6 Ways to Connect with Family in the Cowboy State

Spot constellations in a cloudless night sky, cheer on cowboys and cowgirls at an action-packed rodeo, catch the sight of a moose casually grazing on the banks of a glistening mountain lake—there are loads of ways for loved ones to unplug and reconnect in Wyoming.

1. Camping

Slumbering in the outdoors is a back-to-basics joy that helps kiddos develop a lifetime love and respect for the wilderness and provides plenty of chances for screen-free bonding. There are oodles of awesome campgrounds to choose from, whether your crew is seeking a car-camping spot or backcountry hideaway.

The majority of Wyoming’s 12 state parks and 25 state historic sites offer camping with different perks like river- and lake-side sites, hiking trails and amenities like running water and restrooms—so all you have to worry about is enjoying each other’s company.

2. Dino Experiences

Once a lush wonderland inhabited by Triceratops, T-rexes and other larger-than-life beasts, Wyoming offers tons of activities for budding paleontologists. Get your family’s hands dirty together and learn how to excavate fossils on Dig for a Day programs hosted by the Paleon Museum in Glenrock and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, both of which also house excellent fossil collections. The Tate Geological Museum at Casper College also has more than 3,000 fossil and mineral specimens, while displays at University of Wyoming’s Geological Museum in Laramie include an Allosaurous named Big Al and Diatryma gigantea, a fierce carnivore discovered in Wyoming in 1876.

3. Rodeos

Rodeos across Wyoming encompass traditional competitive events like bull riding and steer wrestling and crowd-pleasing fun like carnivals, livestock displays and shows featuring local and national talent — making them perfect entertainment for families traveling with multiple generations. Find out why Cheyenne Frontier Days has dazzled audiences since 1897; witness bed races, street dances and powwows at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo; discover the state’s rich agricultural heritage at the Wyoming State Fair & Rodeo in Douglas or enjoy beer tasting and a barbecue contest at the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo in Casper (all events are in July). 

4. Road Trips

There’s no better way to make the most of all of Wyoming’s sights and activities than to embark on a road trip. Take inspiration from our regional road trips and customize your route to include stops that will satisfy every member of your crew, from the hot-springs lover to the aspiring cowboy or cowgirl.

5. Hands-On Museums

Interactive museums encourage little ones and their parents to explore fascinating topics together, and Wyoming has some great ones. Pint-size explorers can see what it’s like to forge a river in a covered wagon at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper; learn how to think like a scientist at the Lander Children’s Museum and tour real dig sites and a fossil prep lab at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis.

6. Wildlife Watching

Observing an animal in its natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience, and our state’s abundance of wide-open spaces and varied landscapes support an impressive list of wildlife-watching opportunities. See below to learn about some of Wyoming’s wild residents and where to see them. Spot constellations in a cloudless night sky, cheer on cowboys and cowgirls at an action-packed rodeo, catch the sight of a moose casually grazing on the banks of a glistening mountain lake—there are loads of ways for loved ones to unplug and reconnect in Wyoming.

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