By: Ayla Grandpre – September 12, 2016
A new place can be exciting to explore, but a place like Billings, Montana, can sometimes look a little, well, boring. A college student’s budget is also a consideration. After all, college is already expensive enough. Besides all the great things to do at Rocky Mountain College, Billings has a lot more to offer than you might think.
As fall approaches there are many things to do, like hike the many miles of Rims, see the tiger at Zoo-Montana, bike the trails around town, take a weekend trip to the mountains, or go swimming at Lake Elmo. Besides the ponds and rivers, Billings offers a variety of water parks. The Oasis in the Heights, the Reef indoor water park, and Rose Park are all great places that won’t cost a whole lot.
Catch Billings’ minor league baseball team, the Mustangs, in a game at Dehler Park. Outlaw Canyon Adventures offers a thrilling view from the top of a zip-line course. Geyser Park is a one-stop shop with arcade games, laser tag, and miniature golf. Get Air Trampoline Park, Billing’s newest gem, is a fabulous place to try out some new tricks. And on Fridays Rocky students get a discount at Steepworld, Billings’ indoor rock climbing gym.
Eager to get outdoors? The Beartooth Mountains and the Pryor Mountains are good places to get away for a weekend adventure. Make sure you are prepared and get the proper supplies from Tim Lorenz with Outdoor Rec.
Not afraid of feisty animals? Bring a loaf of bread and feed the geese at Riverfront Park or go on a horseback ride. Folf discs are cheap, and Pioneer Park offers a great course to play a few rounds.
Are you a history nut? Billings was founded in 1882, and has a variety of museums like the Western Heritage Center and the Moss Mansion. Just East up I-90, you can find history outside with Pompey’s Pillar, where Lewis and Clark carved their names into the sandstone, or maybe head to the Pictograph Caves where old Native American art still exists. The Yellowstone Art Museum offers interactive exhibits and local artists’ works.
As it gets cold there is still plenty to do. Red Lodge is a great place to go skiing or snowboarding, just ask the ski team. You can go bowling at Sunset Bowl, roller skating at Skate World, and ice skating at Centennial Ice Arena (which is also the place to catch a Billings Bulls hockey game).
For all of you who are of drinking age, check out the variety of breweries, pubs, and wineries around town. The Island Night Club (18+) is a hot spot for dancing and meeting new people. Keep an eye out for concerts that come to Alberta Bair Theater, MetraPark, the Babcock Theatre, and the Railyard.
Of course there is always killing time and money at the mall, the movies, or a spa.
If none of these ideas sound appealing, ask a local and I am sure they can point you to their favorite spot. A quick Google search can also do wonders. Remember, college is as fun as you make it, so make sure to get out and try something new.