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Old 09-16-2013, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Austin
11 posts, read 40,352 times
Reputation: 13

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It has always been sort of a dream of ours to move to Bozeman. We talked about it in our early twenties and we're now in our early thirties, finding that dream is still very much alive inside of us.

We have two kids, one that is legally blind (although you'd never know). They are both mixed race (their dad is mixed, as well). I'm making the broad assumption that neither of things would be an issue (would it?). The only special services she really needs is larger font, some magnifiers and some understanding teachers.

That's not why I'm here though, really. I'm here to ask how you guys how you feel about raising kids in Bozeman and/or Montana in general, either as kids growing up yourself or now raising kids (or both).

In my mind, it would be heaven. As much as I love the city, I love the country and mountains so much more. One of my girls (age 7) looked at pictures of Montana and was immediately sold. My youngest one (my 6 year old) only saw nothingness and cold. "What are we going to do there?"

My eldest is in ballet and my youngest is in Jiu Jitsu and they're both very much attached to those. From what I can tell, both are offered in Bozeman.

So... I thought I'd ask the obvious. What do your kids do for fun? Do you think it's an ideal childhood?

How safe is it? Do you find it safe enough for kids to play outside without an immediate threat of danger (abduction, guns, etc.)? Living in Austin (and even Nashville before), I'm constantly checking my surroundings... constantly worried someone is about to take one of them or worse. Unfortunately, both of those scenarios have been very real threats.

What cons do you see (as objectively as possible)?

Just to have some reassurance that the chances of my kids not being jumped into a gang down the road would be nice.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,326,198 times
Reputation: 2147483647
First off, I do not live in Montana. I live close enough to throw a rock in it, and I do my major shopping and major medical in Montana. I have lived in Montana in the past, but have never lived in Bozeman.

I firmly believe that with Austin in your rearview mirror and Montana in your windshield, you can't go wrong, no matter what. Jobs are scarce and even then, they often don't pay all the bills. 2 income household is almost a must and often a third income really helps. Just because they publish that unemployment is low, doesn't mean there are jobs. It simply means that most everybody is working (because they have to).

Winter for kids is a must. I think that a child without snow is almost a reportable offense. What to do in the winter? Most everything you do in the summer, except you need more layers. Every morning I get up and check the thermometer. Not to see "if" I am going outside, because I am going outside, but to determine how many layers I will need. Hiking, skiing, skating, and yes, even camping in the winter is fun. For kids to learn how to build an igloo and figure out that even though their new "house" is built out of snow, it's much warmer than being outside. Campfires with hot chocolate and some marshmellows on a stick are a must. Kids are required to own a saucer to play in the snow with. With two kids that age, they are perfect for pulling each other around. I guess the proper question would be, "What can't you do in the winter?"

Remember one thing, the true definition of a sweater: A sweater is something a child puts on, because momma is cold. Don't overdress the kiddo's. They are going to be active and much warmer than you are.

Mountains are costly. Even though they say you can't eat the scenery, they are wrong. You will pay more for a home, be it rent or buy, if the home is close to the mountains. So somebody is making money from that scenery, just not you.

I have lived in Austin and the 110 degree days, and the ice storms, are two things you will not find in Montana. They have snow, and snow melts and freezes causing ice, but they do not have ice storms like you do. Nor do they have 110 degree days. You'll find the humidity a lot less than what you are used to, so even the cold days won't feel like the cold days back in Austin. Summer time you will find yourself in shorts and a t-shirt and the kids in swim suits, on most days. Fall and spring you'll start out with a light sweater or jacket and graduate into layers. First a sweater, then a sweater with a light jacket over top, then a sweater, with a heavier sweater and maybe a hoodie, and pretty soon you'll find yourself in 4 or 5 layers. Buying a parka or heavy coat is not practicle. Maybe in February a person might find use for a parka, but layers are much more practicle. With layers, you can shed skins as the temp changes, and then add them later in the day as the temp, once again, starts dropping. January and Febraury are the cold months, with March usually being the stormiest, but slightly warmer. In the spring, the beauty will be such that you won't pay much attention to what you are wearing. April, May are the soggy months with snow melting everything turns to mud.

In Montana, fashion carry's no weight. You'll find the guy with bib overalls and two hoodies on, driving an older Ford truck, probably has more assests than the guy in the 3 piece suit driving the Mercedies. You'll also go into a nice restaurant and find the guy in bib's sitting two tables over.

If you can move into Montana, and embrace their lifestyle and their ethics, you'll fit in just fine. If you move to Montana wanting to change it to be more like where you come from, you'll fail in your quest to find that last great place.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:15 PM
CTC
 
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
666 posts, read 1,296,050 times
Reputation: 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie_82 View Post
It has always been sort of a dream of ours to move to Bozeman. We talked about it in our early twenties and we're now in our early thirties, finding that dream is still very much alive inside of us.

We have two kids, one that is legally blind (although you'd never know). They are both mixed race (their dad is mixed, as well). I'm making the broad assumption that neither of things would be an issue (would it?). The only special services she really needs is larger font, some magnifiers and some understanding teachers.

That's not why I'm here though, really. I'm here to ask how you guys how you feel about raising kids in Bozeman and/or Montana in general, either as kids growing up yourself or now raising kids (or both).

In my mind, it would be heaven. As much as I love the city, I love the country and mountains so much more. One of my girls (age 7) looked at pictures of Montana and was immediately sold. My youngest one (my 6 year old) only saw nothingness and cold. "What are we going to do there?"

My eldest is in ballet and my youngest is in Jiu Jitsu and they're both very much attached to those. From what I can tell, both are offered in Bozeman.

So... I thought I'd ask the obvious. What do your kids do for fun? Do you think it's an ideal childhood?

How safe is it? Do you find it safe enough for kids to play outside without an immediate threat of danger (abduction, guns, etc.)? Living in Austin (and even Nashville before), I'm constantly checking my surroundings... constantly worried someone is about to take one of them or worse. Unfortunately, both of those scenarios have been very real threats.

What cons do you see (as objectively as possible)?

Just to have some reassurance that the chances of my kids not being jumped into a gang down the road would be nice.
There are ton of young families with kids in our neighborhood-We don't have kids, but from what I have seen kids in Bozeman ski,fish,hike, ride bikes, visit Yellowstone Nat Park, go to MSU sports events ect, go to our awesome library, ice skate, do all kinds of kid things in safe awesome Bozeman!! I would think Bozeman would be a great place to raise kids.

My nephew from England spent two weeks here and LOVED it-made many friends in the neighborhood, played in the park by himself with all of his new American friends-he did not want to go back to England!.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:44 AM
 
18,847 posts, read 33,844,028 times
Reputation: 26255
There is a certified vision teacher in Bozeman. She is well qualified, and a great teacher. She provides support and adaptations for blind students. MSDB, residential school for blind in Montana is in Great Falls, they have short programs for special skills. And MSU is a great college.

There are no gangs in Bozeman.

As for being mixed? No issue.

My daughter went to high school in Bozeman, it is a great school.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Austin
11 posts, read 40,352 times
Reputation: 13
These respones actually made me tear up a bit. It seems like such an amazing place. I can't thank you guys enough for your responses! Jasper12, your vision teacher knowledge is amazing. Thanks for the reassurance!
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,715,971 times
Reputation: 657
I was born and raised in Montana, and my son was born and raised in Bozeman.

I've lived and worked in many towns in Montana, and Bozeman is my favorite, so I decided to buy a house and stay here, raising my son here.

The town is not a big city, although it has started to sprawl in the last 20 years. Surprisingly for its size, it has more varied activities and diversity than most other towns in Montana, because of Montana State University being located here. It brings in many people from around the world who do research at the university, as well as students who stay in Bozeman after graduating. It is a clean, safe place to live. I've traveled a lot, and as I said, lived in other places, but I decided long ago that Bozeman is home base.

My son was very interested in music and a natural musician. It is great that the elementary schools start students in band or orchestra in the 5th grade, so they get music lessons and learn an instrument in school if they choose to.

There are very active organized winter sports for kids as well as the great outdoors all around us for the summer.

I hope that helps.

H.I.
Bozeman
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:35 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
8,618 posts, read 10,477,562 times
Reputation: 13248
It has always been sort of a dream of ours to move to Bozeman. We talked about it in our early twenties and we're now in our early thirties, finding that dream is still very much alive inside of us.

We have two kids, one that is legally blind (although you'd never know). They are both mixed race (their dad is mixed, as well). I'm making the broad assumption that neither of things would be an issue (would it?). The only special services she really needs is larger font, some magnifiers and some understanding teachers. Bozeman is a big school district, I'm sure they can accommodate.

That's not why I'm here though, really. I'm here to ask how you guys how you feel about raising kids in Bozeman and/or Montana in general, either as kids growing up yourself or now raising kids (or both). The main problem I see in Bozeman that could be a negative influence on your kids is the money. Bozeman is very much separated by the haves and the have nots.

In my mind, it would be heaven. As much as I love the city, I love the country and mountains so much more. One of my girls (age 7) looked at pictures of Montana and was immediately sold. My youngest one (my 6 year old) only saw nothingness and cold. "What are we going to do there?"

My eldest is in ballet and my youngest is in Jiu Jitsu and they're both very much attached to those. From what I can tell, both are offered in Bozeman. Bozeman seems to have a lot of activities available for kids.

So... I thought I'd ask the obvious. What do your kids do for fun? Do you think it's an ideal childhood?

How safe is it? Do you find it safe enough for kids to play outside without an immediate threat of danger (abduction, guns, etc.)? Living in Austin (and even Nashville before), I'm constantly checking my surroundings... constantly worried someone is about to take one of them or worse. Unfortunately, both of those scenarios have been very real threats. Gangs are definitely not a problem. Bozeman is safe.

What cons do you see (as objectively as possible)? My problem with Bozeman was with a lot of the people. I found the town to be very pretentious. I was there as a college student and I always felt like students who rented and looked for jobs there were treated like second class citizens. I also felt that in general there was a very pompous attitude among many of the residents of the town. I was pretty happy to see Bozeman out of the rearview mirror of my car.

Just to have some reassurance that the chances of my kids not being jumped into a gang down the road would be nice.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:04 AM
 
186 posts, read 199,961 times
Reputation: 233
I am originally from the east coast, but have been in and out of Bozeman for 12 years now. I don't post on here, but I am sick of the same few people on here posting these negative opinions about Bozeman, when they don't even live here. I have worked dozens of jobs here, eventually going to grad school at MSU, and raising a family, so I think I am very qualified to tell you that Bozeman is AWESOME to raise a family in. I don't even lock my door, we take walks at night in the park, and there is always play dates, or events to go to. a lot of which are free and open to everyone, regardless of money situation.

I really don't know what kind of chip these people have on their shoulder, but compared to Austin, Bozeman won't be much more expensive. The winters here are fun! Yea they're cold, but they are FUN, and the quicker you accept this, the better your life will be.

The one poster here constantly calling Bozeman pretentious... How so? I look around me and see all kinds of normal people. I know my neighbors, they watch my house. I never had trouble making friends here, and my wife as well, even has her own group of moms she hangs out with. What exactly are you talking about? Students? Everyone treats students like they are disposable. I think there is a good mix of Western politeness, and an urban brisk pace to life in Bozeman. All I see is students working around town, so I also have no clue what some other posters on here are talking about, with all this discrimination against students... There is poor people in Bozeman, look at the stats on city-data if you think you are moving into a ritzy area. I don't know about your situation in Austin, but the majority of Bozeman is hard working middle class. I don't know any richies, nor do I care when I see them on the street.

So if you want the opinion of a grad student with a family, then I say this place is my favorite town in the country. I have lived in a lot of places as well.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:42 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,979 times
Reputation: 11
AMEN Mikey Mike. This is a late reply but I gotta say I'm amazed to hear people talking about the pretentious of Bozeman people. Sure, there are pretentious people here, there are pretentious people everywhere. I can't say it's ever on my mind however. I've always considered such folks as having a personality disorder, not something I have to worry about.

If somebody is planning on moving to Bozeman, please embrace Bozeman for the diverse place it it. Bozeman is a great place to live. The only issue I ever have is folks coming in from California or the East Coast to get away from such places...only to start trying to recreate those places in Bozeman. If that's your preference, do us all a favor and stay where you are.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Montana
387 posts, read 432,043 times
Reputation: 694
When we first moved here, our neighbor knocked on our door and said they were having a neighborhood chili potluck and wanted to welcome us to town. We hang out and watch all the kids and dogs play in the street after work and on Saturdays. It is safe to let kids walk home from school together without parents still. People don't lock their doors. The police are more likely to give a drunk guy a ride home than to pull a gun on him or cite him. There is such a good health clinic system here for un-insured/under-insured that people come all the way from Billings and Helena (2-3 hours away) just to get care here and at our hospital. There are free community events - for example an international fair every year where all the kids can learn to say things in different languages and meet college students from other countries to see the world is bigger than Bozeman. Farmers markets all year long. When Westboro Baptist Church came here to lecture students on hate, the high school body, MSU, citizens and most congregations came together to protest against them all day.

It has its problems - sprawl as the city grows, all the stoplights on Main Street don't turn green in order so you have to stop and start (yes, pet peeve), but I can't imagine a better place to raise kids. That is why we moved here in fact.
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