Kids playing in the hot springs pool at the family friendly Montana resort, Quinn's Hot Springs.

Family-Friendly Resorts in Montana That All Ages Will Love

Growing up, I loved visiting my grandparents’ farm in eastern Montana. The wide open spaces and dusty roads were a haven for my cousins and me. To me, the best resorts for families in Montana all offer something similar to that experience: the chance to get away from it all on a property that showcases the beauty and expansive land that Montana is known for. 

Family-Friendly Resorts in Montana That All Ages Will Love

Now that I’m all grown-up and have kids of my own, I still like going to the family farm…but I also don’t mind a more luxurious trip now and then!

So you’ll find a mix of both rustic and luxe in this list of the best Montana family resorts, from rugged ranches to all-inclusive getaways to snow-filled wonderlands. 

Average Cost Per Night
I’ve included dollar signs under each resort’s name in this article to reflect the typical cost per night for a family of four. Some resorts charge per person per night (typically the case for dude ranches and all-inclusive resorts in Montana) while others charge per room.

This is just a general guideline for pricing and different seasons may greatly fluctuate in price so double check the prices for the resort that sounds best to you and you may be pleasantly surprised…or stuck with sticker shock. 😉 Here is how I broke down the costs for these best family resorts in Montana:

$: Under $200
$$: $200 to $399
$$$: $400 to $699
$$$$: $700 to $1200
$$$$$: $1,200+

Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Montana for Families

Don’t want to think about money once you’re there? Check out these uber-awesome (and uber-expensive resorts that include accommodation, food, and fun in a package price. 

The Ranch at Rock Creek

Location: Philipsburg, Montana (about 90 minute southeast of Missoula)
Cost: $$$$$

This 5-star guest ranch was the first to be named as such by Forbes Travel Guide. The Ranch at Rock Creek lives up to this accolade thanks to it mouthwatering meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are all included in the price of your stay), exciting activities from horseback riding to fly fishing, and sumptuously appointed accommodations.

Those accommodations allow for up to 75 guests to stay at a time, providing an intimate ranch experience for guests. Families can choose from one-bedroom suites, multi-bedroom homes, or even glamping. Some of the houses available to stay in have bunkbeds that kids are sure to love. 

Just For Kids: The Ranch at Rock Creek has the Little Grizzlies Club for guests aged four through 12. Kids will have a blast learning more about Montana and ranch life at age-appropriate levels. 

Families Will Love: The onsite ropes course, scavenger hunts, swims in the outdoor pool, and learning outdoor safety skills like how to build a shelter and start a fire. 

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge

Location: Flathead Lake
Cost: $$$$

We have a bit of a personal connection to Flathead Lake Lodge since the sister-in-law of our mom’s friend (and mother of the children Jackie babysat for all through high school) owns it. So over the years, we’ve heard lots of wonderful things about the lodge, which is an all-inclusive ranch resort located right by Flathead Lake. It’s like staying at a Flathead Lake state park…only it’s private and everything is ruggedly luxurious! It’s been family-run for 75 years. Rates are all-inclusive for a 7-night stay. 

Just For Kids: The children’s program at Flathead Lake Lodge aims to give kids freedom at the ranch in a safe manner that helps them grow more confident while they learn new activities. From kid rodeos to trail rides to games and water activities plus much more, there is a wide range of fun to be had for kids of all ages. There’s even a junior wranglers program!

Daily kid activities are divided up into the following age groups: baby to six, six to 12, and teenagers. 

Families Will Love: The entire philosophy behind Flathead Lake Lodge is based around families. From the fact that it’s been run by the same family for three generations to the focus on activities to encourage family bonding time during your vacation, family is the name of the game at Flathead Lake Lodge. And for parents who want a little one on one time, there’s childcare available, too. 

We listed a few of the best ranch resorts in Montana above, but note that most dude ranches in Montana are all-inclusive to some degree. Click here to see our list of the best dude ranches in Montana with tips on what to know before you go. Or keep scrolling to see our top dude ranch recommendations for families further down below. 

Best Montana Ski Resorts for Families

Big Sky Mountain Resort

Location: Big Sky
Cost: $$-$$$$$

Big Sky Resort is no doubt the most famous ski resort in Montana and is world-renowned for its powder, vast terrain of trails and runs, and gorgeous vistas. If you’re planning to ski or snowboard at Big Sky and want easy access to the runs, then your best bet is to stay right by the chairlifts at Big Sky Resort. 

Big Sky Resort has a number of hotels and vacation rentals that range in price and ambiance, from mountain chic to luxuriously modern to condominiums with kitchens. There are also single family vacation rentals available, too. If you’re looking for 5-star luxury, Montage is the newest accommodation options in Big Sky and has a ski resort within a ski resort feel. Montage is kid-friendly, but very expensive — think Aspen-vibes without the crowds.

Just For Kids: If you’re staying at Big Sky Resort, you’re likely planning to hit the slopes, and Big Sky has excellent ski camps and programs for kids of all skill levels. 

Families Will Love: The easy access to the trails. Most of the hotels and vacation rentals part of Big Sky Resort are within 55 yards to a chairlift. That means no worrying about forgetting something or lugging all your equipment to the car and from the car and packing lunches, etc. 

However, even if you don’t stay right at the base of the mountain, the shuttle service for the parking lots makes everything so easy.

Insider Tip: The only thing to keep in mind is that the line for the shuttle gets long at the end of the day. We drove from Bozeman one day last year and my (then) preschooler and second grader were starting to lose it toward the end of the day. Luckily, my husband managed to wrangle all our skis and I wrangled the kids and we made it work. Next time we decided to send only one of us on the shuttle to get the car to meet us at the main lodge.

Whitefish Mountain Resort

. Snowboarder Shredding Down Whitefish Mountain. Photo courtesy of Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Location: Whitefish
Cost: $$-$$$

With incredible views that look out onto Whitefish Lake and Flathead Valley below, you’ll feel on top of the world when you’re about to ski or snowboard down Whitefish Mountain. Get to that view faster with a stay right in Whitefish Mountain Resort from which you can quickly ski in and ski out from the lodges and many of the vacation rentals. 

Just For Kids: The Kids Center Daycare at Whitefish Mountain Resort is where little ones who don’t want to (or can’t) be on the slopes all day can hang out while their parents get in some runs. The Kids Center Daycare has story time, arts and crafts, and an assortment of toys and play stations. The daycare is open for children ages six months through six years old; reservations are strongly recommended and an extra fee applies.

For children wanting to learn to ski or improve their skills, a ski program is available that pairs kids up with friendly, knowledgeable instructors in a low student to teacher ratio. The instructor will take the kids out for ski runs on trails that fit their skill level and will help them improve their skiing or snowboarding skills. Reservations are also recommended and an extra fee applies for this as well. 

Families Will Love: A relatively short drive down the mountain takes you to the quaint downtown area of Whitefish; both adults and kids alike will enjoy the delicious restaurants and artsy feel of this charming city.

Kids will also love walking by the Whitefish Depot and seeing all the old trains on display and the modern-day ones still running through the station.

Back up the mountain, you’ll enjoy waking up and being to the slopes in mere minutes without worrying about driving and parking (ok, you might want to give the kids some breakfast first!). Also, Whitefish Village has a little supermarket, restaurants and bars, a coffee shop, gift shops, and a ski equipment and rental shop. 

Read More: Best Things to Do in Whitefish

P.S. Both Whitefish Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort have excellent summer activities, too! Read our summer guide for Whitefish here and then check out our Big Sky summer guide here.

Best Montana Family Resorts for Water Fun 

Pretty much all of Montana’s best family resorts have a prominent outdoor element, but for a few, that outdoor time is focused on the water! Here are two of my top picks for Montana resorts that are largely centered around water and are kid-friendly. 

Toddler on shores of Whitefish Lake in Montana.
My daughter on shores of Whitefish Lake

The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

With a marina, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, and an assortment of lodging types that overlook gorgeous Whitefish Lake, the Lodge at Whitefish Lake is paradise for those who love being in and on the water. 

If you’re hoping to rent a boat or some watersports equipment while in Whitefish, staying right by the marina will make it easy. 

Just For Kids: There isn’t a kids club at this resort, but between the pools and the private beach by the lake, families are sure to find lots of activities to fill the day. 

Families Will Love: The expansive grounds that provide lots of room to run around. The indoor pool is especially a hit with its rock waterfall, while the outdoor pool overlooks the picturesque lake. 

Marina Cay Resort

Location: Flathead Lake
Cost: $-$$

Marina Cay’s tagline is “Where People Play” and if your family is a bunch of water lovers, that will most definitely be the case! Marina Cay consists of privately owned condominiums that are set up like a resort hotel; the condos range from studios to three bedrooms, the latter of which are especially ideal for families who like their space. Because of the timeshare nature of the resort, you won’t find as many perks as at other resorts, but you’ll be right by the marina in Bigfork that connects with Flathead Lake. 

Just For Kids: You won’t find a kids program at Marina Cay, but there is an onsite pool sure to entertain the kids. 

Families Will Love: The easy boat rental from the marina, the fun tiki bar that’s open in the summer, watersports rentals just steps from your accommodation, and you’re in walking distance to the cute little downtown area of Bigfork where there’s lots of restaurants, cafes, and gift shops. 

Insider Tip: I highly recommend renting a boat and doing an excursion to Wild Horse Island on the southeast corner of the lake. Our day hiking on the island was easily one of my kids’ favorite things we’ve done in Montana — and we didn’t even see the wild horses (yes, there are five that call the island home)! We did see the herd of bighorn sheep though, which was pretty cool.

Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort

Location: Lolo National Forest near Paradise
Cost: $-$$

Kids playing in the hot springs pool at the family friendly Montana resort, Quinn's Hot Springs.
Kids playing in the largest pool at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

Quinn’s Hot Spring Resort is located about a 20-minute drive off of I-90 near the exit for St. Regis in Lolo National Forest. This makes for a relaxing night stop on a road trip from Seattle or another city, but Quinn’s also serves as an excellent vacation resort in its own right.

As the name suggests, this resort is known for its hot springs. Quinn’s has several different pools that are all 100% fed by geothermal hot springs; the pools range in temperature from 89 degrees to 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

The resort is right by a river and picturesque canyon and has a rustic feel perfect for a mountain getaway.

Just For Kids: This resort doesn’t have anything specifically for kids, but children will love the large lower temp pool!

Families Will Love: The opportunity to stay in your own cabin overlooking the canyon. (There are also a few lodges onsite, but they are adults-only.) Conveniently, there is also an onsite restaurant, which serves up locally sourced beef and fresh seafood and has a children’s menu. A tavern is also located on the property for those who want a more laidback meal. 

Read More: I wrote all about my stay at Quinn’s Hot Springs with kids here.

Fairmont Hot Spring Resort

Location: Fairmont (About 20 minutes west of Butte)
Cost: $-$$

A different type of water vacation can be found at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. It is home to a number of large hot pools and smaller soaking pools that are fed by a 160 foot deep well that brings thermal water to these pools. The large pools are between 88 to 94 degrees while the smaller soaking pools are between 100 to 104 degrees. 

Just for Kids: Ok, it’s not only for kids, but kids will probably be the biggest fans of the massive waterslide on the property that zigs and zags into one of the hot spring pools. (Note: While the pools are all included in the price of your stay, the waterslide is an extra fee to use). 

Families Will Love: The Family Fun packages provide savings on your stay. Check the site for the current package deal for families and mention it when you book. Eating is also easy for families thanks to three different restaurants onsite. Rooms range from typical hotel studio rooms to 2-bedroom suites ideal for larger families or those wanting more space. 

Best Montana Resorts for Mountain Ambiance 

St. Mary’s Lodge & Resort

Location: By East Entrance of Glacier National Park
Cost: $$

Aerial view of St. Mary’s Lodge. Photo Courtesy of Glacier National Park and Pursuit Media.

Glacier National Park has several iconic lodges, such as the Many Glacier Lodge and cabins and lakefront motel at Apgar Village. But if you’re looking for a resort vibe, our vote goes to St. Mary’s Village, located just outside the east entrance to Glacier National Park.

After several days of no air conditioning, extremely limited Internet and cell service, and no TV at the accommodations we stayed at inside the park, my family was delighted to spend a night at the Bear Village Lodge.

My kids with their grandma in Great Bear Lodge at St. Mary Village

The views from the lodge are incredible, with an emphasis put on the river, jagged mountains, and nearby St. Mary’s Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in Glacier National Park. This lodge fills up quickly when bookings open a year in advance, but planning ahead pays off since you’ll get first pick of room categories, like those coveted lake view ones or St. Mary’s Tiny Homes.

Just for Kids: You’re in walking distance to an ice cream shop, gift shop with loads of stuffed animals and other souvenirs, and did we mention there’s a TV and Wi-Fi?!

Families Will Love: The multiple nearby restaurants and shops in St. Mary Village, but the real draw is being close to the St. Mary entrance for Glacier National Park. Roll out of bed and you’re practically there already! Makes it much easier with kids who may be slow at getting out the door. Just remember staying in St. Mary Village does NOT give you access to the Going-to-the-Sun Road when a separate vehicle ticket is needed. Read more about those requirements here.

Insider Tip: Kids will no doubt love the tiny homes, a collection of ten tiny houses located on the property that are adorably colorful while also being functional.  Just keep in mind that while each unit comes with its own private bathhouse, you do have to go outside to access it. Something to keep in mind if you have kiddos who still get up multiple times each night!

Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Location: Just south of Big Sky Resort
Cost: $$

Get away from it all where there’s room to run and nature to explore at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, a picturesque resort that’s nestled in a serene valley and surrounded by towering mountain peaks. A river runs alongside the resort and most of the lodging has views of the river.

Rainbow Ranch Lodge has a main lodge with its restaurants, a full bar, and a relaxing area to hang out that has couches and a wood-burning fireplace. Next to the lodge is the massive and impressive outdoor hot tub that has an infinity edge and mountain views plus features a stone fireplace on one side of the hot tub area. 

Just For Kids: No kids club, but kids will love fishing for trout in the onsite pond, throwing rocks in the river, roasting s’mores at the firepit and running around on the grassy lawn. 

Families Will Love: All the wide, open space that Montana is known for plus the close proximity to popular family destinations like Big Sky, Bozeman, and Yellowstone National Park. Families will also appreciate the Deluxe Rooms in the Pond Lodge, which have two adjoining bedrooms, a fireplace, and a deck overlooking the trout pond. 

The Resort at Paws Up

Location: Greenough (35 miles west of Missoula)
Cost: $$$$$

With a tagline of “America’s Private National Park” it’s hard not to find the idea of the Resort at Paws Up alluring. The nightly rate includes meals, but I didn’t put this one in the all-inclusive category since families who want to put their kids in the day camp will have to pay an extra fee, and many of the guided excursions also cost extra. 

Still, if it’s luxury and adventure you’re looking for in a mountain setting with a plethora of activities all ages will enjoy, then Paw’s Up won’t disappoint. 

Just for Kids: The Kids Corp of Discovery is the day camp for kids at Paws Up. It’s for ages three through 12. Kids will have the chance to ride ponies and horses, traverse obstacle courses, learn outdoors skills, and more, all under the watchful eye of trained staff.  

Families Will Love: Nanny and baby-sitting services are available for an extra fee — perfect for parents looking to a relaxing date night on the ranch or a morning spa service.

The accommodations available include single family homes as well as luxurious and large tents for those looking for something a bit more rugged without sacrificing on comfort. Family vacation packages for holidays and the off-season are also available, which can help you save a bit on the normally high price of this resort. 

Best Family-Friendly Dude Ranches in Montana 

If your kids are as into horse TV shows as mine are, they’ll love a family vacation at a Montana dude ranch. The guest ranches in Montana vary wildly in terms of price and accommodation options. The first two family-friendly ranches in Montana that I’ve included below are iconic…and also quite expensive, though the first and third options are a bit more affordable.

Bar W Guest Ranch

Location: Whitefish
Cost: $$$$$ depending on package type

At Bar W, kids are considered to be the heart of the ranch, so you can expect lots of family-friendly fun when vacationing there.

In summer, there are plenty of activities to do centered around horses, water, and more, while in winter you’re close to world-class skiing at Whitefish Mountain or can just cuddle up in the rustic, yet upscale accommodations with board games and books for some quiet family bonding.

Bar W puts a focus on providing an authentic western vacation and you’ll have the opportunity to watch or participate in square dancing, wagon rides, rodeos, horse grooming, cattle drives, cook outs, and so much more. 

Just For Kids: Bar W has fun kid programs full of adventure, games, arts, and ranch skills. Your little one will be treated like a little cowboy or cowgirl as they learn the ropes of the ranch and learn about the culture and history of Montana ranch life.

For ages four to six, there is the Cowpoke program where they’ll be introduced to horse riding via friendly ponies, while kids ages seven to 11 can participate in the Junior Wranglers program. 

Families Will Love: The baby-sitting services for kids of all ages, even those under age four. You can also create a “family brand” made out of iron by an authentic Brand Inspector, which is a fun souvenir — you can even brand your cowboy boots so you’re all matching! 

Lone Mountain Ranch 

Location: Big Sky
Cost: $$$$ – $$$$$ depending on package type

Lone Mountain Ranch is a National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World property due to its commitment to preserving local culture and nature with a focus on sustainability. It’s easy to see why when you get there.

The cabins consist of beautiful log architecture and the main lodge is warm and inviting. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a true western way of life, with ranch hands available to help you get an authentic Montana ranch experience.

The ranch has been around for over 100 years, and families looking for a special experience in Montana will enjoy the myriad of activities available. It’s been voted “Best Family Ranch” and “Best Ranch for Multigenerational Families” by Top50 Ranches.

For a quintessential dude ranch experience, choose the Summer Discovery Package when booking. 

Just For Kids: Lone Mountain Ranch has a youth program for ages three through 14 from June to August. Under the watchful eyes of friendly staff, kids will be able to roam the ranch to explore, have fun, and learn about ranch life. There are also exciting activities like adventure rope courses and more. (This is part of the Summer Discovery Package.)

Families Will Love: The cabins that have one to six bedrooms, ideal for all family sizes or families traveling together. There are also adjoining cabins that give even more separation and privacy for families while still being super close for friends traveling together, or for parents and teenagers.

Families will also appreciate the more a la carte nature of this dude ranch. They have packages that include just accommodation and dining with the option to add on experiences a la carte, or there are packages that make it more of an all-inclusive vacation; packages focus on skiing (the resort is a short drive from Big Sky Resort) and other Montana winter activities, Yellowstone adventures, fly fishing, horseback riding, and the aforementioned Summer Discovery Package.

The naturalist-led tours to Yellowstone National Park provide an intimate look at the often-busy park and are a great option for families who don’t want to navigate the park on their own. 

Hawley Mountain Ranch

Location: McLeod
Cost: $$

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is situated in the scenic Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, south of Big Timber. It’s located not too far from our family cabin on the Boulder River and so I can attest to how beautiful and remote this area of Montana is!

One of the great things about Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch is that it is an excellent vacation option for families. The ranch offers a range of activities that are perfect for children and adults alike, including horse rides, fly fishing, and campfire sing-alongs. Families can also explore the nearby Yellowstone National Park, which is just a short drive away from the ranch. The ranch’s friendly staff is always on hand to assist guests in planning activities that suit their interests and abilities.

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch has comfortable and spacious accommodations that are perfect for families of all sizes. Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options, including private cabins, lodge rooms, glamping tents, and even covered wagons.

Best Montana Resorts for Budget-Conscious Families

Here are some more great options for families who don’t want to spend a fortune on their vacation, but still like well-appointed rooms, beautiful grounds, and nice amenities. 

Meadow Lake Resort

Location: Columbia Falls
Cost: $$

This is a great option for those who want the perks of staying onsite at a ski resort, but without the high price tag that usually comes with that. Meadow Lake Resort is located in the Flathead Valley and offers a complimentary 30-minute shuttle to Whitefish mountain Resort. Once there, guests of Meadow Lake Resort get exclusive access to Kintla Lodge at Whitefish Resort, where you can eat your lunch, warm up by the fire, and store your equipment free of charge. 

If you’re heading to Montana in summer, Meadow Lake Resort is also conveniently located for easy access to Flathead Lake, Glacier National Park, and the summer activities at Whitefish Mountain Resort. 

Just For Kids: Hucklebear’s Den is an onsite kid zone where you’ll find scheduled activities each day that kids can attend. These activities include crafts, games, music, and more. It’s also a fun place for families to hang out and relax when scheduled activities aren’t going on. There’s even a TV room with Wii and PlayStation.

An extension of Hucklebear’s Den goes to the pool area where there’s the Hucklebear’s Splash Zone. There’s also a playground called Hucklebear’s Hideout. 

Families Will Love: The wide option of room types, from hotel studios to condo rentals. The heated pools located both indoors and outdoors are also a great way for kids to get some energy out while on vacation. 

Yellowstone Hot Springs

Location: Paradise Valley
Cost: $-$$

This is a newer property that is quickly becoming a local favorite. Yellowstone Hot Springs utilized all those geothermal features Yellowstone National Park is famous for to heat outdoor pools to a balmy 98 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Yellowstone Hot Springs is not located in the park, but is just eight miles north of Gardiner and the north entrance to Yellowstone.

Along with RV and tent site, Yellowstone Hot Springs recently introduced cabins and extended stay townhomes to its roster of accommodations. The cabins have ensuite baths and are extremely affordable compared to similar options in the area. The townhomes are available for a short or extended stay and have modern details with a kitchen.

Just For Kids: The main pool has a lower temp (usually hovers at or around 102 degrees Fahrenheit and a shallow area ideal for younger kids.

Families Will Love: Letting the kids get some energy out playing in the pool after all that driving around Yellowstone!

Chico Hot Springs

Location: Pray, MT in Paradise Valley
Cost: $-$$$

If you want the cabin lifestyle on vacation without the dude ranch price tag, check out Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley about halfway between Livingston and Yellowstone National Park. Chico Hot Springs has something for everyone, all based around its massive hot spring heated pool and expansive bar and dining area.

Chico Hot Springs has a number of different types of accommodations, including hotel rooms and cabins, but for something especially memorable for families, I recommend the covered wagons.

Just For Kids: This resort doesn’t feature a kid zone or club, but it has plenty of room for kids to run around and explore. Plus kids will no doubt get a kick saying in a covered wagon.

Families Will Love: The hot springs pool which is included in the stay. You can also pick and choose from a number of other activity add-ons to make your perfect resort stay in Montana. The onsite outfitter can get you set up with tours and excursions that include fishing, horseback riding, dog sledding, river rafting, mountain biking, and so much more.

So Many Montana Family Resorts!

With the wide range of resorts in Montana that cater to families, it’s easy to find one that’s just right for YOUR family. Hopefully one of the above resort ideas sounds perfect to you and you’ll soon be one your way to enjoying a Montana resort family vacation!

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