Great Falls, Montana, is named after the five large waterfalls over a 10-mile span of the Missouri River close to where the city is located. Those waterfalls were traversed by the Lewis and Clark expedition during the 1805 to 1806 surveying for the Louisiana Purchase. Today, each of those waterfalls is outfitted with a hydroelectric dam, which helps provide affordable and renewable energy to the citizens of the community. Great Falls is also known as the home of the Malmstrom Air Force Base, several universities, and many parks and recreational areas. Once you have gotten settled into your new place, you may want to get out and see some of the fun places in your new neighborhood. This list of great destinations that will make it easy for you to prioritize your leisure time.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, you can explore more than 25,000 square feet of permanent exhibits about the expedition of Lewis and Clark. Managed by the USDA Forest Service, the center has informative and hands-on displays about what the area was like during Lewis and Clark's exploration and the challenges they faced in their journey. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center offers an educational room where groups can take a class and do arts and crafts activities. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center also features a 158-seat theater with frequent guest lectures, performances and films. You can also participate in many outdoor activities here, including horseback riding, hiking and biking. There are outdoor learning areas, picnicking areas, playgrounds and winter sports activities at the center. (Photo Credit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lcnf/recarea/?recid=61458)
C. M. Russell Museum
The C.M. Russell Museum is an arts museum focused on Native American and Western American artworks. Some of the temporary and permanent collections include watercolor paintings in the Charles M. Russell: The Legacy of America's Cowboy Artist exhibit and other paintings, drawings and sculptures depicting scenes from the Western Frontier. The C. M. Russell Museum is also home to the Browning Firearms Collection, which features dozens of Browning rifles, shotguns and other firearms. The museum holds educational classes and lectures by renowned artists. The museum also features the outdoor Russell Riders Sculpture Garden. Bring along a lunch and enjoy the view and the fresh air during your visit. There is also a gift shop on site with prints of some of the paintings and educational books about some of the works.
Giant Springs State Park
The site that became Giant Springs State Park was first discovered in 1805 by Lewis and Clark. Notable as the home of one of the nation's largest freshwater springs, the water flows at a rate of 156 million gallons per day and stays at a temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. Giant Springs State Park features established campfire sites and fire pits for you to enjoy in the evening or on a winter day. There is also an interpretive center where you can learn more about why the park was established. Try out some of the activities, including biking, hiking, fishing, photography, wildlife viewing and birding. You can bring a picnic lunch, visit the hatchery or join one of the group nature tours. The Giant Springs State Park also provides you with the opportunity to attend special events and learn more about Montana's natural history.
Electric City Water Park
When you are ready for some fun and action, visit the Electric City Water Park. The water park offers up a lazy river with giant inner tubes, an exciting rip tide slide, a power tower plunge with a 20-foot drop, a body boarding ride, a large heated swimming pool and a separate kids' splash pool. If you work up an appetite with all of the sliding and swimming, you can visit the concessions stand and have a hamburger, hot dog, fries and soft drink. The Electric City Water Park also features shaded grassy areas where you can relax and read a book or sit and talk with friends.
The History Museum
When you are ready to learn about Montana history, The History Museum is an excellent destination. The museum features more than 10,000 artifacts collected from all over central Montana. Some of the items on display include pottery, arrowheads, wagon wheels and cast iron cookware. Managed by the Cascade County Historical Society and housed in the old International Harvester building, the museum has interactive displays and exhibits on the natural, cultural and demographic history of Montana. The History Museum is also home to a large research library that is open to anyone to use. There are special events and lectures that take place on a regular basis. You can do a self-guided tour or come with a group and prearrange a guided tour with one of the experienced docents. While at the museum, you can visit the bookstore and the gift shop. (Photo Credit: http://www.thehistorymuseumgreatfalls.com/)
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
If you enjoy viewing art, be sure to put the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art on your list of places to visit. The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art features a permanent display of wooden sculptures made by Montana artist Lee Steen. These sculptures are stick figures that invoke images of children's drawings. Some of the seasonal exhibits that you might be able to see while visiting the museum include the Great Falls Public School All City Student Show, the Artist in Residence Exhibit, the Dwayne Wilcox & Terrance Gaurdipee Exhibit and more. Each temporary exhibit is on display for just 30 days, which means that you can visit once every month and have a new experience every time. While at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, you can also attend an artist's workshop, participate in after-school classes or enjoy a guest lecture series. The museum has a cafe that is open for lunch and a gift shop with fun souvenirs, books and small pieces of locally made art.
Veterans Memorial Park
The quiet and serene Veterans Memorial Park is a place of honor and dignity to remember the sacrifice of veterans from across the United States. The park features tiles embedded into a beautiful stone wall. Each tile has the name of a soldier who served in any military branch or who lost his or her life defending the USA. The Veterans Memorial Park also provides you with the opportunity to do a rubbing of a tile with the name of your friend or family member. Anyone who served in any branch of the U.S. armed forces can have a tile placed on the wall, including veterans who are still alive.
Cowboys Bar & Museum
When you want a fun and relaxing saloon type of experience, be sure to visit the Cowboys Bar & Museum. This bar has all of your favorite beers and liquors and many that are likely to be new to you. The bar also offers snacks and appetizers to satisfy your appetite for a fresh, hot meal. The Cowboys Bar & Museum has plenty of details to make you feel like you're in the West, including rawhide ropes, ox yokes and spurs. There are more than 500 cowboy relics on display. The museum and eatery is housed inside of an authentic log cabin that was built in the 1930s.
Montano Museum of Railroad History
If you like trains or you enjoy history, the Montano Museum of Railroad History is a fun place to visit. The museum is home to a caboose that you can walk through, a speeder and several baggage wagons. There are more than 10,000 artifacts from the heyday of the railroad on display, including dishes, tools and equipment used on passenger and delivery trains. Model train enthusiasts will also enjoy visiting the Montano Museum of Railroad History. There is a 7,500-square-foot building with HO-scale model trains. The Montano Museum of Railroad History also features a 2,000-volume railroad research library.
Riverside Rail Yard Skate Park
Strap on your skates and head to the Riverside Rail Yard Skate Park to enjoy its 27,000 square feet of ramps, steps and other places to do tricks. The Riverside Rail Yard Skate Park also provides you with the chance to try out the 9-foot-deep bowls, full and half pipes, and grinding ledges. Even if you do not skate, you can go and watch the pros and future pros get in some practice sessions.Moving into a new home in a new city can be a challenge. With a moving company like Allied Van Lines, you will have the assistance that you need in order to lower the stress associated with such a big life change. Once you are settled into your new home or apartment, you will be able to refer to this list of 10 fabulous destinations to visit in Great Falls.