Four Dances Recreation Area

20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Things to do in Billings, Montana

There are so many gorgeous destinations in the United States, but the one you do not want to miss visiting in Billings, Montana as there are so many free or nearly free things to do in Billings, Montana. This part of the country is known for its outdoor adventures, whether you are biking the trails, hiking in the mountains, or rafting down the river.

Add in the western history and local beer and you will have more things to do in Billings, Montana that you thought. You will never even ask yourself the dreaded question of what is there to do in Billings, Montana. The best part is there are plenty of things for kids to do in Billings, so you won’t need to worry about them being bored when you are on vacation. In fact, we don’t think they will be able to ignore any of the Billings, Montana points of interest that you see throughout your trip.


Where is Billings Montana?

Billings, Montana is in the south-central section of the state. Mountains surround the city, so it is the perfect place to visit when you want a combination of city and country life.

Billings Montana
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Best Time to Visit Billings, Montana

The best time to visit Billings, Montana is during the months of June through October. Since Billings gets a lot of snow, there are usually the months when you can access everything in the area. Those months also offer the most festivals and special events. That means your calendar will be even busier than planned.


Weather in Billings, Montana

The weather in Billings, Montana is snowy and cold during the winter months. It is common to see temperatures in the negatives during that time of the year. Spring brings warmer weather with rain, while the summer months bring hot weather. It cools back down in the fall and it is common to see the first snowfall at some point in September.


20 Free (or Nearly Free!) Things to do in Billings, Montana

1. Visit Pompey’s Pillar National Monument

Pompey’s Pillar National Monument - Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr

Pompey’s Pillar National Monument is one of the cheap things to do near Billings, Montana. The entrance fee is per carload and it is reasonable. Plus, if you happen to visit off-season, you won’t even be charged the fee. This area marks where Lewis and Clark spent their time during their expedition. There is an interpretive center there, as well as a trail.

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2. Go See the Devastating History at Sacrifice Cliff

Visiting Sacrifice Cliff might not be the best thing to do with kids in Billings, Montana. According to a local story, two teenagers lost their families to smallpox. Those two teens then rode a horse over the side of this cliff to their death.

3. Take a Self-Guided Art Tour

There are many local artists in Billings, MT. Those artists created a free walking tour for you to enjoy. You can easily get a map that shares where all the works of art are located. You will be amazed at some of the pieces you see along the way, as you do this free thing to do in Billings, Montana.

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4. Explore the Little Bighorn Battlefield

Little Bighorn Battlefield - Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: National Par Services

The entry fee for cars is not one of the cheaper things to do near Billings, Montana. However, if you are a history lover, you will not want to miss this battlefield. There are self-guided walking and driving tours available, so you can choose the one that works best for you. We recommend stopping at the visitor center first, because you will learn a little about what you will be seeing before venturing out.

5. Watching the Sunset at Swords Park & Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site

One of the best things to do at night in Billings is watching the sunset. Sometimes the best free things in Billings can be found at night. You can head over to Swords Park and the interpretive site to watch as the sun sets over the city. There is an airport nearby, so the kids will be happy as they watch the planes taking off and landing.

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6. Grab Some Brew at Angry Hank’s Microbrewery

Angry Hank’s Microbrewery is another option for things to do in Billings for couples. This brewery will allow you to taste test a couple brews before making your final decision. The good news is their pints are reasonably priced, so a stop there could be considered a cheap thing to do in Billings, MT.

7. Visit Boot Hill Cemetery

Boot Hill Cemetery - Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

As you are looking for cool things to do in Billings, you may want to consider visiting Boot Hill Cemetery. This is one of the Billings, Montana points of interest that you won’t want to leave off your list of things to do in Billings. Most of the people buried in this cemetery had their boots on at the time of their burial, which is where the unique name came from. There are many notable people buried at this cemetery, so you will want to spend some time walking around.

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8. Taste the Wine at Yellowstone Cellars and Winery

While visiting a winery is not going to be one of the free things to do in Billings, you won’t spend as much as you think. This winery does offer free wine tastings that you can take advantage of before committing to a glass or bottle of wine. This is one of the best things to do in Billings, Montana for couples.

9. Hike at Lake Elmo State Park

One of the top things to do in Billings is hiking at Lake Elmo State Park. There are quite a few hiking trails to choose from. If you are not a fan of hiking, you can always go kayaking or relax with a picnic lunch. There is also a playground for the kids, so they can play while you get a little downtime.

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10. See the Views from the Rimrocks

Rimrocks - Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The Rimrocks happens to be a fabulous rock formation that looms over the city. Spending time at the Rimrocks is one of the best things to do in Billings this weekend. We recommend going to the top, so you can see the incredible views of the Yellowstone River and the entire city.

11. Wander Around the Custer Battlefield Trading Post

Yes, the Custer Battlefield Trading Post is a store, as well as a restaurant. But there are many different Native American items in there, so it kind of feels like a museum too. Plus, an entire wall in the trading post has actually been turned into a true museum. It is on that wall where you will see the only picture of Crazy Horse, who was a Native American who fought in the Battle of Little Horn.

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12. Spend a Little Time at Riverfront Park

One of the best things to do in Billings with kids is spending time at Riverfront Park. Everyone will love walking along the trails, as they look for the local wildlife. You can easily spend a few hours there and then cook some food on one of the BBQ grills for a picnic lunch or dinner.

13. Drive Over to Pryor Mountains

Pryor Mountains- Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: Bureau of Land Management, Flickr CC BY 2.0

Pryor Mountains offer some of the best hiking in Billings, Montana. Depending on which part of the mountains you drive to, you may need a four-wheel drive vehicle. However, you can get away with a different vehicle if you are parking at the bottom and doing a little hiking. One of the best things about this Billings, Montana point of interest is that wild horses roam the mountains. It is quite common to see them when you are out exploring, so make sure you stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

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14. Visit the DanWalt Gardens

DanWalt Gardens is one of Billings attractions that the entire family will love. This free thing to do in Billings, Montana is perfect for kids and adults alike. You can wander through the gardens to see what is in bloom. We recommend trying to visit when the roses are in bloom at the Memorial Rose Garden, but don’t be disappointed if you do not make it happen.

15. Visit the Yellowstone County Museum

The Yellowstone County Museum is another one of the free things to do in Billings, Montana. The best part is it is a favorite amongst kids too. The exhibits display everything from a 1901 steam engine train and firearms to the history of Indian Nations, Montana baseball, and the Ghost Dance.

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16. See the Pictographs at the Pictograph Cave State Park

Pictograph Cave State Park - Free Things to do in Billings, Montana
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Seeing the pictographs at the Pictograph Cave State Park is one of the cheap things to do in Billings. This is one of the infamous Billings attractions, so you must make sure you have it on your list of places to visit during your stay. It is best to take a tour and reservations are required for those in advance.

17. Explore Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park is another park that is one of the best things to do in Billings with kids. Everyone will love the disc golf course, as well as the swimming areas and playgrounds. If you time your visit right, you can catch a performance by the Symphony Orchestra. Talk about an amazing free thing to do in Billings, Montana!

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18. Learn About History at the Western Heritage Center

Learning about the history of the Yellowstone River Valley is as easy as stopping into the Western Heritage Center. This is one of the fun and cheap things to do in Billings, MT. While you can explore on your own, you may want to consider taking one of the guided tours to get the most out of your visit.

19. See Nature at the Four Dances Recreation Area

Four Dances Recreation Area
Credits: Bureau of Land Management Montana and Dakotas, Flickr

Sometimes the best things for kids to do in Billings is running around and playing. They can do both those things at the Four Dances Recreation Area. When you are not out hiking on the trails and watching the wildlife, you can take family photos in this beautiful area.

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20. Explore the Big Horn County Historical Museum

While the Big Horn County Historical Museum is not free, it is one of the cheaper things to do in Billings. It is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Billings, Montana! There are twenty-six historical buildings, as well as buildings that have antique automobiles and other items inside. History will come to life right before your eyes and you will find that you are going to want to stay a lot longer than you planned on.


Expert Tips for Traveling to Billings, Montana

Billings, Montana is an amazing destination and you can never go wrong with vacationing there. However, there are a couple tips you must know if you want your trip to be better than ever!

Go Out of Your Comfort Zone – If you are not the type of person who loves to explore the outdoors, you are going to want to go out of your comfort zone during your visit. Start hiking a trail and paying attention to the wildlife.

hiking

Embrace the History of the Area – Billings is filled with history, so much that it can be a little overwhelming at times. Embrace what you are learning and understand you might not remember it all by the time you get home. Journaling about your experiences at the end of each day can help you remember most of it in the future.

Take Lots of Pictures – When you are traveling, there are times you are so focused on seeing everything that you forget to stop and take a few pictures along the way. Billings, Montana is one area that you will want a lot of pictures of to remember all the memories you were making during your stay.

These are the twenty free, or nearly free, things to do in Billings, Montana. There are other fun and free things to do in Billings, Montana. Depending on how much time you are spending in Billings, you may be able to add a few more things to do with kids in Billings to your list. If not, no worries! You can always return to this area again to do those items you didn’t check off your list the first time.

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