KJ Morris strives to inspire imagination and creativity in kids and families. As the co-founder and director of the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum, she encourages families to explore the world – particularly this exceptional patch of it – through interactive exhibits and programs in the arts, sciences, ecology and history. A longtime valley resident, Morris shared her favorite things to do as a family in summertime Jackson Hole.
With the goal of inspiring imagination and creativity, the Children’s Museum encourages kids of all ages to have fun while they learn – all with an eye to expand little minds’ awareness of the valley. Even the fish tank holds local meaning: among the indigenous species swims a rare blue cutthroat trout. Located a block off the Jackson Town Square, the Clubhouse hosts daily programs; to find out what’s in store today, call (307) 733-3996 or visit www.jhchildrensmuseum.org.
Fly or glide down Snow King Mountain; the speed is up to you. The route wends its way through woods and wildflowers, and offers unstoppable views of the valley below and mountains up high. A snack and picnic area offers post-ride unwinding. For safety’s sake, children must be two years old and older to ride the Alpine Slide, and kids ages 2 to 6 must ride with an adult. For information, call (307) 733-5200 or visit www.snowking.com.
Real deal cowboys and cowgirls storm the rodeo ring every Wednesday and Saturday nights to compete in the Jackson Hole Rodeo, a valley tradition since 1890. From bull riding to barrel racing, the Rodeo is a wild slice of Western history. Cowboys rodeo rain or shine, so come prepared. Tickets are available online; visit www.jhrodeo.com.
A cornucopia of outdoor concerts offer free music mountainside. JacksonHoleLive plants its stage at the base of Snow King in downtown Jackson, while Concerts on the Commons hosts touring bands in Teton Village. Pack a picnic and dancing shoes. For lineups, visit www.jacksonholelivemusic.com and www.jacksonhole.com/concerts-on-the-commons.html.
On July 19-28, the fairgrounds come alive. The Teton County Fair features the full gamut of downhome fun – pig wrestling, carnival rides, clowns, hypnotists and 4-H exhibitions, not to mention the rowdy Figure 8 Races and closing country concert. For the full schedule, visit www.tetonwyo.org/fair
Local vendors and farmers sell their wares twice weekly. Saturday mornings find the Town Square brimming with fresh produce and handmade goods at the Jackson Hole Farmers’ Market – the perfect place to cruise for breakfast. Meanwhile, Wednesday evenings see a smorgasbord of music, farm stands and JH treats at the Jackson Hole People’s Market. For info, visit www.jhpeoplesmarket.org or www.jacksonholefarmersmarket.com.
Since 1953, the Spud has been a Driggs, Idaho fixture, screening movies and flipping burgers. Nights usually begin with a family-friendly flick followed by a more adult-oriented feature. Digital may be the demise of the Spud; most studios stopped printing 35mm reels this spring. To keep running, the Spud is raising money to buy a digital projector; support the Spud, buy a t-shirt. For movie listings, visit www.spuddrivein.com.
Between the nine-hole disc golf course to the climbing wall, trampoline and boundless trail loops, Teton Village is a playground for kids of all ages (adults too). The bungee trampoline – a cross of the two, as its name suggests – safely propels jumpers 24 feet in the air, and the climbing wall features a variety of routes from easy to complex. At dusk, the Village Commons hosts Alive@Five – free educational programs geared toward families with visiting raptors and experts on wildlife and ecology.
The wildlife museum’s new sculpture trail stretches along the picturesque bluff atop which the museum sits. Peppered throughout the trail are monumental sculptures including Richard Loffler’s bronze of a larger-than-life buffalo herd. Take a guided tour or stroll on your own. For more info, visit www.wildlifeart.org.
After a long day adventuring, families can unwind at a plethora of family-friendly valley restaurants. On the Teton Village Road, neighbors the Calico and the Roadhouse share an expansive lawn that is scattered with balls and frisbies all summer long. For reservations, call the Calico at (307)733-2460 and Q Roadhouse at (307) 739-0700.