Family Opportunities:

Drop-in Programs & Places to Play

The Montana Natural History Center has many family-friendly opportunities, from our weekly miniNaturalist program to Saturday Kids’ Activities to our rentable Naturalist Backpacks. Check out our hands-on Kids’ Discovery Room and our Nature Adventure Garden – there’s fun for the whole family!




miniNaturalist Program


The outdoor miniNaturalist Program engages little ones and their care givers in the exploration of the natural world. 

Every session is filled with movement, art, play, and science outside in our native plant garden. Come dressed for the weather (we have some extra cold weather clothes to borrow). 

NOTE: This is a family program for kids and their care givers. Schools, preschools, and daycares can schedule a center visit with one of our naturalists.

 Every Thursday 10:00-11:00 a.m. Come learn and play with us!

Saturday Kids' Activities

Join us twice a month during the academic year, September-May, for a Saturday Kids’ Activity. These drop-in programs feature activities, art, science experiments, and more. Kids might look for Osprey with binoculars, dissect owl pellets, or walk a model of the solar system. Every month features a new topic. The whole family can be involved, as the exploration and activities are suitable for a wide age range.

Naturalist Backpacks

Heading out on a hike? Wish you had binocs and a field guide? Borrow one of our naturalist backpacks for a couple of hours or the whole day. Stocked with binoculars (for both adults and kids), field guides, colored pencils, an insect viewer, and other naturalist tools, it’s a perfect addition to your outdoor explorations.

FREE for members; $5 rental for non-members.

Kids' Discovery Room

This room is just for kids! Curl up with a book, play games, perform an animal puppet show, and explore our touch table. Have fun with rocks and blocks, or see if you can identify all the native species in Melissa Madsen’s beautiful mural!

Nature Adventure Garden

The Nature Adventure Garden, on the east side of MNHC between the river trail and our building, is designed to be a play area that is almost entirely free of traditional structures. In lieu of swings and typical playground equipment, it features boulders, hills, shrubs, and the natural structure that the research links to creative and healthy play.

Our Nature Adventure Garden provides a fun stop for kids and grownups to visit along the Clark Fork Riverfront Trail. Stop by and play!

Upcoming Programs