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Deadwood businessman and former mayor W.E. Adams built the Adams Museum in 1930 as a tribute to Black Hills pioneers and in memory of his deceased first wife and two daughters. Deadwood’s Adams Museum is considered the Black Hills’ oldest history museum and a must-see on your list of attractions in South Dakota. Artifacts on display from Deadwood’s infamous past reflect the powerful legends of Wild Bill Calamity Jane and Deadwood Dick and is open year-round.
Native American Cultural Museum featuring a renowned collection of art by Lakota Dakota and Nakota artists as well as unique cultural displays
Baseball enthusiasts will enjoy the Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame a museum in Lake Norden South Dakota. The museum presents a pictorial history of amateur baseball in South Dakota as well as memorabilia from about a dozen South Dakotans who played Major League Baseball.
Get lost in the Black Hills Maze on your next family vacation to Mount Rushmore State. It's a must-see South Dakota attraction for family fun and games. Enjoy the outdoor maze and other games like outdoor batting cages Water Wars and Bankshot Basketball for kids and adults.
Western history comes alive as you visit the graves of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane take the historic tour of Mt. Moriah explore Deadwood's 1876 Gold Rush and learn about other interesting historical facts about South Dakota on Boot Hill Tours. Knowledgeable guides are informative and friendly and you will come away with an expertise on Deadwood’s history on your South Dakota vacation!
Experience over 500 mammals birds amphibians reptiles fish and invertebrates representing 130 varieties from around the world including those native to South Dakota. Explore animals in naturalistic dioramas in the Discovery Center tour the outside exhibits surrounded by beautiful landscaping and feed the animals in the Children's Petting Zoo a top pick in South Dakota for kids.
The Campbell Original Straw Bale Built Museum is dedicated to preserving South Dakota history and teaching you about being green in the old fashioned way. As well as housing an assortment of historical exhibits the museum also hosts educational meetings and various cultural events. Most importantly the museum is completely insulated with home-grown South Dakota material - STRAW.
The Aberdeen Community Theatre ACT is a not-for-profit community theatre serving the greater Aberdeen (SD) area and is a member of the Aberdeen Area Arts Council the South Dakotans For The Arts the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce the American Association of Community Theatre and the South Dakota Theatre Association. They perform at the historic downtown Capitol Theatre.
Nestled at the foot of the Black Hills on the western edge of Rapid City SD the Chapel in the Hills is a quiet retreat open to all visitors.
The Cosmos of the Black Hills was discovered in 1952 by 2 young men searching for a place to build a summer cabin. When they entered this mysterious area they experienced a slight unbalance which increased considerably on entering the old house. Hence the cabin was restored into a safe curious phenomenon and attracts numerous visitors throughout the year.
View the world’s largest mountain carving of Crazy Horse’s face in the Black Hills at this must-see South Dakota attraction! Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3 1948. The Memorial's mission is to honor the culture tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.
The Dacotah Prairie Museum is a non-profit permanent learning center in service to all people committed to the continued growth of its collection of material evidence representing the ongoing history of the Dakota Prairie and its inhabitants.
Hands-on education center focuses on art and history of the region.
Located on the north campus of Dakota State University the Dakota Prairie Playhouse offers world-class theatre productions prestigious guest speakers live music and much more.
Travel back in time to this South Dakota family vacation must Edgar’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain located in the Heart of the Midwest in Elk Point. The soda fountain features everything you would have expected around the turn of the century – handmade ice cream treats dog eared soda fountain manuals a white marble countertop and vintage iron rod tables.
Sioux Falls' largest mall with over 120 stores
The Enchanted World Doll Museum is housed in an English-style castle in Mitchell complete with a moat turrets and drawbridge. More than 4000 dolls set in over 400 different scenes are on display at this truly enchanting find among attractions in South Dakota.
Spend a refreshing fun-filled day at Evan’s Plunge an ideal place in South Dakota for kids offering the World's largest natural warm water indoor swimming pool. Sparkling spring water flows from an enormous thermal spring at a rate of 5000 gallons a minute. The therapeutic "healing" water has soothed visitors for over one hundred years and today you can also enjoy their three waterslides Tarzan Rings Fun Tubes kids pools and a full service Health Club.
Indoor cart racing paintball and batting cages
In the mid-1800s Fort Pierre Chouteau was the largest trading post on the upper Missouri River a thriving community of traders trappers and Native Americans. Today not much remains of the fort's wooden bastions and buildings but the site a National Historic Landmark interests archaeologists who hold excavations there each summer.
Family Zoo with many animals and other attractions.
Ingalls Homestead is in the heart of South Dakota's tallgrass prairie. Each summer many groups and families visit the house of author Laura Ingalls Wilder to relive the beloved Little House stories.
Five plex movie theatre showing newest releases.
This 67000 square-foot building is dedicated to serving the health recreational and social needs of Madison and the surrounding area. The Center’s pool has a zero depth entry point which is perfect for small children. The pool also includes an 80-foot waterslide large whirlpool sauna and many sports facilities such as racquetball and basketball courts
Located on the South Dakota State University campus the McCrory Gardens and South Dakota Arboretum are botanical gardens and an arboretum featuring 14 theme gardens a rose garden an herb garden and a children's maze. The Centennial Prairie Garden represents 5 prairie environments ranging from tall grass and short grass prairies to the prairie of the Black Hills. There is also a memorial to the late governor of South Dakota George S. Mickelson.
The original Corn Palace called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. The South Dakota attraction serves as a multi-use center for the community and region. The facility hosts stage shows as well as sports events in its arena. The World's Only Corn Palace is an outstanding structure which acts as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota.
Explore the same unchartered territory along the Missouri River that Lewis and Clark traveled in 1804 by visiting this famous working ranch a scenic treasure in South Dakota for kids and parents alike! This was also an early steamboat landing for boats coming from Fort Sioux City upriver to Fort Pierre and beyond.
When seeking attractions in South Dakota don’t miss the National Presidential Wax Museum which features life-size life-like wax figures depicting many of our country’s most shaping experiences in dramatically historical settings. Join the framers of the American constitution as they sign the Declaration of Independence experience the beginning of the Cold War with President Franklin Roosevelt at Yalta and observe the famous wax sculpture of President John F. Kennedy and his son John Jr. come to life among other historically significant moments.
Visit the tropical birds at the Center and listen to them talk!
Located on the scenic shores of Lake Herman and spanning over 120 acres Prairie Village has over 40 antique-filled buildings including an old school house a sawmill and an opera house. This turn-of-the-century version of “Main Street USA” is sure to provide a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Founded in 1937 and still under ownership of the same family the Black Hills’ Reptile Gardens has steadily grown to one of the leading South Dakota amusement parks. Reptile Gardens boasts more species of reptiles than any other zoo or park in the world and seeks to educate the public on important environmental issues while working closely with many major zoos worldwide to promote species survival.
Experience the royal treatment at one of South Dakota’s premier gaming destinations. This vibrant casino features state-of-the-art Las Vegas-style slot machines blackjack and poker tables bingo and off-track betting!
Learn about the fascinating history of the American outback at the Sacagawea Learning Center inspired by the fabulous female explorer who led our country's settlers to the future sites of American cities and farms on your South Dakota family vacation.
Explore Victorian furnishings in authentically-recreated period rooms including a 1920s-style kitchen and an 18th-century bedroom! This museum also features antique farm equipment and a replica claim-shanty that helps visitors interpret the living conditions of America’s homesteading days.
The extensive collections of the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center preserve the historical and cultural legacy of the state's early Sioux inhabitants and the first waves of European settlers. Open year-round the museum features permanent rotating and traveling exhibits
Fun interactive learning is the focus of the South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium. More than 60 hands-on exhibits illustrate principles of electricity magnetism life sciences telecommunications and physics. The center's aquarium features fish species native to the Missouri River.
The South Dakota Hall of Fame offers many unique opportunities of education for children and adults! Here you will learn fascinating facts about famous and influential people from South Dakota.
Established in 1862 as a frontier militia the South Dakota National Guard is tightly woven into the state's history. The South Dakota National Guard Museum in Pierre is the state's repository for relics memorabilia and historical documents relating to the Guard's activities from the late 1800s through recent peacekeeping missions.
Completed in 1910 the Capitol is stunning with its dramatic murals stained glass elaborate tilework and collections of sculpture and art.
The first State Fair was held September 29 through October 2 1885. It moved around to various cities throughout South Dakota until making Huron a permanent home in 1905. The fair is considered one of the largest agricultural fairs in the nation and showcases achievement from across the state. It is a marketplace and a family tradition in the area.
May – September movies start at dusk.
Storybook Island is a free children's theme park open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day Weekend. The park is filled with sets that portray characters from various children’s stories fables and nursery rhymes. Additionally the Storybook Island Children’s Theater has been an integral part of the park and has produced thousands of hours of entertainment for young people. The Storybook Island Children’s Theatre is one of the largest children’s theaters in a five-state region. Each year the theater is the scene of varied activities and plays.
At this family fun attraction families enjoy a world of imagination inspired by familiar nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty and Hickory Dickory Dock. Slide down Jack and Jill’s Hill or visit Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Chickens and turkeys roam wild around Old MacDonald’s Barn. The medieval castle is surrounded by a moat and is guarded by knights in armor. The entire family will enjoy a ride on the Storybook Land Express miniature train. Storybook Land also houses the Land of Oz featuring well-known characters and settings of the popular story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” written by L. Frank Baum who once lived and worked in Aberdeen.
Go- karts mini golf and batting cages.
The University of South Dakota the state’s oldest university was founded in 1862 and is home to South Dakota's only medical school and law school. The university is located on an attractive 216 acre campus in Vermillion a small community nestled along the bluffs above the Missouri River in the southeast corner of South Dakota.
Named for the first Europeans to visit South Dakota the Verendrye Museum is located on Deadwood Street in Fort Pierre. The Museum houses pioneer relics and a reproduction of the lead tablet brothers Chevalier and Louis la Verendrye buried in a bluff above the Missouri River thereby claiming for France the territory that eventually became the Louisiana Purchase.
Lots of activities such as galleries music and festivals.
The Dakota's largest indoor waterpark arcade and concessions.
Wild Water West is a family friendly waterpark with a selection of water slides and attractions. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2009 the park opened two new attractions – a 500000 gallon wave pool and for adults a swim-up bar on the park's lazy river. Other attractions include the 65 foot tall Plummets Peak featuring the park's most extreme body slides that freefall six stories. For less thrills the park has a gentle Lazy River and kids will love Caribbean Falls a water play structure with interactive features net crawls rope bridges and a 1000 gallon tipping water bucket atop.
Containing the world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds dating 37-28 million years old Badlands National Park offers sharply eroded buttes pinnacles and spires. Bison bighorn sheep endangered black-footed ferrets and swift fox roam one of the largest protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States. This South Dakota attraction is ideal for hiking horseback riding climbing biking and viewing wildlife.
Drive through a wildlife park featuring bears mountain lions big horn sheep buffalo and timber wolves.
The Black Hills Caverns located outside of the Rapid City South Dakota were discovered in 1882 by gold seekers but the Lakota Indians had found strength in the power of the calcite crystals centuries before. Come discover the wonder of the glittering underground world and see its many fantastic animal formations
PRCA Rodeo top grandstand entertainment exciting carnival rides and first class 4-H events.
Country club quality and public course prices
On your next South Dakota vacation visit this stunning park in the city of Sioux Falls. It's one of the most distinctive area attractions known for majestic waterfalls which beautifully grace its grounds. In addition to the falls the park also offers the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company building (now a café) on the east side of the river and remnants of the Queen Bee Mill. These old structures give the park a truly historical feel.
18-hole public golf course in Pierre South Dakota on the Missouri River.
Racetrack that is fun for the whole family.
Lake Herman offers a rich abundance of outdoor recreational activities including boating hiking fishing swimming and more.
This local treasure offers plenty of boating fishing water sports and miles of scenic nature trails.
This 18-hole regulation golf course is beautifully designed and feaures three sets of teeboxes for a fun but challenging golfing experience.
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs South Dakota is the world’s largest mammoth research facility. You can tour an active paleontological dig site and view Ice Age fossils exhibited as they are found
Nestled along the wooded shores of Mina Lake Mina Recreation Area is a water-lover's haven with plenty of space for boating fishing and swimming. Mina was one of the first man-made lakes in northeast South Dakota. Its beginning dates back to the 1930s when area residents sought relief from years of drought. When you leave the water a spacious campground hiking trail and several picnic areas will provide family fun for your South Dakota vacation.
When planning your South Dakota vacation make it a Mount Rushmore vacation and visit this iconic emblem of our beautiful country. Located near Keystone South Dakota the monumental granite sculpture was created by Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) and represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60 foot sculptures of the heads of former United States’ presidents George Washington Thomas Jefferson Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1278.45 acres and is 5725 feet above sea level.
The byway crosses the reservations of four tribes of Lakota Sioux: Crow Creek Lower Brule Cheyenne River and Standing Rock. Its many memorial markers monuments museums and sacred sites commemorate the heritage of the Sioux Nation and help you hear history from the Native American point of view.
Mini-golf for all ages.
More reptile species than any other zoo in the world.
Enjoy a nature walk by the James River Valley near Aberdeen SD. 27 miles of riverfront 269 species of birds and 21000 spectacular acres.
Located in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota the Sanctuary sits on 200 acres of rocky forested terrain. It is currently home to over 300 animals of 40 different species including tigers leopards bears African lions foxes mountain lions coyotes lynx an ocelot a caracal and myriad domestic animals including dogs cats pigs goats and horses
Area’s largest waterslides go-karts mini golf batting cages and much more.
Main features of the park include one of the world's longest and most complex caves and 28295 acres of mixed-grass prairie ponderosa pine forest and associated wildlife. The cave is well known for its outstanding display of boxwork an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs. The park's mixed-grass prairie is one few in existence and home to native wildlife such as bison elk pronghorn mule deer coyotes and prairie dogs.
Wylie Park Thunder Road Go Karts and Bumper Boats (605-225-8541) Wylie Thunder Mountain Miniature Golf (605-225-7733) Storybook Land and Wylie Park Campground.
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