by Caitlin Sundborg

It’s inevitable. Eventually your parents will get sick of you avoiding their phone calls and will show up on your doorstep. Avoid the circling hour and a half of  ”I don’t know, what do you want to do?” and show your parents a side of Bozeman they can actually appreciate.
Whether the cash is flowing from your parents’ wallets or your own, Bozeman and its surrounding areas offer an abundance of activities to get your “bond on.” 
Tour the campus you will call home for the next 4 years
  • Hike the “M”—and make sure to check it off your Bozeman Bucket List—at sunset for a family photo shoot, or hightail it up to Hyalite for a full day of pictures.
  • Tell your parents to “park it” and “shop till you drop”. Stroll down Main Street and please mom and dad with cool shops like Schnee’s, Girls Outdoors, and Zocalo Coffee House 
  • Utilize your temporary influx of income and chow down. For an affordable full belly, start your day with Nova Café, head to Community Food Co-op for some mid-day munching, and dive into Dave’s Sushi for dinner.
  • Last but not least, tour the campus. Your parents will appreciate being able to at least picture where their money is going.
Big Sky
Hop in the car and take the parents for a ride. It’ll give them a chance to pester you about what you’re doing with your life, and in between questions you can show them the alpine beauty of Big Sky.
  • Explore the Town Center and grab a bite at the Lotus Pad, or snag some new gear at Gallatin Alpine Sports or Grizzly Outfitters.
  • Try taking them to the disc golf course to enjoy some moderate hiking and let them attempt to understand the combination of golf and frisbee your generation has made so popular.
  • In the winter, shred some powder (or groomers) at Big Sky—you can’t go wrong with the biggest skiing in America.
Get Outta Town
Of course, if your parents aren’t citified chickens afraid of a little adventure, you can also get a little more remote.
Soak it up at Norris Hot Springs 

• Score points with mom while enjoying a soak and poolside tunes at Norris Hot Springs or find some warm water closer to town at Bozeman Hot Springs. Practice for your marketing midterm and talk dad into treating mom—and you—to an overnight trip to Gardiner, where you can take a soak in the Boiling River and enjoy a relaxing stay at the Cowboys Lodge and Grille.
  Fulfill the Montana stereotype and saddle-up with Absaroka Beartooth Outfitters. Hop on a horse for a half-day of riding and enjoy an authentic cowboy cookout. Yee-haw!
Visiting in the summer? Hit the water or fly through the sky with Montana Whitewater & Zipline. Half-day adventures of both activities get the adrenaline pumping, all while enjoying the sunshine.

So if your parents are coming to town this weekend, don’t show them how you really live—it will only scare them. Instead, show them the real Bozeman and why so many locals love to call this town home.