I like to spend a little time every few weeks featuring cool things about Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. And with the summer season closing in on us fast, I thought it was appropriate to shine the spotlight on one of Cody’s top attractions – the Buffalo Bill Historical Center!
Here are my Top 11 reasons why you should visit the BBHC:
1. Five different themes to explore. Whether you’re into western art, the geological and scientific aspects of the Yellowstone region, firearms through the ages, Native American history, or Buffalo Bill Cody himself, there are five different wings to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center that feature extensive artifacts, stories and treasures dedicated to those subjects!
2. Appeal for all age ranges. Young or old, techno-savvy or old-school, you’ll find wonders galore at the BBHC. The Draper Museum of Natural History features interactive displays that are geared specifically toward the younger crowd, and adults in all age ranges will find the displays in every museum fascinating!
3. The 30th Annual Plains Indian Powwow. This event began in 1982 when just a few dancers and one group of singers stopped to participate on their way to another powwow. It has since grown to include several hundred dancers representing around thirty tribes from across the Plains, at least a dozen drum groups, about four thousand spectators, and more than forty arts vendors. The Powwow this year will be held June 18 and 19 – you’ve got time to make your plans to be here!
4. Special exhibitions. From photographs and stories from the Wind River Indian Reservation to arts and crafts from the Heart Mountain Internment Camp, there will be special exhibits dedicated to local history throughout the summer. Check out www.bbhc.org to keep up with what’s happening!
5. Learning opportunities. Each weekday, Monday through Friday, a different educational program takes place in the gardens outside the museum. Family programs, games and art programs are each included in the price of admission!
6. Daily programs and demonstrations. From June 1 through August 31, each weekday and most Saturdays, there will be a Chuckwagon Cooking Demonstration in front of the Historical Center. Sample cowboy biscuits and beans made in Dutch ovens over a fire! Cowboy music will be played live three days a week, as well, from 1-2 p.m.
7. Family Fun days. Once a month, BBHC educators will host a “Family Fun Day,” designed to involve the entire family in exploring all the facets of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Fun Days are scheduled to be June 24, July 23 (the National Day of the American Cowboy), and August 12.
8. Firearms… how the west was won! If you’re into guns, the BBHC has no shortage of programs and exhibits featuring historic firearms. The Winchester Arms Collectors Association Annual Firearms Show, including the Winchester Club of America and the Sharps Collectors Association, will be hosting a gun show in Cody July 8-10 at the Riley Arena in Cody. This show is an affiliated event with the Cody Firearms Museum. If shotguns are your thing, the Buffalo Bill Invitational Shootout will be August 11th through the 13th.
9. The best of western art. This year marks the 30th year of the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale. The annual event is a fine art sale with a Western theme, offering works relating to the land, people and wildlife of the American West. Artists feature a broad range of stylistic interpretations of the West, in oil painting, watercolor, pastel, sculpture, ceramic and mixed media. The show is part of a week-long celebration of the arts in Cody, known as Rendezvous Royale, and is held the last week of September.
10. Smithsonian affiliation. In 2008, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is the only museum in Wyoming to bear that distinction. The program permits the long-term loan of artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collection, and the BBHC can also incorporate Smithsonian educational resources into curriculum development for local schools, lectures, traveling exhibitions, workshops, study tours and other programs.
11. Plan to spend more than just one afternoon. As you can see, there is SO MUCH to do at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, it’s impossible to see everything in just a few hours! That’s why, when you pay your admission fee, it’s good for two days.
What a treasure we have here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country! The Buffalo Bill Historical Center truly is a must-see when you’re in the area. For hours and admission prices, click here!
Until next time, I’ll be… lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Country!
Corrie N. Cody