about big sky
Looking for things to do in Big Sky, Montana in the winter? We have your vacation covered! Big Sky is located about 1 hour from Bozeman so it's an easy destination and promises a true remote-Montana experience. Big Sky received it's name because the sky seems to go on forever, in a state that is sparsely populated and free of busy city life. It's home to Big Sky Resort that offers some of the best skiing we've ever experienced. The Resort is very family friendly and easy to navigate (see below under what to do). Big Sky is also located close to Yellowstone National Park, which offers amazing wildlife, hot springs, and geysers.
where to stay
We cannot recommend Lone Mountain Ranch highly enough! Private log cabins line the mountain and are outfitted with luxe rustic decor and amenities that guarantee all the comforts and indulgences of the West. On site, they have dozens of horses and goats, a full-service restaurant and saloon, nordic ski trails, sleigh rides, a groomed sledding hill, and a playground. The staff is friendly and knows Montana well. As the Ranch claims, "this is where to find and enjoy the good things in life".
what to do
The list of things to do in Big Sky, Montana in the winter is long, but we've highlighted our favorite family activities below:
Big Sky Resort still feels somewhat untouched, and seems to have shorter lines and fewer crowds than some of the uber-popular ski resorts. Ski School is available for kids, as well as an on-site child care for those who aren't ready to tackle the slopes quite yet. The Resort is family friendly and easy to navigate as they have a 15-minute unloading zone right at the base of the mountain, and free-parking with a shuttle only a few minutes away.
Riding through a winter wonderland, being pulled by a team of beautiful huskies is a unique experience and one of our favorite things to do in Big Sky, Montana in the winter. You can book through Spirit of the North (kids 2-6 sled for free!) or Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures.
Sleigh Ride Dinner
Lone Mountain Ranch offers a sleigh ride dinner with a ride under a starlit sky followed by a cowboy dinner and old-fashioned sing along. Lunch sleigh rides are also available.
Visit Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is only about an hour drive from Big Sky and is filled with untouched wildlife, land, and geysers. The quiet slowness and breathtaking views are unmatched. Guided tours available.
Marty Pavelich Ice Rink located in Big Sky Town Center offers open skate at various times. Visit Big Sky Community Organization for open skate times.
where to eat
Located on the grounds of Lone Mountain Ranch, Horn & Cantle offers a farm-to-table menu with classic dishes that will leave you more than satisfied.
Connected to Horn & Cantle, The Saloon offers relaxed vibes, a pub-style menu, and live music! Perfect for après-ski cocktails or a relaxed dinner.
Texas barbecue meets Montana style. A perfect spot for a good meal, cold beer, and gorgeous view.
Italian comfort food that offers home-cooked flavor, prepared by an award-winning chef and served in a beautiful presentation.
American bistro menu in a relaxed but lively atmosphere, with great service.
A local bakery with great bagels, gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, and coffee.
what to pack
The snow and cold in Montana are real, and layers are going to be your best friend.
We recommend a base layer of merino wool, which is excellent for keeping in warmth while also repelling water/perspiration. Then layer on a fleece or sweater – we recommend something made with wool or synthetic material that allows for breathability and moisture resistance (cotton is not a good option!). Of course, we would finish the look with a pair of Northern Classics bibs and winter coat, along with NC mittens and a hat! When skiing, we switch to a balaclava and helmet, as well as ski goggles. Northern Classics coats are made with Primaloft insulation which is known for warmth without the bulk and allows kids full range of motion, high waterproof and breathability ratings, soil-repellent coating on the shell to keep the coat clean, and built-in mitten clips to secure mittens directly to the coat.
With kids, always pack (a lot of!) snacks and some simple arts and crafts/activities for kids to engage with while out to eat.