Family-Friendly Ideas in the Flathead Valley

I keep a list in the back of my planner with ideas of things to do with the kids, for when guests come to town. Some of these may be simple, but we have a few unique ideas to add new fun!

Lawrence Park: Great playground, climbing wall for kids, disc golf course, and intense hill for sledding in the winter. 

Farmers Markets: There are sooo many in the summer! We love bringing a picnic and listening to the music or bringing a main dish and getting our "sides" from the vendors. 

Purple Mountain Lavender: Lavender farm in Lakeside with free tours, beautiful fields of purple. 

Cherry picking: Iconic summer activity. We like K&J Orchard, we pick a box full, freeze them and of course, make a cherry almond pie

Fishing Ponds: Easy access for kiddos. 

U-Pick Farms: We like picking strawberries at North Shore Farm.

Swan Nature Trail: Great trail for biking with the kids. We like to take a picnic and look for crawfish near the causeway at the end of the trail.

Polebridge Mercantile: Huckleberry Bearclaws and Chunky Monkey pastries. 

Sweet Peaks: The BEST ice cream and interesting flavors. 

Lone Tree Park: Hiking and trails. 

Snappy's Fishing Pond: This is almost a weekly occurrence for us. Go all the way to the back of the store and out the back door. They have a pond stocked with rainbow trout and a dispenser where you can buy a cup of feed for $.25. We bring a picnic; this is our "lunch date" for our weekly town trips so we don't have to eat out. 

Hungry Horse Dam: Free tours.

Owen Sowerine Birding Area: Great for birding. We bring our notebooks, sit in the grass, and do nature journaling. 

Wheat Montana: The best cinnamon rolls; a great "treat/snack" in town for special occasions. 

Sweet Pickins' Pumpkin Patch: Lots of fun fall-themed activities. 

Bowman Lake: Picnic and beach days. (We do A LOT of picnics- are you sensing a theme!)

Imagine If libraries: Almost a weekly occurrence. We love books, their activity bags, their kid events, the seed library (at the Columbia Falls location), and this is where I do my printing. 


Wayfarers and Burgertown: Great beach for wading with kiddos, hiking trails and Burgertown is an iconic Bigfork treat.

Reloved Thrift Store: Lots of goodies here. Sometimes we pick a new a game or puzzle and go home to play it. Cheap boredom buster. Also, kids books are always free. 

Woodland Park/Waterpark: Recently renovated playground for kids, a gazebo area with flowers in the summer and an ice rink for skating in the winter. 

Imagination Station Toy Store: If we need a fun place to go in bad weather, the kids love looking around here. Sign-up for their birthday club and you'll get $5 voucher to use in their birthday month.

Yellow Bay Beach: Summer lake days.

Creston Fish Hatchery and Outdoor Classroom: Ask the workers to feed the fish, they've never declined us! Free tours of the fry tanks. Across the way, there is a really nice pavilion and outdoor classroom with different areas to explore like: a xylophone, a stage, can drums, wood playground, wood block building area, duck blind, and art area. 

Station 8 Antiques: Our favorite antique store. They also have good seasonal events. 

Columbia Falls Depot Park: All the way at the end of Nucleus Ave., there is an old train to play on. The kids have fun playing "conductor". 

Harvest Foods: Not healthy, but they have great donuts. A few times a year we treat to kids to a breakfast date. 

Kalispell Mall: In the middle of winter, this is our outlet for getting energy out; walking the mall and playing on the coin kiddie rides.

Hoopers: The kids have fun looking at all the flowers. Herbs are cheap. Last year they each picked out a different mint plant variety to pot in the garden to make their own mint tea. 

The rest are outside the Valley, but places that we enjoy going or are on our bucket list!