Built in 1921 along the bank of the Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula, Montana, the Wilma building has a long and colorful history. Commonly called the "Showplace of Montana," the eight-story building was constructed by William "Billy" Simons, an early western entrepreneur who produced Wild West shows and built theatres in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska during the Gold Rush. Eighty-five years later the Wilma building, with its 1,066 seat Louis XIV-style theatre, remains a Missoula icon, and regardless of whether patrons came to see a documentary film, a nationally touring punk-rock band or the ballet, there is plenty to see long before the show ever starts.
Along the banks of the Clark Fork River, a menagerie of hand-carved animals parade around a band organ on a carousel constructed in 1918. As a whimsical twist, each of the carousel's 38 elaborate ponies has been given a name, Lil' Buck, Meriweather, and Columbia Belle are among the carousel's herd. The price of a ride hasn't changed much in its more than 100 years of service; kids can ride for just 50 cents.
The Montana Museum of Art and Culture hosts 7-8 exhibits annually, which include selections from its permanent holdings and invitational and traveling exhibitions.
On the site of a fort used from 1877-1947, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula is a sanctuary for western Montana's cultural and logging history. Spread out over 32 acres, you'll find 13 historic structures housing upwards of 25,000 objects associated with Montana's vibrant history.
The Children's Museum, Missoula offers fun, interactive learning opportunities that allow children to explore their interests and abilities through play. It is a destination for area families, a place where kids can be kids and grownups can network with other parents and caregivers and feel like part of a community.
The tiny, hardscrabble town of Garnet was originally built to support miners and their families during the area's brief gold rush of the late 1800s. The town was effectively abandoned after the mines tapped out and a fire ravaged its buildings in the early 1900s. Today, visitors can meander down the eerily quiet pathways and visit the husks of Montana's best-preserved ghost town.
In the winter, Snowbowl's 950 acres are blanketed with exceptional snow. For skiers and snowboarders who enjoy taking their time and the sensation of floating on snow, the 3-mile Paradise run is ideal. For those whose passions are ignited by steep descents they will love the Grizzly run with its 200 vertical feet of dizzying steep terrain. When the snow melts, Snowbowl opens up its runs for mountain bikers and disc golf players, making the ski area a year-round destination.
Go Fish is the Newest Exhibit! Grab a fishin' rod and cast into our "pond" for some of the best lookin' trout in Montana. Kiddos can measure their fish on charts and identify exactly which trout they caught!
The Go Grow Grocery exhibit is fully stocked with a variety of "fresh" fruits and veggies, packaged dry goods, and dairy products. Visitors can wander through the store with their shopping lists and fill up their carts with healthy food and snacks. Head over to the checkout lane, complete with a kid propelled conveyor belt (by hand crank) and real cash register to "purchase" your groceries!
Come and discover the wonders of water! This exhibit features a moving water table with different activities at each stepped level, hand play with the water mushroom, directing the current with dam tabs and exploring water pressure through pipe building. Smocks and a hand dryer provided to help keep you dry. Another feature of Water Works Wonders is the Water Cycle Slide. You are a part of the cycle as you evaporate up the stairs...condensate into the clouds...and precipitate down the slide. Don't forget to climb through the tunnel as ground water and then repeat.
Kids can get their heads in the clouds, learn about the water cycle, and then zoom down the slide to the ground again. Then climb back up and do it all over again... and again... and again!
The Hall of Infinity is a fun and simple way to learn about mirrors and reflection.
Step inside a giant bubble! Will you master the art of the human tunnel bubble? Don't miss.
Little doctors, complete with scrubs and stethoscopes, learn about anatomy, health and wellness where the grown-ups become the patients.
Grab your goggles, shovel and bucket and go on an adventure to find dinosaur fossils both big and small! What have you found? Match what you found to the dino book to see what dinosaur your discovery is from.
This exhibit transforms the exhibit gallery into a ponderosa pine forest. Grab a costume on the performance stage for the big show or climb up into the tree fort as you search for the hidden woodland creatures throughout the museum.
Fun materials and new projects to make and take every day. Try your brush at a painting or texture tools at the Claymate table. This space doubles as CM's program/birthday room, too.
This enclosed space is just for the under 2 crowd. A climbing structure with stairs and a mini slide give those little movers and shakers the independence to test their new skills! Age-appropriate toys adorn the shelves for little ones to explore in a safe and creative way. Plus comfy seating and a boppy for nursing mamas.
The Road to Today: 250 Years of Missoula's History - Permanent, recently renovated exhibit showcasing Missoula's history.
Red Bird Restaurant and Wine Bar severs eclectic local cuisine with flair. Red Bird Restaurant is opened for intimate evening dining in dramatic architectural surroundings with an art nouveau feel. The Restaurant strives for sustainability and serves local meats, handmade pastas, sustainable fresh seafood and delectable desserts.
Chef-owned and operated, Pearl Cafe is an aptly named jewel of a restaurant serving regional cuisine with a country French accent. The massive beams and peach toned bricks of the historic warehouse provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. Specialties include bison with huckleberry-zinfandel sauce, duckling with dried cherries and pomegranate sauce and beef tenderloin with port and Roquefort. Fresh fish dishes change daily and local products are used whenever possible. The menu is rounded out with a variety of appetizers, soups and salads, house made bread and a list of sinfully delicious desserts. Custom wedding and special occasion cakes are produced in the bakery as well. The restaurant serves wine and beer, with a list of 15 wines by the glass, local draft beer, a broad selection of half bottles and over 100 full bottles.
At Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern, the bold majesty of America's grand lodges meets a fresh, exciting collection of foods and flavors. They feature a unique menu of comfort food with a twist, or what they describe as "creative American cooking." It's food you know and love, layered with delicious new flavors.
Finn & Porter gives surf and turf a contemporary twist. Innovative daily features are showcased with an emphasis on regional northwest cuisine. Try the hand tossed, gourmet pizzas including the Margherita, Prosciutto Walnut, Shiitake, Apollo, Seafood and The Griz. Finn & Porter also features an award winning bar with innovative cocktails including 16 specialty martinis such as the "Finn-Tini" and 200 select wines with 40 wines by the glass, as well as 16 draft beers on tap highlighting Montana micro-brews.