If you've never been to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, what's your excuse? From the long, long, long ago past to the space-age future, this place has a discovery around every corner - and there a lot of corners in the huge building.

As an added incentive to explore, the Museum of the Rockies is part of the annual national Museum Day September 18th, when you can visit free of charge to indulge your curiosity. What's inside? Plenty. This is the place that many of Montana's best known dinosaur fossils have been collected, cleaned, studied and displayed. That's on one end of the museum spectrum.

On the other end is the amazing Taylor Planetarium, which turns the day into night with special stargazing programs happening above you, narrated by Montana State University and NASA scientists and researchers. You will fly through the universe, and then step back out onto planet Earth.

A current rotating exhibit is "The Vikings Begin," from Scandinavia. It's a traveling exhibit of rare artifacts from the time of the Vikings. The first stop on its USA tour is at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana. It's only part of the many displays that keep you coming back to look around the next corner - from Montana history to topics you may not have thought about.

Alicia Harvey, director of marketing, said the museum at Montana State University tries to inspire the public, including schoolkids, and they have COVID-19 precautions to keep the visitors safe. They do recommend masks, whether you are vaccinated or not. Tickets are available online at Smithsonianmag.com/MuseumDay. When you bring that downloaded ticket, you get free entrance for two on Museum Day September 18.

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