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How to Keep Your Child Busy and Happy in Polson, MT | Guide for Parents

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May 13, 2018

Written by: Faith Dawson

The warm sunshine falling across the lush green valley signals the start of summer and fun. You may be starting to ask. Where will my kid go while I work during the day? What summer programs are available around here? What will they cost?

Whatever your goal, the unknown sometimes seems overwhelming. However, your kid does NOT have to sit home all day!

If you’re trying to figure out what opportunities are available let’s break it down into a list of top choices for Polson, Montana. You’ll be surprised about how much fun your kid can have with just a few ways to get active and enjoy summer.

Tip #1 Plan Ahead

Some applications are on a first come, first serve basis. Be sure to find out where your child wants to go to get your applications in early. The early birds gets the worm or in this case the FUN. If possible, plan to save a little extra income for fun, field trips, vacations or kid’s camp supplies.

Tip #2 Try to Carpool

The gas costs of picking up and dropping off a kid are a factor, not to mention the time to drive to location. Recruit another parent or family friend to carpool who drives their kid to the same program, so you can both save MONEY and TIME.

Mission Valley in Motion 

Sports Summer Camp
Mission Valley in Motion camp flyer close by Polson, MT in Pablo
Mission Valley in Motion summer camp flyer

What kid does not want a bit of movement and sports to go along with the warm and vibrant summer? Mission Valley in Motion is sponsoring through the Community Health and Development department of Salish Kootenai College a FREE sports camp for kids 7-14 to enjoy daily sports, activities and field trips.

Camp goes from June 18th – August 16th, 2018 during hours 8:00AM to 12:45PM. Program offers a FREE shuttle service to drive kids to the Boys and Girls Club afterwards or  option of parental pick-up.

If that were not wonderful enough, every morning, bright and early the youth program serves FREE breakfast and lunch for anyone under 18 years of age.

This program is open to all youth both tribal and non-tribal members in Lake County, Montana.

Camp location is at the SKC – Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center

58138 U.S. Highway 93, Pablo, MT 59855

Between the free admission, free food and free shuttle service this is easily the most affordable and fun camp in the area near Polson – making it the top choice available for kids in Lake County.

For more information please call, JOHNSON CAYE @ (406) 261-6748

Download an application here.

Boys and Girls Club

Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County logo
Photo Credit: Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County

There are locations in Polson and Ronan affordable all year around, with special summer programs and summer application for youth.

  • Programs for Summer
  • Glacier in Focus
  • Camp Bighorn
  • STEM
  • Theater and Missoula Children’s Theatre
  • Swimming Lessons
  • LaCrosse
  • Softball
  • Flag Football
  • Science Camps
  • Bugs/Birds/Clouds
  • Watershed Exploration
  • NASA/NOAA Robotics Camp
  • Girl Scouts and Social Relationships including Anti-bullying training
  • Meth and Culture Don’t Mix
  • Native Games
  • Ninepipes Programs

Membership Fees: $45 per School year or $5 per month

Sign up now for a place to help your child enjoy their summer and not just live it.

Public Library for Youth Events

North Lake Library Game Day in Polson, MT
Photo Credit: North Lake Library

North Lake Library Game day in Polson, MT

North Lake Library (free admission)

Every Friday @ 3:30PM

Game Day AND Flick Night – kids watch a movie, play Wii videogames and other games. Evening event comes with snacks, food, and library staff supervision. Parents can drop off their kids, it lasts approximately 2 hours.

During week library hosts Storytime reading events for many ages.

2 First Avenue E
Polson, MT 59860
Phone: 406.883.8225

Ronan Public Library (free admission)

Highlights are Thursday library staff host Storytime hours.

During open hours there are many games on computers and crafts available and prizes through summer reading programs.

203 Main St. SW

Ronan, Montana 59864

Phone: 406.676.3682

Apprentice Hunter Program

Fish, Wildlife and Parks of Montana logo
Photo Credits: Fish, Wildlife and Parks of Montana

Animals to Hunt in MontanaHunter Apprentice icon

You and your children are living in the most beautiful state in America – Montana is made up of natural treasures like lakes, rivers, streams, forests and wilderness. Other people come from all over the country for what is close by your family’s backyard in Polson, MT.

The Montana Legislature passed an Apprentice Hunter law allowing people ages 10 and older to hunt as apprentices with a mentor for two seasons without completing a Hunter Education course (there is no longer an upper age limit on being an apprentice).

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks encourages youth to sign-up for being mentored because they can go on their first hunt for deer and elk! The earlier a family shows a young person how to hunt the more they will grow and learn to about their heritage and fully enjoy living in Montana. An apprentice must be apply on the Fish Wildlife and Parks website and there is a $5.00 fee for certification.

Please check it out and sign-up your child with a friend or family member who is at 21 years old, has their Montana hunting licenses and is willing to take them hunting!

Phone: (406) 444-2535, E-mail:

Explore a FREE Tour at Flathead Biological Station (Yellowbay)

Flathead Lake

Flathead Biological Station
Photo Credits: Flathead Biological Station

Flathead Biological Station tour

Call them to arrange a tour or presentation for your family or group.

32125 Biological Station Ln

Polson, MT 59860


Go Miniature Golfing or Swimming near Flathead Lake at KOA

miniature golfing KOA
Photo Credits: Polson KOA

Families and kids do not have to be renting space for an RV to buy a pass. Anyone can stop by for a pass to experience those fun times at $5.00 a visit.

200 Irvine Flats Road

Polson, MT 59860

Info: 406-883-2151

Drop Kids off with a Skateboard to Play in Polson Skate Park

Polson skate park
Photo Credit: Northwestern Skate

Free admission to public

595-899 7th Ave W, Polson, MT 59860


Sunday 8AM–8PM
Monday 8AM–8PM
Tuesday 8AM–8PM
Wednesday 8AM–8PM
Thursday 8AM–8PM
Friday 8AM–8PM
Saturday 8AM–8PM

Take Kids Bowling

sportpage bowl
Photo Credit: sportpage bowl

Sportpage Bowl and Grill includes American style food for the family, arcade games and bowling! Cost is roughly $10.00 a game and $2.50 per person for shoes.

101 Heritage Ln
Polson, Montana 59860-8901

(406) 883-4010

Visit Miracle of America Museum

Miracle of America Museum
Photo Credit: Miracle of America Museum

The Miracle of America Museum hosts the preservation of one of the largest collections of American history. It has cultural and household artifacts, planes, cars, boats and more from through-out different eras in American History.

Hours of Operation

Summer hours (Jun-Aug):

8 AM to 6 PM daily

Regular Hours (Sep-May):

8 AM to 5 PM Monday – Saturday

1:30 PM to 5 PM Sunday

Admission Rates

Under 2 years: Free

Child 2 – 12 years: $3.00

Regular Admission: $6.00

36094 Memory Lane, Polson MT 59860

Phone: (406) 883-6804

Educational Opportunities

Tutoring Options

Beyond fun, vacations and adventures you might want your child to gain ground instead of forgetting academic skills they learned over the summer break.

Here are some of the best summer “educational enrichment” opportunities we’ve found:

Acellus Homeschool Services

Acellus Academy logo

Acellus is a web-learning program for students and families work on self-directed education. Online learning modules provide curriculum to aid parents to give their children academic enrichment during the summer months. Students are able to learn at their own pace under the supervision and assistance of their parent OR tutor. Parents may choose up to 6 courses at a time from over 250 courses (grades K-12) and child can work on online classes anytime making it ideal for a rural area like Polson, MT.

Tuition: $9.99/month. VERY AFFORDABLE, so families can easily add this to their family budget. Call (866) 684-6127 ask for Power Homeschool package.

Camp Chronicle – Superheroes AND Literacy meet Fun

Camp Chronicle LogoDeWit Ritecare Clinic Logo

Would your child like to make friends, create his or her own superhero and comic story? This literacy camp blends art and story-writing as kids learn to love to read and write through comic books. Kids can learn better reading skills without it feeling like school, the official term for it is “Creating High-Quality Renderings & Original Narratives in Comics in a Language-Rich Environment”.

Camp CHRONICLE will run from 9:00AM – 3:00PM, Monday through Friday, June 19 – June 30 for grades 4 and 5.

“Each camper is paired with a graduate student and work in small groups to work on literacy strategies while producing a comic book with the help of illustrator, Tony Gregori. (professional comic book illustrator published in the U.S. and UK by Viper Comics, 5th World Studios and Image Comics).” (DeWit Ritecare Clinic, 2018)

Total 2-week camp fee: $400 and Scholarships are AVAILABLE

Please contact the DeWit RiteCare Clinic at (406) 243-2405 for more information, or Dr. Ginger Collins (406) 243-2626

It is located at the University of Montana campus so families interested will likely have to carpool or arrange for the child to stay near Missoula for the week of camp.

Ronan School District Middle School Summer Camps

ronan school district logo

All programs are FREE and meet at Ronan Middle School Cafeteria. Please Register by June 7, 2017 and contact Nicki Jimenez at 676-3390 ext. 7728 or  if you have questions or need more information.

  • Only grades specified will be accepted.
  • Free meals for all students 18 years old and younger: Breakfast @ 8:15 am – 10:30 am, Lunch @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.
  • No bus service provided.
  • Priority camp enrollment for Summer School students if camp application is received by June 2, 2017(register for Summer School using purple form available at RMS Office).
  • Space is limited — applicants accepted on a first-come, first-served basisafter priority summer school enrollment. You will receive an acceptance (or waiting list) letter in the mail.
  • If your student is absent on the first day of camp, they will be dropped so we can admit a student from the waiting list.
  • Download an application here or pick one up at the school office. Return forms to school office. 

Native Games & SpectrUM (grades 5-8): June 12-15, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

STARBASE STEM (grades 5-8): June 12-15, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Swimming (grades 5-8): June 19-22, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Art (grades 5-8): June 26-29, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Naturalist (grades 5-8): June 26-29, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Pablo Elementary Art (grades 3-5): June 12-15, 12:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Ronan Art (grades 3-5): June 26-29, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

University of Montana Science Camps

UM science camps

The University of Montana is offering Computer Science Summer Camps for current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Check out the flyer here.

The University of Montana Computer Science Department will be hosting a 3 day/2 night Tech Camp for High School Students (enrolled in High School fall 2018). Campers will choose 1 of 3 tracks.  Each track will consist of 6 sessions.  A variety of topics will be offered that consist of 1, 2 or 3 consecutive sessions.  You do not have to have any experience to attend this camp.  It’s a great way to see what technology is all about!

Data Science: June 12-15

Web Programming: June 19-22

The BRAIDS grant with SKC is offering to pay student registration fees to attend the UM technology camps for students who are enrolled tribal members or of Native American descent. They also may be able to provide for transportation up and down Highway 93. Contact Carrie Drye 275-4941 for more information on assistance with registration fees and transportation.

UM Summer Reading Skills Program for Kids

University of Montana logo

Photo Credit: University of Montana Reading Skills Program

The exceptional Summer Reading Skills Program teaches essential reading skills and inspires kids to love books. This program provides a fun classroom experience led by a terrific teacher plus the benefits and convenience of interactive skills lessons between classes. Students learn the skills they need for 4th grade. The program features effective materials, wonderful books, and fresh activities.

The Summer Reading Skills Program bridges the gap in reading instruction between grades so each child will have a wonderful experience and make progress.

To speak with a program coordinator, or enroll by phone, call (800) 964-8888 6 AM-8 PM Mon.-Fri., 6 AM-5 PM Sat., 8 AM-4 PM Sun.

Sylvan Learning

Sylvan Learning

This company which connects students to personal tutors at their learning centers. The closest Sylvan learning center to Lake County is Kalispell or Missoula.

“Are you in need of a tutor in Montana who can help your child boost his or her grades and re-ignite a love of learning? You can count on Sylvan’s friendly tutors to design personalized, interactive and engaging lessons that equip your child with the tools he or she needs to succeed — in school and beyond. The supportive, confidence-building environment that Sylvan fosters can make a big impact on your child’s next report card: so get started today and start seeing bigger smiles and more high fives sooner!” (Sylvan website, 2018)

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