We did a podcast episode about what to do when the museum is closed. It wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t our worst. You can listen to it now or read some suggestions on what to do if the museum you want to go to is closed during your visit with recommendations of similar areas of interest.
The C.M. Russell Museum
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
If The C.M. Russell Museum is closed during your visit to Great Falls, Montana, we’re really sorry. But you can still venture off on your own and see what inspired famed cowboy artist Charlie Russell in Great Falls and the surrounding area.
- Check out the sculpture garden at The C.M. Russell Museum
- Do a self-guided walking tour downtown
- Go to First Peoples Buffalo Jump and also see Square Butte and other landscapes that are in Charlie’s paintings
- Go to almost any local restaurant and order their menu item with Charlie’s name
First Peoples Buffalo Jump
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
The First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park and Interpretive Center is about 15 miles or 20 minutes from Great Falls, Montana, and is well worth your time when visiting the area. The views are still open if the interpretive center is closed during your visit. Sure, you won’t be able to go inside and read about the tribes that used the jump, but you can still park your car and hike to the jump or drive to the upper access area and walk to the jump too. Here are some suggestions that you may be interested in if the interpretive center is closed and after you’ve seen the views and read the interpretive signage at the jump:
- Complete The Great Buffalo Hunt
- Go to Malmstrom Air Park and Museum and learn about some Native American’s history there
- Go to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and see how Native Americans helped the men along the expedition
The History Museum
Closed Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
The History Museum focuses on Great Falls, Montana history, and is an excellent venue for a wedding too. Their gift shop is impressive, and you could spend about two hours in the museum and then head upstairs and read their archives to solve a murder mystery, which actually happened. If you’re here while the museum is closed, check out these suggestions:
- Once again, take a walk using our self-guided walking tours and give yourself a 5-star review
- Head over to Cassiopeia Books and read up on Great Falls, Montana history
- Check out the Arvon Block, which has Hotel Arvon, The Celtic Cowboy, and Darkhorse Wine Snug & Hall, and is the oldest commercial building in Great Falls. The whiskey is good, and the music might even be better, depending on the day you’re having.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Closed Mondays during the winter months
If the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is closed during your visit to Great Falls, Montana, you might as well extend your trip. 25% of our visitors go the interpretive center, as it is the largest and most extensive center about the Corps of Discovery. Sure, they went to other places during The Expedition, but they spent the longest time of any one location here, in Great Falls, Montana. If the center is closed, walk around outside and follow these suggestions:
- Our River’s Edge Trail will connect you with many historical and significant parts of Lewis and Clark’s expedition
- Check out The Falls of the Missouri River and see why they caused such a dilemma for them
- Go to Clark and Lewie’s and don’t order dog (we hope you listened to the podcast)
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is in one of the most stunning buildings in Great Falls, Montana. A former school now museum of contemporary art that highlights self-taught artists, The Square is a must-stop during your visit to Great Falls. If the museum is closed and you aren’t able to be scared by ghosts or the Lee Steen Exhibit, which is driftwood turned into people, we recommend these additions to your itinerary:
- Check out the Good Wood Guys and see what they make with wood instead
- See the other gorgeous architecture with a self-guided walking tour
- Visit galleries throughout downtown that houses from local artists, like Electric City Coffee or Winston Publishing
The museum may be closed on the particular day you’re visiting, but there is no need to be grumpy. These suggestions should help, if not, give us a call at 406-761-4436, and we’ll give you more tailored recommendations.