Back in December, my wife wanted to have a birthday party for one of our kids at The Reef Indoor Waterpark. At the time, it was closed for renovations. We were bummed, and we weren't alone in our disappointment. One of the complaints I frequently hear about Billings is that "there's nothing for kids to do around here" and during the waterparks closure, there was one less option on the list. The Reef is now open again on weekends for hotel guests and non-guests alike.

Waterslide
kisgorcs
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Water parks in Montana seem to come and go.

When was a kid, the place to go in the summertime was the Big Timber Water Slides, just off I-90 by the prairie dog town east of Big Timber. Riding in the church youth group bus from Bozeman, the hourlong drive seemed to take forever. It was Montana's first outdoor waterpark and has been closed for decades. You can still see the decrepit remnants of the old waterpark from the highway.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Big Splash Waterpark was a hotspot in Billings.

Now the site of the LaQuinta hotel on South Frontage Road, Big Splash Waterpark was built in 1992, according to this paywalled Billings Gazette article. It was purchased by Billings businessman John Dehler in 1994 who operated the large outdoor waterpark until it closed in 2008 when The Reef opened at the Big Horn Resort. The Big Splash property was finally leveled in 2012 for development.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
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The Reef is now open Thursday through Sunday.

I spoke with The Big Horn Resorts Management team today who told me The Reef had been closed since April 2021 for environmental underground updates.  The huge indoor waterpark is currently open seasonal hours to guests and non-hotel guests on Thursday and Friday evenings 4p-9p, Saturday 10a-9p and Sunday 10a-7p.

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