Easy Winter Packing List For Kids


“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”― Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk

“The cold never bothered us anyway.” – Elsa, Frozen

At the intersection of these two quotes is the place where the emotional temperatures rise at the same time as the physical temperatures are falling–where parents find themselves boiling over while their kids are having a meltdown. Because, although the kids may claim the cold doesn’t bother them as they head out the door, we all know that the wrong gear will lead to miserable kids, and nothing puts a damper on a fun winter vacation than unhappy kids!

Instead, how about a kid who is exhilarated from the fun they have had in the snow, begging to go back out again tomorrow, while the parents are sipping a hot spiced wine at the end of a great day on the slopes? That sounds more like the family snow vacation you were hoping for, doesn’t it?

As you prepare for your trip to Big Sky, here are some tips on what to pack for your kiddos provided for us by Town Hall Outdoor Co., a trusted kids outdoor apparel company. 

Local’s Tip: Kids who can take care of themselves become adults who can take care of themselves!

This checklist is an easy peasy way to stay organized an on track! Print this up and give to your kids so they can start the packing on their own. Fill in the quantity of the items listed with a “qty” next to it that you think they should pack based on  the length of your trip. As a best practice, have them use this list, lay out everything to be packed, and then you can check off the list with them as they have fun figuring out the best way to roll up or fold up or cube up each item to fit in their suitcase for the trip.

Our Favorite Kid’s Packing List:

  • Long Underwear tops
    qty: ____
  • Long Underwear bottoms
    qty: ____
  • Mid Layer (fleece, sweater)
    qty: ___
  • Wool Socks
    qty: ____
  • Snow Pants
  • Puffy Jacket
  • Ski Jacket
  • Gloves/Mittens – Skiing
  • Gloves/Mittens – Casual
  • Cozy Hat
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Slippers or Cozy Socks – Inside
  • Water Bottle
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear
  • Casual Socks
    qty:____
  • Casual Long Sleeve Tops
    qty: ____
  • Casual Pants
    qty: ____
  • Casual Sweatshirt or Sweater
    qty: ____
  • Toiletries
  • Book to Read
  • Devices & Charging Cords
  • Other:_______________________
  • Other:_______________________


Extra items to consider:
Slippers for cabin or lodge wear – because cozy feet are happy feet.
Water bottle – hydrate, friends.
Swimsuit for the hot tub – hot springs or hot tubbing? Heck ya!
Eyewear – Goggles for skiing and sunglasses for all other times outside. Did you know you can burn your eyeballs due to the light reflecting off the snow at this high elevation? Ouch. 

Parents might want to manage the below:
Sunscreen- Of course you can purchase some here once you arrive, but remember those days of the raccoon eyes following a ski vacation were before we knew as much about skin cancer and wrinkles!
Hand warmers and foot warmers – Stash a couple in their pocket in the morning, or just pop them right into their mittens before they head out on cold mornings. Everyone will be happier.
Skis, boots, poles, (or board and boots) helmets, pass – We love nurturing responsible kids, but there are certain things that we can’t let go of control as we pack to head out of town.

Local’s Tip: If you’re looking for recommendations of what to buy, check out this list of favorite items for keeping her kids warm and cozy all winter long from Town Hall’s founder Robin Hall.

  • Base Layer (Top and Bottoms) — (aka long johns- but not cotton!) – Synthetic materials or wool are the best for wicking away moisture and keeping your kiddo warm and dry. Insider tip: Wool doesn’t get as stinky, so you might find you don’t need to wash between wears and that saves space in your luggage. And don’t think of this as your sweet granny’s itchy wool sweaters! 
  • Mid Layers – From old fashioned wool sweaters to fleece to light layering puffers and vests, there are a lot of options for mid layers. The point is to add a little more insulation between the base layer and jacket. We love the Town Hall Midtown Fleece that is a perfect four-season solution.
  • Wool Socks – Nothing is worse than cold feet, so make sure you have good socks to keep your tootsies warm. Kids tend to find ways to spend more time covered in snow than adults, so you’ll definitely want extra pairs so they can dry in between wearing.
  • Snow Pants – The final barrier and the one that can make or break the vacation–insulated and waterproof snow pants are key with kids who are up and down on the snow throughout the day. Pro parent tip? Make sure those snow pants have reinforced knees….you’ll thank us after they’ve been digging in the snow all afternoon. The Town Hall Mountain Town Winter Pants and Bibs will keep them loving outside all day, and their built-in grow seams allow you to unstitch an extra inch so they can get another season out of them.
  • Jacket – Of course we are jacket snobs, but we are fans of having a cozy puffy and a mountain jacket for making the most of your time in the snow. Town Hall’s award winning Down Town Puffy is good for checking out the sites or staying warm as you head out to dinner. Their Mountain Town Winter Jacket will keep your kiddo warm and dry all day on the slopes. Look for features like big pockets for stashing snacks, a pass pocket to keep that critical essential stashed away, and a powder skirt to keep the snow on the outside and your kiddo warm and dry on the inside. Bonus feature? Pit zips for when things warm up! As parents of kids who spend a lot of their time on the mountain, we are huge fans of bright colors on snow pants and jackets so you can easily spot your little ripper coming down the run.
  • Gloves/Mittens – Nothing ruins a fun day of skiing like cold hands. Waterproof and insulated, and well made as once again kids dig into the snow a lot more than us boring adults, and snow is hard on fabric and stitching. Many kids prefer mittens, and they do a better job of keeping fingers warm.  You might also bring along a lighter pair for wearing when you head out to dinner or to take a walk, as we can guarantee those mittens worn all day will be soaking wet by the time the lifts close. 
  • Neck Gaiter – It’s not 2020 anymore, but neck gaiters are still the rage when you’re trying to keep your nose and chin warm on a cold day. There are so many fun ways to accessorize with a stylish neck gaiter, and they are pretty inexpensive, so let your kid pick one that makes them happy! Better yet, grab Town Hall’s 100% recycled, made in Colorado, designed by a Steamboat Springs’ 5th grader neck gaiter that is silky smooth and super comfy. Some people like balaclavas to keep the cold out, but properly placed neck gaiter can accomplish much of the same goal. 
  • Wool or Fleece Hat – Steamboat locals take their hat wearing very seriously–a local’s hat basket is kind of like a shoe closet from Manhattan–filled with way too many but each has it’s own style and wardrobe pairing. A cozy hat makes a great souvenir, so maybe wait until you get to town to let your kiddo pick one that will remind them of your time in the ‘boat, like Town Hall’s Snow Tree Beanie, which is perfect for kids and adults alike.

About Town Hall Outdoor Co.

Town Hall Outdoor Co. is a kids outerwear company based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The company was founded in 2020 by former Smartwool executive Robin Hall with a commitment to encouraging kids to love outside, highlighting the importance of community, and always considering sustainability and the environment in every move the business makes.

Babysitting & Childcare Options in Big Sky, MT 

Planning a summer vacation or ski trip to Big Sky with the kiddos? Big Sky Montana ticks all the boxes for a family vacation – kid-friendly ski slopes (kids 6 and under ski for $4!), year-round resort activities worthy of a slot on your itinerary, local restaurants and nightlife with a focus on family, and scenery that makes you switch off, slow down, spontaneously explore nature, and de-stress! 

As a parent, perhaps vacations are no longer defined by carefree skiing and aprés, summer hikes, spa days, and wine tastings – but it’s your vacation too! Traveling with kids can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be stressful and challenging – you need to be prepared for everything …. including time-out from the treasured tots and teens!

Big Sky offers excellent local babysitting and childcare options as well as everything you need in baby gear equipment rentals to make your stay comfortable, convenient, and carefree. Our list of suggested and reputable family resources in Big Sky offers the solutions and peace of mind needed when traveling with infants, toddlers, or teens. 

BIG SKY CHILDCARE & BABYSITTING OPTIONS


Finding the right childcare for your kids is daunting, especially in an unknown destination. With our local childcare and babysitting options in Big Sky, you can relax knowing your kids are in safe hands and having fun! The bigger kids may even beg you to take another date night! This valuable local service allows you to create your own hours, plan a night out on the town, book a spa day or round of alpine golf, and have the peace of mind of knowing your kids are safe with one-on-one childcare in the comfort of your Big Sky vacation home.

Lone Peak Playhouse

Big Sky Mountain Village | Phone: (406) 993-2220

Big Sky Madison Base Area | Phone: (406) 993-6060

Open 8:30 AM to 4 PM


For structured winter child care while you shred the slopes, soak in a spa, or take a long lazy lunch and afternoon nap with your loved one – look no further than Lone Peak Playhouse, Big Sky Resort’s full-service daycare program for ages 6 months to 8 years.

Lone Peak Playhouse has two convenient childcare centers at the base areas of Big Sky’s Mountain Village and Madison Base area offering morning, afternoon, or full-day childcare daily through the winter season. They’ll even coordinate with Mountain Sports School to get the kids off to a ski or snowboard lesson! Lone Peak Playhouse provides a safe and fun environment with social interaction, indoor and outdoor playtime, arts and crafts, dining areas, and nap rooms for infants and toddlers.  

Big Sky Sitters

Phone: (406) 282-3092


Big Sky Sitters is a local Big Sky company with a portfolio of personally interviewed, screened, reference-checked, and experienced CPR-certified sitters for your kids and pets! Whether you’re looking for a daytime or nighttime on-call sitter to care for your kids in your vacation rental (infant and toddler specialists are available), need a tag-along nanny for your adventures, or are looking for an on-site babysitter to lend a hand at a wedding or family reunion event, their childcare and babysitting services offer full peace of mind for your Big Sky family vacation. Make a reservation online and experience a personalized service matching you to the perfect sitter for your kids.


Four O Six Nannies

Phone: (406) 813-1896


In their own words “finding childcare can be like feeding a finicky toddler”, but not with 406 Nannies in Big Sky, MT. Four O Six Nannies have perfected the process of childcare and offer everything from one-time sitters and in-home nannies for your length of stay to hands-on childcare for events and pet-sitting. All childcare providers have extensive experience and are pre-qualified, fully screened and vetted, and ready to engage with your children while you enjoy your well-deserved share of vacation downtime.  


BABY GEAR & EQUIPMENT RENTALS IN BIG SKY


No matter how old the kids are, packing for a family vacation is always a challenge! There’s almost always a long packing list for an infant, toys for toddlers, personal gadgets for the older kids (unless you’ve instilled the art of sharing), gear to get around, and bags of basic essentials that traveling with kids requires. Challenging? Yes, but not when you vacation in Big Sky, MT.

Big Sky Baby Gear

Phone: (406) 995-2994


Lighten your load with Big Sky Baby Gear! Big Sky Baby Gear is owned and operated by Kami Hussey, a busy local Big Sky mom with a passion for travel. Simply place your order online, and for a small (and justifiable) delivery fee, your safe and sanitized baby gear will be delivered directly to your Big Sky vacation home prior to arrival. Rentals include baby bathtubs, booster seats, high chairs, potty seats, infant swings, pack n’ plays, full-size cribs, toy bins for all ages, relaxation sound spas, and video baby monitors. For adventures in Big Sky’s vast outdoor playground, you can rent single and double strollers or child carriers to head out on a hike.

Big Boys Toys

Phone: (406) 587-4747


Based in Bozeman Montana, Big Boys Toys offer a large inventory of baby and children’s rental gear along with toys for the big boys too. Big boys have a choice of ATVs (side-by-side options for the kids), motorized and non-motorized boats, jet skis, snowmobiles, SUPs, and trailers to haul it all! For convenient travel with kids, they offer a wide selection of gear including baby bouncers, booster seats, infant and toddler car seats, full and compact cribs, portable pack ‘n plays, and strollers and backpacks to hit the Big Sky trails.




Ship Skis Shipping Services


If you prefer to bring your own baby gear to Big Sky, we’ve got you covered too. Big Sky Vacation Rentals partners with Ship Ski Shipping Services, a fast and easy door-to-door service for extra baggage, sports equipment (skis, snowboards, or summer golf equipment), and all your baby and toddler gear! Once your Big Sky vacation rental is reserved, simply follow the instructions and set up your order through our Ship Skis online portal to enjoy stress-free travels for your family vacation in Big Sky, MT.


Trade your hotel room kitchenette and mini bar fridge for all the comforts of home when you spend your family vacation in a private Big Sky vacation rental. Our selection of 125+ Big Sky condos, cabins, mountain lodges, and luxury Platinum Collection of properties are designed with family in mind and provide a true home away from home for your vacation. 

Whether you choose to stay in the heart of Big Sky Resort or Town Center within walking distance to restaurants, activities, and events or prefer the seclusion of serene forests on the upper slopes of Moonlight Basin with trails to adventure from home – your Big Sky family vacation begins here!  

15 Reasons To Visit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a natural wonderland filled with breathtaking landscapes, wild creatures, and endless possibilities for exploration. But before you embark on your journey, did you know that this incredible park is not just any ordinary destination? 

From geysers that shoot boiling water sky-high and natural hot springs that shimmer in vibrant hues, to roaming herds of bison and grizzlies that lurk in the dense forests, Yellowstone National Park is a unique destination where the unexpected awaits at every turn. Join us as we uncover some of the most exciting and lesser-known facts about this wonderful and wild U.S. National Park and share 15 reasons to add Yellowstone National Park to your summer bucket list! 

#1 The World’s Original National Park 


Established on March 1, 1872, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law, Yellowstone National Park is the first national park in the world and a true American treasure. There are more than 1,850 known archaeological sites and National Register of Historic Places sites within the park with evidence of the rich history of both the landscapes and the various ethnic groups and tribes that inhabited the Yellowstone region.

#2 IT’S One of the Most Visited Parks in the US 


Yellowstone National Park reached its visitation peak in 2021 with a record-breaking 4.86 million visitors, making it one of the most visited parks in the US. Yellowstone’s visitor numbers swell substantially in the peak season (June, July, and August), but each season brings its own set of spectacular sights and scenery if you want to avoid the crowds!



#3 Yellowstone is a Supervolcano Site


EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

One of the world’s largest active volcanoes lies beneath Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone supervolcano had three cataclysmic eruptions – approximately 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 630,000 years ago. These super-eruptions created the park’s Island Park Caldera, Henry’s Ford Caldera, and Yellowstone Caldera, the largest of the three calderas measuring a massive 30 by 45 miles.

#4 Yellowstone still shudders!


Yellowstone National Park is one of the most seismically active areas in the US with between 700 and 3,000 earthquakes each year. These earthquakes naturally maintain the hydrothermal activity of Yellowstone’s geysers and hot springs and are closely monitored by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, located within the park. No worries though, the Yellowstone shudders are so small, you don’t feel them!  




#5 Geysers Galore 


With more than 500 geysers spread over several geyser basins, Yellowstone National Park boasts the largest concentration of geysers in the world. Situated near the West Entrance, the legendary Old Faithful in Upper Geyser Basin is the most famous of Yellowstone geysers, erupting fairly predictably every 91 minutes on average (17 times a day!) and reaching heights of up to 185 feet. However, Old Faithful is not the tallest geyser in Yellowstone!

#6 The World’s Tallest Geyser 


The Steamboat Geyser in nearby Norris Geyser Basin is the world’s tallest active geyser with major eruptions shooting water as hot as 160oF up to 300 feet in the air. Unlike Old Faithful, Steamboat Geyser’s eruptions are completely unpredictable but, if you’re in the right place at the right time, they are simply spectacular and can last anywhere from 3 to 40 minutes.

#7 Natural Hot Springs for Soaking


Aside from glorious geysers galore, Yellowstone National Park preserves more than 10,000 hydrothermal features ranging from natural hot springs and mud pots to fumaroles and stunning travertine terraces. This is half of the world’s hydrothermal features! These features are formed by the heat and pressure of the volcanic activity beneath the surface with highly acidic water that can reach temperatures as high as 400oF! Soaking in Yellowstone’s hot springs is prohibited with the exception of two designated swimming areas, Firehole Canyon and Boiling River.



#8 200+ Majestic Waterfalls


Yellowstone’s majestic water features also include an estimated 290 waterfalls, of which only 45 are named. Many of Yellowstone’s iconic waterfalls are best accessed from the West Entrance – some visible from roadside viewpoints, boardwalks, and easy viewing platforms, others lie off the beaten path and require a little extra effort on the trails. Our favorite waterfalls include Firehole Falls, Fairy Falls, Mystic Falls, Kepler Cascades, Gibbon Falls, and the breathtaking Upper and Lower Yellowstone River Falls in the iconic Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

#9 See American Bison in the Wild


Yellowstone is the only place in the US where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times and is today home to the largest bison herd in the world on public land. An estimated 5,450 bison roam freely in the valleys and high plateaus of Yellowstone with northern herds found in the Lamar Valley and central herds in the Hayden Valley. 

President Barack Obama designated the American Bison the first national mammal of the United States in 2016, recognizing the historical, cultural, and economic importance of the bison. They are the largest land mammal in North America (up to 2,000 pounds!) but don’t be fooled and keep your distance! They can run up to 35 miles per hour, jump fences, love to swim, and cause regular “Bison Jams” in Yellowstone!




#10 Watch Free-Roaming Wildlife


Aside from American Bison, Yellowstone National Park has the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48, with 67 unique species of mammals. The mammals found in Yellowstone include black bears, coyotes, gray wolves, mountain lions, moose, elk, and smaller mammals ranging from beavers and bobcats to river otters and mountain goats. Yellowstone is also home to two threatened species, a growing population of grizzly bears and the elusive Canada lynx. In addition, wildlife enthusiasts have 285 bird species, 16 fish species, 5 amphibian species, and 134 species of butterflies to track! Check out our Guide to Wildlife Viewing in Yellowstone!  

#11 Yellowstone has its own Grand Canyon


The 692-mile Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the US, beginning on the slopes of Yount Peak in the Absaroka Range of Wyoming, flowing north through the park, joining the Missouri River in North Dakota, and finally emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The mighty Yellowstone River has slowly carved a breathtaking canyon stretching 20 miles through the eastern side of the park- the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Follow the North and South Rim drives and trails to absorb the beauty with two cascading waterfalls within the first mile – the breathtaking Upper and Lower Yellowstone River Falls.

#12 Four Seasons of Splendor


Each season in Yellowstone National Park brings its own set of spectacular sights, scenery, and natural splendor. Summer is the most popular time for exploration in Yellowstone, the spring season brings blooms of over 1,200 species of wildflowers along with the arrival of spring wildlife babies, fall fabulously covers the landscapes with an autumn glow, and winter is cold but wonderful! The West Entrance is open to over-snow vehicles with one-of-a-kind winter Yellowstone tours available – by snow coach, snowmobile, or even winter snowshoes! 



#13 Five Park Entrances for Easy Exploration 


Yellowstone is located primarily in the northwest corner of Wyoming, extending into Montana and Idaho, and is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The park encompasses 2,221,766 acres (that’s 3,472 square miles!) with five park entrances, eight main visitor centers, 466 miles of roads, 92 trailheads, and 1,000+ miles of trails for hiking and biking. A little Yellowstone pre-trip planning goes a long way!

#14 Big Sky is the BEST base camp for Yellowstone National Park!


Situated only an hour north of the West Entrance to Yellowstone, the resort town of Big Sky Montana is the best base camp to explore Yellowstone National Park in any season. Take a scenic drive for a self-guided day trip or choose from a wide variety of professionally guided tours of Yellowstone Park departing from Big Sky year-round. Book your stay with BSVR. From cozy cowboy cabins to our collection of plush platinum Big Sky properties, Big Sky Vacation Rentals represents 125+ of the best vacation rentals near Yellowstone National Park! Find the perfect place to stay, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide app for planning at your fingertips, or give our local team a call at (888) 915-2787. The best experience of Yellowstone National Park is only a click or call away!




#15 You can visit Yellowstone National Park for FREE.


There are several options for paying the entrance fee for Yellowstone National Park, and you can even visit for FREE! America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Lands Pass gives you the biggest bang for your buck with access to more than 2,000 recreation areas in the US, or Yellowstone National Park passes may be purchased at all entrances or online at Recreation.gov.


YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION


7-day Vehicle Pass to Yellowstone: $35 per vehicle

7-day Motorcycle or Snowmobile Pass: $30

7-day Pedestrian or Cyclist Pass: $20

Annual Yellowstone National Park Pass: $70 

America the Beautiful National Park Pass: $80

Senior Lifetime Pass: $80 

Entrance Fee-Free Day for 2023: 

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced its free entrance days for 2023 where you can visit over 400 US National Parks for FREE, including Yellowstone National Park! 

  • January 16 – The birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • April 22 – National Park Week
  • August 4 – The anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 23 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day 

Active military receive free annual passes on presentation of a military ID, travelers under 16 years of age receive free entry, and fourth-graders receive free passes to all federal parks, lands, and waters!

STAY with Big Sky Vacation Rentals


The beauty of Big Sky, Montana – you’re surrounded by wilderness and don’t need to find a trailhead to hit the trails! In our collection of 120+ Big Sky vacation rental homes and cabins, you’ll find everything from mountain modern for a luxury stay in Big Sky to quintessential mountain cabins with easy access to the trails, or even the best Big Sky hiking trails on your doorstep! 

Take a tour of the Big Sky Resort neighborhoods, browse our collection of Big Sky rentals online, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide for easy planning, or call our team today at (888) 915-2787

We live here, we play here, and we know the best places to hike in Big Sky, in any season.

6 Local Parks To Visit In Big Sky

Nestled in the Madison Range of SW Montana, Big Sky is a destination surrounded by towering mountain peaks, evergreen forests, world-class rivers, and untouched beauty at every turn! It’s a destination that appeals to those in pursuit of outdoor recreation, families seeking old-fashioned fun without the distractions of modern day living, and travelers looking to escape off the grid in nature! 

In Big Sky, it’s not surprising to see herds of elk or moose roaming through town, local bighorn sheep causing traffic chaos on the streets, or bears sharing the trails. We’re surrounded by national forests and vast expanses of wilderness that offer countless outdoor adventures, but also require sustainable conservation and preservation. 

The Big Sky Community Organization (BSCO) are committed to ensuring our community remains a special place to live, work, vacation, and play! They manage 95 acres of community parkland in the heart of Big Sky with scenic open spaces, playgrounds, sports facilities, river access, and 23 miles of beautifully maintained trails for hiking, biking, horseriding, snowshoeing, or backcountry skiing. 

Start planning your park playtime with our team at Big Sky Vacation Rentals

1. Big Sky Community Park

Address: 25 Seeway Rd, Big Sky, MT 59716
Hours: Open Daily 8:00am – 10:00pm
Phone(406) 993-2112

Located in Big Sky Meadow Village, the Big Sky Community Park is where locals and visitors come together to picnic, play, and explore some of the best local trails in Big Sky. Head out hiking and biking on Little Willow Way and Black Diamond Trail, or take a serene stroll on the Crail Ranch Trail to discover the history of Big Sky’s original settlers at the Crail Ranch Homestead & Museum. 

When you’re not adventuring on the trails, Big Sky Community Park has it all! Park amenities include picnic pavilions, a kids’ playground, sports fields, basketball and volleyball courts, tennis and pickleball courts, a pump track, climbing boulders, fishing access to the Gallatin River, and the free 18-hole Bighorn Ridge Disc Golf course. For traditional golf, the Arnold Palmer designed Big Sky Resort Golf Course is right next door! 

2. Kircher Discovery Park

Address: 1964 Lone Mountain Trail, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
Phone(406) 993-2112

Situated just south of Big Sky Community Park near the intersection of Lone Mountain Trail and Little Coyote Road, lies Kircher Discovery Park. Designed by the local Kircher family, ski legends in the Big Sky Community, Kircher Park is a quiet and scenic spot to spend time in nature, picnic, play, and fish! 

The short 0.6 mile out and back Kircher Trail leads to a beautiful, wooded area with picnic tables and onto a 500 square foot tree fort – a perfect playground for the kids! Designed to look like a ship, the multi-level fort features decks, a spider swing, a giant spider net, slides, and a climbing wall! Bring your rods along for the adventure! Kircher Park offers prime fishing access to several fishing spots on the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River. 

3. Len Hill Park

Located in: BASE Community Center
Address: 285 Simkins Dr, Big Sky, MT 59730
Phone(406) 993-2112

Formerly known as Town Center Park, Len Hill Park features 3.3 acres of open space in the heart of Big Sky Town Center. The park was recently renamed as a tribute to Leonard Hill, a producer, writer, and local resident with a passion for the preservation of Big Sky. 

During the summer months, hundreds of locals and visitors gather for picnics in the park, community yoga, and the weekly Music in the Mountains on Center Stage, under Big Sky’s star-studded skies. The winter months brings family and friends to swirl and twirl on the outdoor Len Hill Ice Rink and the BASE Community Center is open year-round with 10 Punch Passes for drop-in days during your stay in Big Sky. 

4. Fire Pit Park

Located in: Big Sky Town Center
Address: 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky, MT 59716

Fire Pit Park lies at the heart of Big Sky Town Center and is the location of the Big Sky Summers Farmers Market every Wednesday evening from June through September. Fire Pit Park is also the perfect “pit-stop” to rest your feet while shopping at Big Sky Town Center, picnic on take-out from a local restaurant, or gather around the firepits with friends. Be sure to take a selfie with Waldazo, the iconic bison sculpture that calls Fire Pit Park home.   

5. Ousel Falls Park

Address: Ousel Falls Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
Phone(406) 458-5433

Whether you’re visiting Big Sky in winter, spring, summer, or fall … a trip to Ousel Falls Park is a must-do! The park is situated on the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River with the iconic Ousel Falls Trail leading to picnic areas, scenic overlooks, fishing access on the world-class Gallatin River, and a stunning waterfall. 

Plan a summer picnic and easy stroll for the whole family, epic leaf-peeping adventures in fall, or strap on your snowshoes for a beginner level snowshoe hike to a frozen waterfall! The Ousel Falls Trail connects to the First and Sedona Yellow Mule Trails into the wilderness of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. 

6. RT & Ralph’s Beehive Preserve

U.S. Forest Service trail #40
Address: Beehive Basin Rd Big Sky, MT 5973

Nestled in a towering glacial cirque beneath the Spanish Peaks, Beehive Basin is breathtakingly beautiful and a haven for outdoor recreation! RT & Ralph’s Beehive Preserve protects the wetlands, forests, and meadows in the high alpine terrain of Beehive Basin and is the launching point for one of the world’s greatest hikes, the Beehive Basin Trail

Beehive Basin is a Big Sky bucket list essential! From June through August, nearly 300 species of colorful wildflowers along the 6-mile round-trip trail and, as the snow falls, avid powder hounds pave the way for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. The Lower Beehive Basin Trail is perfect for families, or keep going the full three miles for the reward of an alpine lake at the end of the trail. 

Stay & Play with Big Sky Vacation Rentals 

Whatever brings you to Big Sky, you’ll find a place to call home with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Stay slopeside in Big Sky Resort Mountain Village, within walking distance to Big Sky Town Center and Big Sky Community Park in Meadow Village, or perched high on the slopes of Moonlight Mountain surrounded by untouched wilderness and stunning Spanish Peaks views. 

Why rent from us? We represent 125+ of the best vacation properties in Big Sky including a luxury Platinum Collection for even the most distinguished guests, our entire team are locals of Big Sky, and creating dream vacations and lasting memories for our guests is what we do best! 

Browse our collection online for the best Big Sky prices, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide to plan your trip, or call our team at (888) 915-2787 for personalized vacation planning. 

8 Tips for Skiing with Kids


We’ve all seen the viral videos of vibrant toddlers sharing hilarious commentaries as they cruise effortlessly down the ski slopes! They seriously make you want to shop for funky dinosaur or unicorn ski outfits and book a vacation to the nearest winter resort – but the harsh reality is that a day of skiing and snowboarding with kids is not always that cute and funny! 

A ski trip to the mountains is a wonderful way to bond but family ski trips come in all shapes, sizes, and skill levels! Finding a family-friendly resort that caters to you and all the kids, packing piles of puffy winter clothing, negotiating bulky ski gear, managing multiple ski lessons, and simply keeping their little fingers and toes warm and dry can be overwhelming. 

 
Before you hit the slopes, it’s essential to be prepared for your family ski trip to run a little smoother and create positive happy memories for your kids that will last a lifetime. Our team at Big Sky Vacation Rentals has the “Biggest Skiing in America” as our backyard and we have put together our top tips for skiing with kids, starting with picking a family-friendly ski resort like Big Sky Resort, Montana. 

1. Pick a Family-Friendly Ski Resort


Not all ski resorts are equal and choosing the right ski resort for your family vacation can be a daunting process. For many parents, the right resort comes down to one major factor – finding a family-friendly, fun, and safe environment for the kids to learn and develop a love of skiing for life! 

Big Sky Resort is super family-friendly with uncrowded slopes, lots of easy green runs, fun beginner terrain parks, excellent childcare facilities, and one of the finest ski schools in America! Big Sky encompasses 5,850 acres of terrain with 23% dedicated to beginners and 25% intermediate terrain when they’re ready to rip the blues. The biggest bonus at Big Sky Resort – kids ages 6 and under ski for only $4!

Off the slopes, Big Sky abounds in unique winter experiences, family-friendly restaurants and apres ski in the resort areas and Big Sky Town Center, and has regular ski shuttles making it fun (and easy!) to get around town with the kids. Come play in Big Sky this winter!

2. Invest in Ski Lessons


For the best ski experience, leave the teaching process to the professionals, and you’ll be skiing together as a family in no time, without the fuss and fights! Kids ski school is 100% worth the investment to instill independence, build confidence on the mountain, learn good skills and habits, and keep the fun factor of skiing and snowboarding high.

Big Sky Resort offers skiing and snowboarding lessons at Mountain Village and the Madison base area with options for one-on-one private instruction, family private lessons, group lessons for kids from ages 2 and up, teen mountain experiences, and special adaptive programs for all to share in the skiing experience.

3. Dress in layers


The fun factor of skiing will disappear fast if the kids get cold! We suggest three layers – a lightweight, moisture-wicking base layer, an insulating mid-layer, and a 100% waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect them from the elements. 

Invest in good gloves or mittens (and stuff hand warmers in their pockets!), merino wool socks (with a dry pair on standby!), and a neck gaiter or balaclava. The weather on the mountain can change quickly, so it’s important to check the forecast daily and dress accordingly. 

4. Plan Ahead for Rentals


If you’re an avid winter sports family with all the equipment, take the hassle out of traveling with our trusted shipping services through Ship Skis. Alternatively, you’ll find all the ski and snowboard gear (and baby gear!) you need for your vacation locally here in Big Sky, MT. 

High-quality ski gear can make a big difference in your kids’ experience on the mountain. They grow so fast so unless you’re taking a ski trip multiple times a year, renting your skis, snowboards, boots, poles, and helmets is the best way to go – and you can always switch out if they’re whining about comfort!

Ski Butlers offer top-notch equipment and hassle-free delivery directly to your doorstep (with a 15% discount for Big Sky Vacation Rentals guests!), and Big Sky Sports Rentals has local rental locations in Mountain Village and Madison Base with online booking options and rental delivery to your Big Sky vacation rental.

5. Stick together


Even if you don’t all ski at the same level, you can ride the mountain together! Don’t push them too hard or get them on terrain beyond their ability! At the pace kids advance, they’ll be beating you on the Big Sky Resort black diamonds in no time! 

“Exactly one day in your life your kid will ski as good as you do. The next day, he’ll ski better than you” Ski Legend, Warren Miller 

   
Explore the best of Big Sky while they have fun at ski school, then stick together – let them show you what they learned, ski the runs they’re confident on, and allow them to advance at their own pace.

6. Pack Your Patience & Take It Slow


Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t pick fights, and don’t expect them to last all day! As soon as it stops being fun, take a break! Remember the goal is to create a positive experience and get them to love family ski vacations for life. 


Skiing can be tiring, especially for little kids, so make sure to take frequent breaks, give your kids a chance to rest and refuel, warm up around the fire, and enjoy the family-friendly vibe that Big Sky Resort delivers so well! This is where staying slopeside at Big Sky Resort is a huge plus!

7. Make it fun!


Take rest days from skiing and allow for chill time exploring all that Big Sky has to offer off the slopes. Spend a day shopping, sledding and ice-skating in Big Sky Town Center, go snowmobiling or snowshoeing through the canyons, swim in natural hot springs, dog-sled or sleigh-ride through the forests, or delight the kids with a bucket-list winter tour of Yellowstone National Park.

8. Stay Slopeside


Where you stay on your Big Sky family vacation can make or break the entire mountain experience. Whether your family ski trip calls for a cozy mountain cabin or luxurious lodge for a big family reunion, you’ll find a tempting selection of slopeside vacation rentals with ski-in, ski-out access to the lifts and slopes in our collection of Big Sky Vacation Rentals

The perks of a private slopeside home for a ski vacation with kids are endless! You benefit from a beautiful home away from home with space for the kids to play, private bedrooms, modern kitchens to cook your own meals, and the bonus of popping home between ski runs or for a midday nap! End your day of skiing with the kids snuggled around the fireplace, stargazing from the hot tub, and enjoying the peace of mind that the morning missions of getting the kids to ski school or on the slopes are effortless!  

Download our Big Sky Vacation Guide and have all the resources for an amazing vacation in one place – at your fingertips! A kid-friendly ski vacation is only a click away at Big Sky Resort, MT. 


The Best Ski Runs At Big Sky Resort


Big Sky Resort is one of the world’s best resorts for easrly season skiing. The conditions are amazing, the stoke is real, and we’re looking forward to an epic season on the slopes here at Big Sky Resort!

Big Sky Resort is massive, but far from intimidating, don’t let the size fool you! The ski area encompasses 5,850 acres of diverse terrain with famously uncrowded ski slopes, short lift lines, and the biggest terrain you can ride in the US – without clicking out of your bindings! With 300 named runs on four connected mountain peaks and 39 lifts, it’s often impossible for first-timers to Big Sky Resort to know where to start. 

Big Sky Vacation Rentals represent the best selection of ski in ski out vacation rentals in Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Mountain Village! Our BSVR team are all local Big Sky residents that know the best places to stay, play and ride the slopes of Big Sky Resort.

GREEN BEGINNER


23% Beginner Terrain

Big Sky Resort is massive but nearly a quarter of the terrain is geared for beginner skiers and young families negotiating the slopes. The Mountain Village Base Area is perfect for beginners with a long, covered magic carpet for skiers and snowboarders not yet ready to ride the lifts, and the kids love it! 

The conveyor takes you up to a slight incline to easily master a snowplow or pizza turn before advancing to the bigger lifts. The Explorer lift serves only beginner terrain and, once confident, the Swift Current 6 from Mountain Village, and Six Shooter 6 from the Madison Base Area, access some great green runs. The bonus – at Big Sky Resort kids 6 and under ski for $1!

Lone Wolf – Explorer 2

Mr. K – Swift Current 6

Lazy Jack – Six Shooter 6

Lone Wolf is Big Sky Resort’s signature green run under the Explorer chairlift and back to the Mountain Village Base Area. Lone Wolf is rated one of the best runs in Big Sky Resort for beginners to learn to ski. 

From the Swift Current chairlift take Jay Walk for an easy meander down Mr. K back to the Mountain Village Base Area.  Mr. K is a designated slow ski area making it the perfect spot to practice your turns, techniques, and tree skiing. 

The entire Madison Base Area is a slow ski area with easy greens accessed by the Derringer 4 chairlift. Once confident, take the Six Shooter lift for a slow cruise down Lazy Jack and Cinnabar back to the Madison Base Area. From Lazy Jack, you can join Fast Lane, an easy blue connecting back to the Mountain Village Base.

BLUE INTERMEDIATE


25% Intermediate Terrain

Another quarter of Big Sky Resort’s massive terrain is dedicated to intermediate skiers and snowboarders with some of the nicest groomed runs accessible on the Thunder Wolf 4 and Ramcharger 8 chairlifts on Andesite Mountain, and Swift Current 6 serving the lower elevations of Lone Peak. 

For the winter 2022-23 season, Big Sky Resort is offering Headlamp Night Skiing for intermediate skiers from the top of Ramcharger 8. You’ll stay extra warm with heated seats in the iconic Big Sky Blue weatherproof bubble and it’s sure to be a Big Sky experience you’ll never forget!

Elk Park Ridge – Ramcharger 8 & Thunder Wolf 4

Calamity Jane – Swift Current 6

Lookout Ridge – Lone Tree 5

Accessed from both Ramcharger 8 and Thunder Wolf 4, Elk Park Ridge is a long, blue corduroy groomer that runs back to the Thunder Wolf chairlift. The trail is wide open with a consistent slope to warm up your ski legs, and spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks.

When you’re ready to venture from beginner greens to blue, Calamity Jane is one of our favorite blue runs to practice. This 1-mile-long blue run is slightly steeper than Mr. K and runs underneath the Swift Current chairlift back to the base area.

From the Madison Base Area, ride the Six Shooter lift, exit to the right, and take Lone Tree 5 to access the best intermediate runs on the Moonlight Basin side of the mountain. Lookout Ridge is a long winding run from Lone Tree back down to the Madison Base Area with black diamond offshoots when you’re ready to advance!

BLACK DIAMOND


34% Advanced Terrain

13% Expert Terrain

With over half the mountain dedicated to advanced, expert, and extreme skiers, Big Sky Resort boasts a long list of black diamond ski runs to keep even the most advanced skiers and snowboarders shredding for days! From famous couloirs, chutes, and hike-to trails off Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak to epic tree skiing, adrenaline-pumping mogul runs, and deep bowls, Big Sky Resort’s black diamond terrain is on the bucket list of most advanced and expert skiers.

Liberty Bowl – Lone Peak Tram

Mad Wolf – Thunder Wolf 4

Broken Heart – Lone Tree

For first-timers skiing the black diamond terrain on Lone Peak, the Liberty Bowl on the mountain’s South Face is the easiest way down the mountain from the summit of the Lone Peak Tram. Spanning six miles from the summit to the Mountain Village Base Area, the Liberty Bowl has a perfect slope angle for advanced intermediates to experience some of the best inbound big mountain terrain in the US.

For advanced skiers and snowboarders comfortable maneuvering moguls, Mad Wolf is an amazing mogul-filled black diamond run dropping 1,000 vertical feet off the backside of Big Sky’s Andesite Mountain. Mad Wolf connects to Elk Park Ridge and back to the base of Thunder Wolf.

Big Sky Resort ranks as one of North America’s favorite resorts for tree skiing with easy glade runs for beginners and tight trees for the experts! Right off the Lone Tree lift, Broken Heart is a great introduction to advanced tree skiing with well-spaced lodgepole pines and deep untouched pillows of powder. The trail connects to blue or black runs back to Madison Base Area.

TRIPLE BLACK DIAMOND


5% Extreme Terrain

In 2019, Big Sky Resort introduced a triple black diamond rating to educate guests on the risks of their challenging and technical high-alpine terrain, rating 5% of Big Sky Resort for extreme skiers only. Big Sky Resort’s expert terrain are managed access areas requiring all skiers to sign out at the ski patrol shack at the summit of Lone Peak, wear a beacon, and always ski with a partner. First-timers can experience Big Sky’s triple black diamond terrain in confidence with a certified Big Sky Resort Tram Guide.

The Headwaters – Challenger 3 & Headwater 2

North Summit Snowfield – Lone Peak Tram

Big Couloir – Lone Peak Tram

The Headwaters Bowl Traverse is accessed by the Challenger lift or Six Shooter and Headwaters lift from the Madison Base Area. To the right of the lift line are three steep double-black diamond runs dropping into the Headwaters Bowl, or embark on an exceptionally scenic hike along the ridge to the Headwaters and A-Z Chutes, home to the best triple black diamonds at Big Sky Resort.

The North Summit Snowfield descends from the summit of Lone Peak into the northern slopes of the mountain with the largest vertical drop of any run in Big Sky Resort. Known by local Big Sky skiers as the “gum wall”, the chutes below the North Summit Snowfield boast some of the best fall-line skiing in North America. Skiers are required to sign up for time slots to head down the Snowfield.

Dropping into the Big Couloir is on the bucket list of every expert skier and snowboarder! The infamous Big Couloir is Big Sky’s most iconic ski run and one of the most extreme ski slopes in North America. The couloir drops 1,400 vertical feet from the peak of Lone Mountain with a gnarly 45-degree funnel entrance to a long narrow chute framed by sheer rock face to the left and right! Ride the Lone Peak Tram first to check it out – once you’ve punched in and pushed off, there’s no turning back.


Top 10 Winter Activities in Big Sky, MT


Big Sky Resort is gearing up for the ’23/24 winter ski season! With so much snow, skiers and snowboarders from all over are keen to ride the slopes of Big Sky Resort, ranked one the “Best Ski Resorts in the West”, but the fun doesn’t end on the ski slopes. If you’re looking to fill your winter bucket list with fun outdoor activities and unique alpine experiences on and off the ski slopes, Big Sky Montana is a destination that has it all.

1. Ski the Slopes at Big Sky Resort


Boasting a massive 5,850 acres of diverse terrain with over 300 ski runs, the slopes at Big Sky Resort cater for your whole crowd – from tiny tot beginners to even the most radical expert skiers and snowboarders. Journey on the tram to the summit of Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak, practice tricks at seven unique terrain parks, sharpen your skills at the Big Sky Mountain School, or venture out with a mountain guide to explore the vastness of Big Sky Resort.

However you choose to spend your day on the slopes of Big Sky Resort, you’ll love the uncrowded terrain and heated bubble lifts that get you there! Start planning your trip with our guide to the Best Time to Ski Big Sky and What to Expect at Big Sky Resort

If you prefer classic cross-country skiing or skate skiing (or are keen to learn!), Big Sky Resort has 85km of groomed Nordic trails at the Big Sky Nordic Center in Meadow Village that connect with the world-class trail network at Lone Mountain Ranch. Lone Mountain Ranch is voted the #1 Nordic Ski Destination in North America with trails for all abilities, and lessons available for the whole family to learn a new winter sport!

2. Book a Sleigh-Ride at Lone Mountain Ranch


Nearly every winter bucket list includes an authentic sleigh ride experience! The legendary Lone Mountain Ranch Sleigh Ride takes you off the beaten path on a magical moonlit ride for a family-style dinner at the historic North Fork Cabin. It’s a classic Old West experience with oil lanterns, honey moonshine, a feast cooked over an old railroad stove, and live entertainment by cowboy singer storytellers. Sleigh rides are available December through March and be sure to book well in advance.  

3. Learn to Drive a Dogsled


When you winter vacation in Big Sky, you can snuggle up for a husky powered adventure through the wild and scenic West Yellowstone landscapes or learn to mush your own team of sled dogs in beautiful Moonlight Basin. Whether you’re towing the line or relaxing watching the magnificent snowscapes pass you by, dogsledding is an exhilarating way to venture through the mountains of Big Sky and beyond.

4. Snowmobile the Gallatin National Forest


With over 100 miles of groomed trails and miles of breathtaking backcountry terrain, the Gallatin National Forest is a top winter destination for snowmobiling. Rent a snowmobile to navigate the canyons and peaks alone or take a guided snowmobile tour with a local expert that has an intimate knowledge of Big Sky, the Yellowstone Region, and the vast Montana mountains. Big Sky has a backcountry snowmobile adventure for every thrill seeker!

5. Snowshoe or Fat Bike the Winter Trails


Big Sky has miles of mountain biking and hiking trails that can be enjoyed year round, even in the snowy season. Favorite Big Sky snowshoe trails include the easy Ousel Falls Trail (with the bonus of a frozen waterfall!), scenic Beehive Basin (one of the world’s 10 greatest hikes!), and Moose Tracks Gully in Big Sky Mountain Village. If you’re yet to experience fat biking, it’s fun! Stop by Gallatin Alpine Sports near Big Sky Town Center for tips on rentals and the top trails to fat bike in Big Sky. 

6. Take a Winter Tour of Yellowstone National Park


Touring Yellowstone National Park in winter is enchanting and yet another bucket-list experience you can tick off when you visit Big Sky. From November to April, guided winter tours of Yellowstone leave daily from Big Sky to explore the wintry landscapes of Yellowstone. There’s a tour for every adventure level from full day snowshoe tours, winter wolf and wildlife safaris, cross country ski tours of Lamar Valley, and snowmobile and snowcoach tours to Old Faithful (still faithful in the winter months!). Alternatively, you can customize your own private tour of Yellowstone with a local Big Sky tour company.

7. Dine in a Montana Mountain Yurt


The best après ski yurt experience awaits in Big Sky. The Montana Dinner Yurt experience at Big Sky Resort begins with an epic snowcat ride up Lone Peak to a cozy candlelit yurt nestled in the trees. After a warm welcome guests settle in for an evening of fine dining on French soup, filet mignon, and Toblerone fondue, fireside chats and stargazing, and gentle acoustic guitar. Popular dates often sell out by Thanksgiving so don’t delay!

8. Visit Big Sky Town Center


Big Sky Town Center is located only 7 miles from Big Sky Resort in Meadow Village with a great selection of shops, restaurants, aprés ski bars, and a free ice skating rink open daily. Town Center hosts fabulous winter festivals including the Haunted Peaks Halloween Festival, the Annual Christmas Stroll, and the Annual Big Sky Winter Fest centered around the Best in West Showdown Skijoring Competition.

9. Prepare for a Night Out On The Town


Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, prepare for a great night out on the town in Big Sky. Between Mountain Village at Big Sky Resort, Meadow Village, and Big Sky Town Center, you’re spoiled for choice with everything from family-friendly restaurants and fine dining to slopeside or 80s themed aprés ski, whiskey bars and tasting rooms, live music and dancing, and local Montana breweries.

10. Relax & Unwind in the Montana Mountains


Big Sky is one of the best small mountain towns in the US – the crisp mountain air, incredible natural beauty, and seemingly endless miles of untouched landscapes make it easy to relax and unwind. 

Stay with Big Sky Vacation Rentals and take vacation relaxation to a whole new level! Our collection of 130 luxury vacation rentals are situated in Big Sky’s finest resort lodging neighborhoods with creature comforts including gourmet kitchens, games rooms, roaring winter fireplaces and fire pits, and private outdoor hot tubs with breathtaking views of Big Sky. We look forward to welcoming you to Big Sky this winter season!


Top 10 Restaurants in Big Sky Montana 


Whether you’re shredding the slopes of the best and biggest skiing in America or exploring our world-famous wildflower trails on foot, bike, or horseback – you’re sure to work up an appetite adventuring in Big Sky’s breathtaking and impressive terrain. 

Between Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Village, Meadow Village, and the ever-evolving Town Center, Big Sky boasts an impressive list of restaurants to choose from ranging from pizza places for the kids to fine dining with mountain views and unique Montana adventure dining that will transform your Big Sky vacation. 


BIG SKY’S 10 BEST RESTAURANTS

1. Horn & Cantle

Open Daily for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lone Mountain Ranch Rd, Big Sky
Phone: (406) 995-2782


Established in 1915, Lone Mountain Ranch offers an authentic Montana dining experience in a cozy log cabin setting oozing with rustic charm. Unwind with a cowboy cocktail and live music at happy hour in the Saloon bar followed by casual fine dining on classic Western fare with an indulgent twist at Horn & Cantle, then delicious desserts around a glowing campfire. Expect a fine farm-to-table feast with menu items like elk chops, bison short ribs, and fresh local trout paired with an extensive drinks menu and warm welcoming service. Lone Mountain Ranch also offers Big Sky’s signature sleigh ride dinner, an unbeatable Montana dining experience for a winter stay.

2. Michaelangelo’s Ristorante

Open Wednesday to Sunday for Dinner
Big Sky Meadow Village
Phone: (406) 995-7373


Situated in Big Sky Meadow Village, Michaelangelo’s Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant inspired by award-winning Chef Michael’s culinary training in the Piedmont region of Italy. Chef Michael, a semifinalist in the 2023 James Beard Restaurant & Chef Awards, serves up extraordinary Italian cuisine in a refined and romantic setting for casual fine dining in Big Sky. The diverse menu includes traditional antipasti and small plates, artisan pastas and risottos, meats and fish, and classic Italian desserts and digestifs. The beverage menu is seemingly endless with local and Italian wines, domestic and imported beer, specialty cocktails, and a cellar selection of exclusive Italian and New World wines. Reservations are essential.

3. Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro

Open Monday to Friday for Lunch & Dinner
Big Sky Meadow Village
Phone: (406) 995-3355


Located across from the Big Sky Golf Course, Olive B’s is another must-do restaurant in Big Sky Meadow Village. Olive B’s is a small-town continental bistro locally owned by Chef Ian Troxler, a prior long-time chef at Lone Mountain Ranch. Sip on specialty cocktails while savoring fresh seafood, Rocky Mountain Elk, Northern Plains bison, and delicious desserts with a side of Montana-made ice cream. The ambiance is easy-going, the service comes with a local smile, and in the summer season, there’s patio dining with a Big Sky view!

4. Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge

Open Tuesday to Saturday for Dinner
Big Sky Town Center
Phone: (406) 993-2583


For the best sushi in Big Sky, head to Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge in Big Sky Town Center. Blue Buddha is fun and funky with a fantastic menu of traditional Japanese cuisine with a contemporary spin and drinks with a twist! The menu features everything from traditional sushi and specialty rolls to tasty appetizers and entrees with a Japanese spin on classic Montana dishes (like Bison marinated in a Japanese Katsu sauce!). For happy hour, after-dinner drinks and dancing, and a unique experience in the art of Japanese mixology, Blue Buddha’s cocktail lounge, The Drunken Monk, is open nightly next door. Blue Buddha also offers traditional Omakase private dinners and chef services for a Japanese dining experience in your Big Sky vacation rental.

5. CABIN BAR & GRILL

Open Daily: Lunch & Dinner
Located on the 3rd floor of the
Arrowhead Mall, in Mountain Village
Phone: (406) 995-4244


Indulge in casual fine dining. Local ingredients and a fabulous specialty drink menu make The Cabin Bar & Grill a favorite for both tourists and locals alike! Their culinary team takes pride in blending contemporary and classic techniques with local and regional ingredients for a unique flair in “Rocky Mountain Cuisine!” They enjoy bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm to their extensive menu, while maintaining the tradition of excellent food and fine dining that have made Curly’s restaurants a “must” to diners for years. There is something for everyone on their delectable menu including hand cut steaks, wild game, fresh seafood and nightly specials.

6. Ousel & Spur Pizza Company

Open Daily from 5 PM
Big Sky Town Center
Phone: (406) 995-7175


Ousel & Spur Pizza Company in Big Sky Town Center dishes up more than your average pizza! The menu at Ousel & Spur features a wide selection of creative small plates and salads, wood-fired pizzas with hand-tossed crusts, authentic Italian pasta, house-made desserts, and a bambino menu for the little ones. Pair it with a cold brew or iced cocktail and sunset views on the outdoor patio or a Hot Russian or mulled cider after a day on the slopes of Big Sky Resort. Ousel & Spur sources all ingredients from local farms and ranches with gluten-free and vegetarian options on all dishes, and a side of Montana flair and hospitality.  

7. Everett’s 8800

Open Daily for Lunch & Wednesday to Saturday for Dinner
Big Sky Resort On-Mountain Dining
Phone: (406) 995-8800


Named by Architectural Digest as the most beautifully designed bar in Montana and ranked in the top 10 restaurants for scenic views, Everett’s 8800 is Big Sky Resort’s signature on-mountain dining experience. Situated at 8,800 feet atop Andesite Mountain, this casual yet elegant bistro serves up local Montana fare paired with an impressive wine list and breathtaking views of Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak. Getting there adds to the experience – a ride in the heated Ramcharger 8 blue bubble chairlift, or a hike on Big Sky Resort’s summer trails. Reservations are essential for dinner at Everett’s 8800.

8. Montana Dinner Yurt

Open during Big Sky Resort Ski Season
Big Sky Resort On-Mountain Dining
Phone: (406) 995-3880


Let’s set the tone for Big Sky’s most incredible dinner experience – a snowcat ride up Lone Peak to an intimate backcountry yurt, stargazing and socializing with friends, torchlit sledding with the kids, cowboys songs and storytelling, and delicious dining all surrounded by snowcapped peaks. This is the Montana Dinner Yurt experience! In this spectacular setting, you’ll overindulge in a three-course meal of baked French Onion Soup and warm bread, tender filet mignon and veggies served family-style, and a finale of warm Toblerone chocolate fondue. Vegetarian, fish options, and a kids menu are available on prior request, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, tea, and soda is served, or you can BYO wine or beer.  

9. Buck’s T-4

TEMPORARILY CLOSED
46625 Gallatin Rd, Big Sky

Phone: (406) 993-5222


“Big Sky’s Most Famous Restaurant” at Buck’s T-4 Lodge is recognized as one of the finest eateries in Montana with an award-winning wine list featuring a selection of 175 wines from around the globe. Situated a few miles south of Big Sky in the Gallatin Canyon, the restaurant offers a relaxed, rustic, and exceptional Montana dining experience. The Montana-inspired menu features tempting appetizers, cheese and charcuterie boards, and hearty, home-cooked meals featuring wild game, fresh fish, vegetarian Bolognese, and daily specialties with “enhancements” and “finishing touches” that may draw you back more than once during your stay in Big Sky, MT.   

10. Riverhouse BBQ

Open Daily from 3 PM to 9 PM
45130 Gallatin Rd, Big Sky
Phone: (406) 995-7427


Cruise a few miles south through the scenic Gallatin Canyon towards Yellowstone National Park and you’ll reach Riverhouse BBQ, known for the best barbeque under the Big Sky. Situated on the banks of the mighty Gallatin River, the setting is sublime with views of the Spanish Peaks from the dining area and deck complemented by year-round live music, a casual family-friendly vibe, and bucket-list BBQ prepared in the authentic Texas Hill Country style. It’s always a smokin’ good time at Riverhouse BBQ in Big Sky.


Stay with Big Sky Vacation Rentals

For the foodies in your family, our collection of 125+ Big Sky vacation rentals includes ski condos, chalets, and modern mountain lodges with gorgeous gourmet kitchens, perfectly perched hot tubs for sunset cocktails, outdoor decks for backyard BBQs, firepits for s’mores, and some of the best dinner views in Big Sky, all from the comfort of home. 

Book direct for the best Big Sky prices or call our vacation experts at (888) 915-2787 to start planning your vacation under Montana’s Big Sky.  


10 Best Ways To Spend An Autumn Day In Big Sky


Fall is Montana’s most breathtakingly beautiful season. With brilliant colors that paint the landscapes, active wildlife preparing for winter, and crisp air with sunny skies, it easy to see why both tourists and locals alike love the auumn season. Plus, and there’s fewer travelers than summer and winter ski season

Montana is a dream destination for lovers of the great outdoors and there’s no better basecamp than Big Sky! Big Sky is the most naturally beautiful, and coolest mountain town in Montana. Big Sky Mountain Village sits at an elevation of 7,500 feet – the colors start popping mid-September in the higher elevations and continue through the end of October with leaf-peeping adventures around every corner … and from home! Visitors are welcomed with wide expanses of wilderness, towering mountain peaks, endless opportunities for exploration, and the perks of a laid-back, and welcoming resort community

It’s been a long, hot summer in the mountains – but the smell of wood-burning fireplaces and pumpkin spice is already in the air! It’s time to pull out the sweaters and beanies, take advantage of the cooler temperatures by day, cozy up with s’mores and stories round the firepit, and take time out with family and friends before the ski season. 


1. Enjoy the Fall Foliage Drive to Big Sky


Whether you’re approaching Big Sky from Bozeman or West Yellowstone, the drive to Big Sky along the Gallatin River Canyon is spectacular any time of year, yet even more so in fall. The Gallatin Canyon follows the infamous Gallatin River with the crisp colors of golden cottonwoods and vibrant red alder bushes bursting along the river banks, and free roaming wildlife in the river valley. 

Plan time to take it slow … it’s a Montana fall foliage drive you’ll never forget!

2. Chase Waterfalls & Fall Colors


Big Sky is paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, and casual strollers! Wherever you adventure in Big Sky during the fall season, you’re bound to witness vibrant fall colors popping. The Ousel Falls Trail near Big Sky Town Center is short, spectacular and perfect for casual strollers and families with the reward of the scenic Gallatin River, a natural pool (chilly in fall!), and a gorgeous waterfall. 

Other top Big Sky fall foliage hikes include the Beehive Basin trail (ranked one of the world’s 10 greatest hikes!), the Lava Lake trail, and the bucket-list Lone Peak trail to Montana’s highest scenic overlook point at 11,116 feet.

3. Experience World-Class Fly Fishing


If you’ve seen A River Runs Through It, you’ll know all about the world-class fly fishing that awaits in Big Sky, MT. Big Sky is surrounded by famous blue-ribbon trout waters including the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and Gallatin River near Big Sky. Fall is one of the best times to reel in a big trout on the Gallatin River (right before spawning season) and with the golden hues of fall reflecting on the waters, you’re in for a world-class fly fishing experience in Big Sky. 

For the ultimate fly fishing experience in Montana, Gallatin River Guides have been operating year-round guided fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin River for over 30 years. They know when, where, and how to fish Big Sky’s blue-ribbon trout waters with options for walking and wading, floating trips, or beginner fly fishing lessons on a private pond.

4. Saddle Up for a Western Trail Ride


Saddle up at an authentic Montana dude ranch to explore the backcountry of Big Sky on horseback – you can even go fly fishing on horseback! Whether it’s your first time riding or you’re keen to gallop off into the wilderness, horseback riding takes you to Big Sky fall foliage trails your hiking boots can’t! 

You’re in cowboy country … why not live the classic Old West experience! There are many local Big Sky ranches and outfitters that don’t stop saddling up after summer and operate year-round with unique horseback experiences for every level of rider.

5. Soak in Natural Hot Springs


While most of Big Sky’s natural hot springs are remotely situated on private land, there’s still opportunity to soak up the fabulous fall colors in Montana’s rejuvenating natural hot springs. Bozeman Hot Springs, Norris Hot Springs and Chico Hot Springs are all an easy drive from Big Sky and are open year round for a rejuvenating soak backdropped by beautiful fall colors. 

Of course, first prize would be to leaf-peep from your private hot tub – there’s that too! Our collection of Big Sky vacation rentals includes 110+ Big Sky hot tub homes with panoramic views of Lone Peak and perfectly perched for the best leaf-peeping in Big Sky, from the comfort and privacy of home!

6. Plan a Fall Trip to Yellowstone National Park


It’s clearly still a secret that fall is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, and not only for fall foliage. The visitor numbers to Yellowstone drop radically after summer, the crazy traffic jams are over, Yellowstone’s world-famous wildlife make their way to the meadows and valleys, and a kaleidoscope of colors adds awe to Yellowstone National Park’s natural wonders. It’s a spectacular season to visit the park. 

The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is an hour drive south of Big Sky, the drive alone is worth it! Amidst the vibrant display of colors, fall visitors to Yellowstone have the privilege of witnessing grizzlies and brown bears preparing for hibernation, elk rut season, the fall migration of hawks and eagles, prime wolf watching, and biking and hiking trails awash in glorious golds. For the ultimate fall experience of Yellowstone, we highly suggest a guided tour with knowledge of the best leaf-peeping and wildlife viewing spots in Yellowstone!

7. Explore Big Sky Town Center


From the majestic Montana wilderness to the heart and soul of Big Sky, Big Sky Town Center. Whether you’re staying close by in Meadow Village or a short shuttle ride away in Mountain Village or Moonlight Basin, Town Center is the “downtown of Big Sky” and deserves a spot on your fall vacation itinerary. 

Browse the art galleries, sports outfitters and upscale boutiques, stock up on vacation groceries at Roxy’s Market or Hungry Moose and be sure to keep your eye on the event calendar for local events – there’s always something fun happening at Big Sky Town Center.

8. Indulge in Big Sky’s Restaurant Scene


Our Big Sky vacation rentals feature some of the best kitchens in Big Sky but don’t let that stop you from indulging a little (or a lot!) in Big Sky’s amazing restaurant scene. Between Big Sky Town Center and Mountain Village you’ll find everything from cozy coffee shops and cafes to family restaurants, fine dining, breweries and cocktail bars.

9. Hit the Slopes on Thanksgiving Opening Day


If there’s no time to visit Big Sky in time for fall foliage, plan your trip for later in the fall season! Thanksgiving is well celebrated in Big Sky – traditionally, and with the opening day of Big Sky Resort. The fall colors have faded but there’s unique alpine experiences both on and off the slopes at Big Sky Resort – here’s our guide on What to Expect at Big Sky Resort Winter 2022-23.

10. Refresh & Relax with Family & Friends


Refresh, relax and unwind with friends and family in the privacy of a Montana mountain cabin with leaf-peeping and wildlife viewing from your front porch … or a warm bubbly hot tub! From classic romantic log cabins for two to rare 7-bedroom modern mountain chalets, our Big Sky vacation rentals offer the ultimate retreat to get away from it all this fall.


Big Sky Autumn Events Calendar 2023


Amidst the breathtaking scenery and crisp mountain air, a realm of fall wonders awaits in Big Sky, Montana. Whether you’re a music enthusiast, trailblazer, thrill seeker, or someone who simply delights in the beauty of autumn’s changing leaves, Big Sky boasts a delightful lineup of autumn activities and events backdropped by the majestic Montana mountains and the western charm of our small mountain town.


Metal in the Mountains

Thursday, September 14, 2023 | 5 PM

Location: Len Hill Park – Big Sky Town Center 

Schedule of Events
5:30 PM Stoneman’s Way
6:30 PM Liquid Gnar
8:00 PM Scavenger

Elevate your autumn adventure in Big Sky at the exhilarating Metal in the Mountain festival. Hosted by the Arts Council of Big Sky and Rocks Tasting Room, Metal in the Mountains is a special addition to the Music in the Mountains summer series and a first of its kind in Big Sky. This free end of summer bonus festival features three local heavy metal bands headlined by local Big Sky band Scavenger with supporting acts from Liquid Gnar of Belgrade and Stoneman’s Way of Big Sky.


The Rut

Friday, September 15, 2023 – Sunday, September 17, 2023

Location: Lone Mountain, Big Sky

For those seeking a fall challenge that blends breathtaking scenery with physical prowess, look no further than The Rut Mountain Run on Big Sky’s iconic Lone Mountain. The Rut is a three-day Montana mountain running celebration designed for all levels of athletes, from amateurs and kids to professional trail runners. Please note that 2023 Registration is FULL but it’s a great event for spectators too! The Kids 1K Rut Run is still open for registration.

15th Annual Big Sky Farmers Market

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 5 PM to 8 PM

Location: Big Sky Town Center 

The final Big Sky Fall Farmers Market takes place on Wednesday, September 27 in Big Sky Town Center Plaza. Slightly smaller than the summer farmers market, the fall market features handmade crafts and artwork from talented local artisans, live music, food vendors, and a variety of fresh fall produce and seasonal supplies from local farmers.  

Big Sky Cars & Coffee

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 8 AM to 12 PM

Location: Big Sky Town Center Plaza

Calling all car enthusiasts! Prepare for a high-octane morning at Big Sky Cars & Coffee in Town Center Plaza. Taking place on the first Sunday of every month, this fun event features a dazzling array of cars ranging from classic and luxury vehicles to hot rods and muscle cars. Engage with fellow enthusiasts, swap stories, and sip coffee surrounded by the sights of autumn in Big Sky, MT. 

7th Annual Haunted Peaks Halloween Festival

October 27-29, 2023

Location: Big Sky Town Center 

Embrace the spooky side of fall at the 7th Annual Haunted Peaks Halloween Festival, a three-day Dia De Los Muertos and Halloween celebration in Big Sky Town Center. Bring the whole family along for a bewitching experience that includes traditional holiday activities, pumpkin carving competitions, a costume contest and block party, trick or treating, haunted runs, horror films, and so much more!

Thanksgiving Dinners

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Whether you’re looking for a traditional feast in a ranch-style setting or an intimate holiday meal at home, Big Sky offers a variety of Thanksgiving dinner options. Take advantage of our grocery delivery services to stock your rental with all you need for a family Turkey Day at home, indulge in a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner party with a personal chef, or reserve a table for a traditional Montana Thanksgiving meal at a local Big Sky restaurant.


Big Sky Resort 2023-34 Winter Opening Day

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 | 9 AM

Fall signals the approach of a winter wonderland and there’s no better way to usher it in than at Big Sky Resort’s 2023-24 Winter Opening Day! Get ready for Big Sky’s biggest and best season yet! Big Sky’s 50th anniversary season kicks off on Wednesday, November 22 with the opening of the new Lone Peak tram and fun, family-friendly opening day festivities in Mountain Village. Big Sky Resort is scheduled to close on April 28th, making Winter 2023-24 the longest Big Sky ski season on record! 

During your search for Big Sky Thanksgiving rentals, please check the ski access information on each property before booking. November and the first half of December are considered early season and, while there are plenty of snow covered slopes for skiers and snowboarders, some ski in ski out Big Sky rentals rely on lifts that are not open in the early season. Browse our ski-in ski-out rentals HERE.


Big Sky Christmas Stroll

December 8-9, 2023

Location: Big Sky Town Center 

The Big Sky Christmas Stroll is a cherished holiday tradition that kicks off the festive season in Big Sky. During this magical two-day event, the streets of Big Sky Meadow Village and Town Center come alive with fun festivities including tree lighting ceremonies, photos with Santa, Christmas carolers, fireworks, wagon rides, ice skating, live music, and outdoor activities on Big Sky’s illuminated winter trails. Browse our vacation rentals near Big Sky Meadow Village and Town Center HERE.

Live Music at Tips Up

Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday | 9:45 PM – 11:45 PM

Location: Big Sky Town Center 

Looking to unwind and let loose with some live music and laid-back vibes? Located in the heart of Big Sky’s Town Center, Tips Up guarantees a good time with live music, interactive games like shuffleboard and cornhole, and arcade and casino favorites including live poker! Open for lunch, dinner, and late night entertainment, when you’re down for a good time (and the best fried chicken in Big Sky), head to Tips Up in Big Sky Town Center. Click HERE to view the Tips Up live music schedule.

The Waypoint

Location: Big Sky Town Center 

Formerly known as The Independent, The Waypoint in Town Center is the place where Big Sky comes together! The Waypoint is a movie theater and community hub with a Mediterranean inspired restaurant, seasonal outdoor bar, relaxing atmosphere, and a lineup of events that appeal to all ages. Tickets for all events are available at the door. 

DAILY MOVIES | 5 PM & 7 PM
Throwback movie nights, comedy movies, film festivals, and more!
Cost: $15.50 Adults – $10 kids 

SUNDAY FUNDAY | 2 PM to 11:55 PM
Food, outdoor games, drink specials, and bottomless bubbles! 
Cost: $25 

MONDAY FAMILY NIGHT | 5 PM to 7 PM
Drinks, board games, and great specials for the kids and parents too! 
Cost: $10 kids meal & mocktail – $2 off wine, beer & cocktails

WEDNESDAY TRIVIA NIGHT | 8 PM to 10 PM
Live trivia for the whole family every Wednesday night
Cost: Free

THURSDAY HARRY POTTER FEST – The Chamber of Secrets | 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Journey to Hogwarts for the Fall Harry Potter Fest 
Cost: $10 at the door

FRIDAY KARAOKE NIGHT | 9 PM to 11:55 PM
Bring the house down at Karaoke Night at The Waypoint
Cost: Free 


Autumn’s Wonders Await with Big Sky Vacation Rentals

Imagine waking up in the heart of the action with the best of Big Sky right on your doorstep! At Big Sky Vacation Rentals, we’re here to make your fall getaway truly exceptional. With cozy creature comforts perfectly suited for crisp autumn weather, luxurious amenities that pamper you after a day of adventures, and easy access to Big Sky’s signature events, we’re here to ensure your stay is as magical as the season itself! 

PS: Our slopeside rentals in Mountain Village are perfectly positioned for the ultimate Opening Day at Big Sky Resort. We hope to see you on the slopes!