Missoula has tons of great stuff to do all year round, but the summer has some exceptionally fun things. There are always the many local trails and parks in and around Missoula to enjoy, fishing and swimming on many of the rivers and streams or just enjoying downtown Missoula with the shops, carousel, dragon hollow and kids museum. There are, however, a few great things, you can only enjoy in the summer and here they are.

Splash Montana – May 23rd-Aug 30th.This place is not only fun for the whole family, it’s very affordable. There are 3 amazing three-story waterslides, a zero-depth entry pool, spray features, kiddie slide and a lazy river float-way. I have to admit, I may have had more fun there than my kids did.

Western Montana Fair – August 7th-12th.This has almost everything you could ever want for entertainment. Carnival rides and animals for the kids, beer gardens and concerts for the adults and rodeo for the whole family. Some years we even have horse racing!

Missoula Marathon – July 8th. Missoula has many runs, but we finally got our own marathon 6 years ago. If you are a runner, this is a must. What could be better than doing the thing you love in the city you love? There’s even a marathon for kids too.

Fireworks at the Mall – July 4th. You don’t have to go to the mall and fight all the traffic and parking. One of the best spots to see this spectacular display of pyrotechnics is South Hills. I’ve been told that if you get far enough up South Hills, you can look down on the fireworks.

Catch an Osprey game – The closest thing you’re going to get to watching the big leagues, right here in Missoula. If you love America’s favorite pass time, but don’t want to travel to Denver or Seattle, then you need to take in a game. For a schedule of games and game times go to http://www.milb.com/schedule/index.jsp?sid=t518&m=07&y=2012.

I hope you are able to enjoy all the great things Missoula has to offer this summer!

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.