Things To Do With Kids in Missoula: Caras Park, Missoula's Carousel, and the Missoula Children's Museum
There are many fun things to do in Missoula for families, and Caras Park and its surrounding activities will surely be one of your kids favorites!
Caras Park is located in downtown Missoula, right alongside the Clark Fork River. This park has Missoula’s Carousel, as well as the Dragon Hollow next door to the carousel. The Dragon Hollow is a playground with swings and several of fun slides for kids! There is also a pavilion available to rent for large events.
The Missoula Carousel is a must for any child who loves horses! And, really, any child. People of all ages come to ride the second-fastest carousel in the USA! 38 horses and two chariots provide plenty of space. I always choose the outside horses because then you can reach out to grab the plastic “rings” out of the tube that is just within arms reach as you go around – if you pull the final brass ring, you win a free ride! It will cost you 3 tokens for an adult to ride alone, 2 tokens for an adult and child riding a horse together, and 1 token for a child to ride a horse alone. There are belts that wrap around you and your child to ensure no one flies off! These ponies really do fly! The band organ plays fun music as you go around. Countless hours of volunteer time went into creating this amazing carousel, so be sure to stop by and see!
Just across the parking lot from the Carousel you will find the Missoula’s Children’s Museum. You will need to walk around the block to the front of the building to find the entrance. This museum is great fun for younger kids! Some of the exhibits change from time to time, but overall you will find something for your child to enjoy here. A full kitchen allows your children to shop, checkout, and even make a pretend sandwich! A doctor’s room allows children to use their imagination and treat patients. A music room allows for noise! The art room has different crafts, including face painting if you catch them on the right day! Then there are slides, a large water table, a baby area, a chance to fish, and a place to dig for dinosaur bones! This museum has it all, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Caras Park is conveniently located along the Clark Fork River, so there is the paved walking path just behind the Carousel. There is plenty of room and garbages available for a picnic lunch on the grass.
While there is pay parking during the week, on weekends you can park for free! You can grab food across the street from the Carousel at the Tamarack Brewing Company.
For a truly kids-friendly vacation, stay at the Wingate by Wyndam located near the airport in Missoula.
I hope you get the chance to visit Caras Park the next time you are in Missoula, Montana!
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog