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A mother and her three children enjoying a picnic outdoors, highlighting a family-friendly activity in Buffalo, WY.

Top Things To Do With Kids in Buffalo, WY

Buffalo and Kaycee, Wyoming offer many attractions for people of all ages, making Johnson County a great family-friendly destination. There are museums and forts to explore for those interested in history; outdoor recreation opportunities from fishing, camping, hiking and adventure sports; music; restaurants; unique shops; and much more fun things to do with kids.

A mother catching her daughter jumping into the Municipal Pool, a fun thing to do with kids in Buffalo, WY.

Not far from Main Street in Buffalo is George Washington Memorial Park with the state’s largest fresh water outdoor swimming pool. In fact, it was once billed as the world’s largest outdoor swimming pool, holding more than 1 million gallons of water, fed by Clear Creek. Washington Park also has playgrounds, a steam engine, and is located along the Clear Creek Trail System. A hockey rink and skate park are also located in or near the park area.

A mother and children looking over a railing in downtown Buffalo, WY, with a colorful mural in the background, showcasing one of the top places to visit in Buffalo, WY.
Shelves filled with toys at a toy store in Downtown Main Street Buffalo, Wyoming, an exciting place for kids and families to explore.

Downtown Buffalo, WY has several unique shops with items for people of all ages. Most notably for kids, Buffalo Toys has a mix of classic toys and new and unusual items. A new business, Get It Got It, allows families to print their own t-shirt designs. Several antique and second-hand stores feature hidden treasures, while galleries feature the works of talented local artists. For a bite to eat between shopping adventures, several restaurants cater to families, including Pie Zanos for pizza; the Busy Bee for breakfast and lunch fare; and Rosie’s Americana Cafe. Lolly’s Sugar Shack offers a great assortment of cookies and cinnamon rolls to satisfy the sweet tooth. In addition to all that, Clear Creek rushes right through the heart of downtown.

A mother and children exploring Sports Lure store, filled with outdoor gear and clothing, a family-friendly shopping experience in Buffalo, WY.

Downtown Buffalo’s most notable retailer is The Sports Lure, an outdoors goods store that takes up plenty of space on Main Street yet is jammed full of clothing, equipment, souvenirs and information. Families might be interested in checking out the equipment rentals, whether it’s skis or snowshoes for enjoying the mountains or bicycles and fishing equipment.

The lobby of Buffalo Theater with a popcorn stand, offering a fun indoor activity for families in Buffalo, WY.

If you’re looking to take a break with a first-run family-oriented movie, the Buffalo Theater on Main Street in Buffalo is a modern movie house with small town prices for admission and food. The two-screen theater was recently renovated as part of HGTV’s Home Town Kickstart, making it a comfortable place to spend a few hours.

A paddleboard on the water at Lake DeSmet, surrounded by red rock formations, offering fun outdoor thing to do for kids and families near Buffalo, WY.

If you’re looking for fun places to go near Buffalo, WY when you need to cool off in the warm weather, Lake DeSmet is the perfect spot. Located just a few miles north of Buffalo along Interstate 90, the lake has a campground and swimming area. Boating, paddleboarding, fishing, or just relaxing by the lake also are great options on a summer day. Even in the winter, Lake DeSmet offers a great way for the family to spend a day: Ice fishing.

A lively scene inside Historic Occidental Saloon with live music and dining, providing a unique family-friendly experience in Buffalo.

Kids who are enthralled with the Wild West will enjoy the Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon. Families can make arrangements for the early afternoon tours to learn about the secrets of this historic business, including where the bullet holes are in the saloon and the poker table where the business is said to have changed hands in 1917. Mosey up to the bar in the saloon and order a drink just like Butch Cassidy surely did. Burgers, fries and several other food items are available, too.

Top Things To Do With Kids in Buffalo, WY

To learn more about the Wild West and the frontier days in Wyoming, visit the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in downtown Buffalo. Several of the exhibits in the museum are hands-on so kids can find out what their fate might have been along the Bozeman Trail. Native American history and the Johnson County War also are on display at the museum, which was recognized nationally in 2023 as a winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Top Things To Do With Kids in Buffalo, WY

If your family enjoys history, another great place to visit in Johnson County is the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site. In this remote location north of Buffalo and just off Interstate 90 at the Piney Creek once stood the largest stockaded fort in the West, protecting travelers along the Bozeman Trail from 1866 to 1868. The fort and surrounding areas saw a few battles in that short time frame as Native American tribes tried to defend their hunting grounds from settlers. The fort was abandoned and burned down, but visitors can get a sense of its immense size and the harsh environment in which it sat.

Top Things To Do With Kids in Buffalo, WY

Buffalo, Wyoming offers the rare opportunity to learn about wool processing and the importance of local agriculture at Mountain Meadow Wool. Located just off Interstate 90, Mountain Meadow Wool is the largest mill in the West, turning the wool provided by regional ranches into colorful yarns and other items for sale in the gift shop. The self-guided tour allows visitors to see the operation and learn about how Mountain Meadow Wool works with local ranchers in promoting sustainability and ethical business.

The stunning reflection of snow-capped mountains in a clear lake at Cloud Peak Wilderness, offering unique outdoor experiences for families.

What is a trip to Buffalo without a visit to the mountains? A big draw for all visitors to Johnson County is the chance to explore the Bighorn Mountains, many of the top places to go near Buffalo, WY. Whether it’s settling in at a campground or finding a remote trail to an alpine lake, the Bighorns have plenty of wide-open spaces to explore. Check out Elgin Park and Circle Park for campgrounds in the mountains, while Bud Love Wildlife Management Area offers a great opportunity to explore the foothills of the Bighorns. Trailheads are scattered throughout the Cloud Peak Wilderness not far off U.S. Highway 16.

Wooden outdoor furniture displayed outside Yoder's Country Store, a charming spot for family shopping in Buffalo, WY.
A variety of freshly baked donuts at Yoder's Country Store, a delightful treat for families visiting Buffalo, WY.

Standing alone among the unique stores in Johnson County is Yoders Country Market, located on Trabing Road off Interstate 25 south of Buffalo. With its eclectic mix of home goods, snacks, and weekend baked treats, it’s one of the most unique things to do with kids in Buffalo, Wyoming. The market sells items such as wind chimes, home decor, leather items, and furniture. It also has food items, including salsa, jelly, popcorn varieties, and a wide assortment of candy. On top of that, fried pies and fresh baked bread are available on Fridays, and homemade donuts on Saturdays. It’s a perfect place for families looking to experience local culture and cuisine. Bring cash, however, since Yoders Country Market does not accept debit or credit cards.

A van driving through Crazy Woman Canyon, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery, a unique thing to for families in Buffalo.

Johnson County has many scenic areas, but Crazy Woman Canyon stands alone. Located about 15 minutes outside of Buffalo and connecting Old Highway 87 to U.S. Highway 16, the canyon is one of Wyoming’s best scenic drives. A gravel road takes visitors into a canyon with the rushing Crazy Woman Creek surrounded by high rock walls. Large boulders that have fallen from the cliffs create interesting features in the canyon. Several pullouts along the route offer locations for picnics, fishing or exploring. It’s only a short drive of 15 miles or so through the canyon but a great way for a family to spend several hours.

A mother and children exploring the rocky shores of Clear Creek Trail System, a family-friendly outdoor adventure near Buffalo, WY.

The family that enjoys outdoor recreation can find it easily in Buffalo Wyoming. The Clear Creek Trail System – and the namesake creek itself – pass right through downtown Buffalo. West of downtown, the trail passes through the city park and follows Clear Creek as it makes its way toward the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. The trail itself transitions from wide and gradually climbing to a moderate trail that navigates tree roots and rocks. Several pullout areas along U.S. Highway 16 offer access to easy hiking routes such as the Old Power Plant Loop. And the creek is often close by, providing a pleasant sound and incredible photo opportunities. For the adventurous, the Grouse Mountain section west of Mosier Gulch climbs about 1,000 vertical feet in roughly 1 mile to great views of Buffalo, Lake DeSmet, and the rolling plains to the east. Within a 12-mile stretch, the trail offers plenty of variety and is great for a family hike, wildlife viewing, or just burning off some energy.

A large black bison statue at Mountain Plains Heritage Park, an interesting outdoor spot for family-friendly exploration near Buffalo, WY.

Another outdoor recreational venue is Mountain Plains Heritage Park, located along Stockyard Road just east of Interstate 25 in Buffalo, Wyoming. This open park is located along the Bozeman Trail and includes signs about the history and wildlife in the region. Enjoy views of the Bighorns beyond Buffalo as you walk along an easy 1-mile loop path or choose routes that circle a large fishing pond, on an old railroad bed and along Clear Creek. Waterfowl love performing low flyovers between the ponds in this area. It’s a great place for easy walks that offer a chance to learn about local history and the ecosystem.

A serene view of Healy Reservoir, showcasing calm waters and a sandy shoreline, perfect for family-friendly activity near Buffalo, WY.

Located just 3 miles northeast of Buffalo on U.S. Highway 16, Healy Reservoir offers a peaceful setting for fishing, picnicking, or simply enjoying nature with for a family friendly activity in Buffalo, WY.

Buffalo, Wyoming offers plenty of family-friendly activities, including events throughout the year that feature live music, history, hiking and more.

If you’re wondering what’s coming up on the calendar, be sure to check Buffalo’s updated events page to see festivals, concerts, and more things to do in Buffalo this weekend and beyond. The town really comes alive with special activities and entertainment all year round.

And after a full day exploring Buffalo, you’ll want to relax at one of the area’s wonderful places to stay. Choices range from the iconic Historic Occidental Hotel to guest ranches, RV parks, campgrounds, name-brand hotels, and comfortable motels. Take a look at the accommodations page to find the right Buffalo, WY lodging option to round out your getaway.

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Top Things To Do in Buffalo, Wyoming

Mountain biking in Buffalo, WY, a top thing to do nearby. Bikers enjoying a scenic trail surrounded by lush landscapes and rugged terrain at sunset.