American Prairie
National Discovery Center

The American Prairie National Discovery Center is the gateway to the prairie and a central gathering place for visitors from around the world.

About the National Discovery Center

Two of the core tenants of American Prairie are providing education about the prairie and access to the land. The National Discovery Center is a rendezvous point for visitors going to the prairie, a vibrant place for community building and partnership, and an important educational resource on the importance of grassland ecosystems to the health of our planet. The National Discovery Center is located a short drive from the prairie in Lewistown, Montana. It is open to the public and hosts an ever-growing lineup of local, regional, and national activities and programs that stir visitors to love and want to preserve the prairie and all of its inhabitants.

Located in the renovated Power Mercantile building, the National Discovery Center features interactive exhibits about the prairie ecosystem, community meeting spaces, and a film theater. The Exhibit Hall includes interactive exhibits and the Night Sky Theater that explore the nuances of the prairie ecosystem. The Talpins Children’s Center gives kids their own place to play and learn about the prairie. The Clyde Aspevig Event Center, which provides flexible spaces for events, presentations, and meetings with state-of-the-art technology. The Ken Burns American Heritage Theater offers a variety of films that introduce visitors to American Prairie, its mission, and the prairie ecosystem.

Location: 302 W Main St Lewistown, MT 59457

Hours: Thursday-Saturday from 10am-4pm

Upcoming Events




Mighty Fine Time presents “An Evening with Robin and Linda Williams”

Sep 26 / 7:30pm

Nationally-known folk duo Robin and Linda Williams will perform a variety of folk and other compositions in the Clyde Aspevig Event Center. This top folk duo performed hundreds of times on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” as well as on many other television and radio shows.




Traveling Exhibit Title: The Journey of the Resilient Niimiipuu (Nez Perce) People

Oct 1–Dec 31

The story of the Niimiipuu (Nez Perce) people stretches out across the landscape. It is embedded in places, names, and traditions. The Niimiipuu have faced many challenges over the past 150 years. Their history is one of disturbance, loss, and upheaval; but it is also one of resolve, adaptability, and strength. The Journey of the Resilient Niimiipuu (Nez Perce) People, on loan from the Ravalli County Museum & Historical Society, chronicles the journey of the Niimiipuu and offers a glimpse into the living culture of the Niimiipuu today.




Humanities Montana and American Prairie presents Six Hundred Generations: Exploring the Indigenous Archaeology of Montana with Archaeologist Carl Davis

Oct 10 / 6:00pm–9:00pm

Indigenous peoples have lived and thrived in Montana since the close of the last great Ice Age, some 15,000 years ago. Their ancient presence here is widely appreciated but the archaeological details of their long Indigenous histories are less well known, partly due to the pace of recent statewide research. This program by archaeologist Carl Davis takes participants on a journey through time, climate, landscapes, technologies and cultures, beginning with the First Americans who followed mammoths to North America. The conversation focuses on representative archaeological sites in Montana—habitations and villages, animal kill sites, stone quarries, rock art and battlefields– spanning 13,500 years, culminating with cultural landscapes and preservation issues that continue to be highly important to Indian peoples today.




Sonata Tramontana – with Carrie Krause and John Lenti

Nov 3 / 7:30pm

This performance by Carrie Krause (violin) and John Lenti (theorbo or large lute) features music from 17th century France in a very approachable and often hilarious presentation. Sonata Tramontana is the first period instrument album recorded in Montana showcasing 17th century music from the Alpine region. Free admission, donations accepted.




American Prairie presents ECO-Critters with ZooMontana

Nov 11 / 10:00am–2:00pm

ECO-Critters begins its second season with another exciting visit from ZooMontana staff who bring with them an assortment of live animals from around the world!

Tour the National Discovery Center