where families can raft and paddle the day away. Multiple outfitters offer rafting trips on the scenic Shoshone River. Located just a few miles from downtown Cody, the Buffalo Bill Reservoir in Buffalo Bill State Park features boating, and it is a hot spot for windsurfing too. Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park is also a great place for splashy fun. Families can also take guided boating and paddling trips and rent canoes and kayaks.
Fishing – Good for the soul as well as the planet, there is so much fishing in and around Cody and Yellowstone National Park that even local anglers can’t tell you just how many streams, rivers, lakes, creeks and tributaries there are in the destination. There are numerous outfitters in Cody who will take families on guided trips and help them get geared up for a day of angling.
Mentock Park – With a water park, playground, picnic shelter, grills and skate park, this complex is perfect for shaking off the traveling cobwebs.
For History Buffs
Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West – Parents who walk through Old Trail Town with their kids are likely to hear comments about just how tiny those cabins, schools and stores were “back then.” Old Trail Town is an ingeniously staged “town” with some 26 authentic cabins and other buildings from spots in and around the state of Wyoming. While there, let the kids try their hands at roping a wooden calf.
Cody Trolley Tour – This fun and informative one-hour tour travels around the town and as far as the Buffalo Bill Dam while an on-board narrator introduces riders to the town’s attractions, history and legends.
Travel Storys – Explore downtown Cody and drive to Yellowstone in the company of an audio tour guide. The walking tour highlights the town’s historic landmarks and discusses the colorful characters like Buffalo Bill Cody who worked to create a town that would inspire and delight its visitors. Then buckle up and join a guide on a narrated drive along the Buffalo Scenic Byway from downtown Cody to Yellowstone National Park’s East gate, called the most scenic 52 miles in the United States by President Theodore Roosevelt. The free app was created by Travel Storys in partnership with Cody Yellowstone and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Old Yellowstone Road and Hayden Arch Bridge –The only example of its kind in Wyoming, the Hayden Arch Bridge crosses the Shoshone River on the old US 14/US 16 highway. It’s an easy hike that shows what drives were like before roads were built for today’s traffic.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) – The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a world-renowned cultural and educational powerhouse with five museums under one roof. The Buffalo Bill Museum features 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 features special exhibits and interactive programs great for kids such as Cowboy Rich’s Chuckwagon Dinners and a Live Raptor Experience.
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.
Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center – Completed in 1910, 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.
Road-tripping on Scenic Byways – Road-trippers have been traveling to Cody Yellowstone since 1917, when the first private automobiles were allowed in Yellowstone National Park. In fact, Cody town founder Buffalo Bill Cody chose the town’s location in order to capture the attention (and dollars) of travelers as they were driving along the new “Road to Yellowstone” – now called the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway. Cody Yellowstone features five different Scenic Byways, and all offer a variety of classic Western stops and experiences.
For Those Who Want a Local Experience
Cody Nite Rodeo – Cody has been the Rodeo Capital of the World since it began its nightly summer-season rodeo in 1938, and generations of visitors have experienced their first rodeo at the town’s revered rodeo grounds. The two-hour performances are every night June 1 through Aug. 31.
McCullough Peaks Wild Horses – Observe the free-roaming mustangs that are descendants of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show horses. Located about in the McCullough Peaks area 17 miles east of Cody, these horses and their ancestors have been roaming the range for more than a century.
Shop for New Western Wear –Shops are abundant in town. Those cowboy boots and hats, snazzy skirts, bolo ties and plaid shirts are more than clothing. They’re memories of a classic vacation that will be rekindled every time they are worn.
Millstone Pizza Arcade – Since you’re taking the classic vacation, why not enjoy some classic arcade games?
Downtown Cody Gunfight – Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings is outside the Irma Hotel to watch this supremely entertaining group of actors engage in Western skits that always end up in a gunfight. Want a guaranteed seat? Buy a reserved seat for $2 through Cody Trolley Tours, which departs from the same location.
Annie’s Soda Saloon – Annie’s serves up ice cream sodas and sundaes as well as a big helping of nostalgia.
For Music Lovers
Wild West Spectacular – For six weeks every summer, audiences are wowed by this musical extravaganza that tells the story of the legend of Buffalo Bill Cody. The production features talented dancers and singers from around the region, and it is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2021.
Cody Cattle Company – This chuckwagon dinner features an authentic Western dinner and live musical performances by award-winning musician Ryan Martin and the Triple C Cowboys band.
Live music in Yellowstone National Park – Several of the park hotels offer live musical entertainment on select days throughout the summer.
Concerts in the Park– These free weekly performances during July and August at the City Park bandshell are a hit among locals and visitors alike.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. 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.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations