Rapid City is the second-largest community in South Dakota and the largest in the Black Hills. It is conveniently located near famous attractions, including Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. However, there even more fun to be had apart from making the trek out to these locations or gathering around a dartboard Rapid City SD. There are lots of unique things to do in and around town.
1. Reptile Gardens
The aptly named Reptile Gardens is the largest reptile zoo in the world. However, it is not only reptiles that live there. There is also a collection of birds and native South Dakota species like prairie dogs. These lowly rodents are key to the survival of prairies and grasslands, and you can see these and many other wildlife species up close at Reptile Gardens. Several times a day, staff put on a show featuring a particular animal, including birds, snakes, and alligators. These alone are worth the price of admission.
2. Storybook Island
Storybook Island is a city park featuring statues of famous characters from nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and other types of children’s literature. It’s enchanting for all ages and an absolute must for families with youngsters. While the park itself is free, there is also a gift shop, concessions for sale, and a freewill donation is always appreciated. The park is typically open only from Memorial Day to Labor Day. However, it does reopen for a short time in November and December for a holiday-themed light show. This event requires an admission cost of $3 per person.
3. Dinosaur Park
Perched atop a high hill in the center of Rapid City, Dinosaur Park is one of the oldest attractions in the Black Hills. Real dinosaur footprints have been found in the area, but the dinosaurs that remain today are life-sized recreations. Like Storybook Island, Dinosaur Park is free to visit and fun for families. There is also a seasonal visitors’ center and gift shop. Come for the dinosaurs, stay for the spectacular view of the city and surrounding Black Hills.