10 Things to Do with the Kids in The Black Hills of South Dakota

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Back in April, my family took a quick little road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Even though it was off-season, we had a great time. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see as much of the area as we would have liked since many of the attractions were closed, but now that it’s summer, we have been talking about going back to see what we missed. Summer really is the best time to visit The Black of Hills of South Dakota if you’re traveling with the kids. 

Whether you are an animal lover, a history buff, a train enthusiast, or adventurer, there is so much to see and do in The Black Hills.

Mount Rushmore

Keystone, SD. Of course, you can’t take a trip to the Black Hills without stopping to see Mount Rushmore. It really is a spectacular sight to see. Visit the museum to learn about how the monument was made and walk the trails around the monument. There is plenty to see and do to keep the whole family interested and entertained. 

While Mount Rushmore may be the most well-known attraction, it is not the only attraction worthy of a visit.

Things to Do with the Kids in The Black Hills, South Dakota #BlackHillsBadlands (AD) @BlackHillsSD

Dinosaur Park

Rapid City, SD. Do you have a little paleontologist in training? Dinosaur Park is a free attraction where Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous dinosaurs have been found.  Walk where the dinosaurs once did while taking in the 100-mile views of the Badlands.

Crazy Horse Memorial 

Custer, SD. We stopped at Crazy Horse Memorial back in April and it was much more fun than we were expecting. If your kids are even remotely interested in Native American history, they will love this. You will learn about how the memorial was built, how the memorial will look when it is completed, look at Native American artifacts and so much more. Telling you about it really doesn’t do it any justice. 

Reptile Gardens

Rapid City, SD. Reptile Gardens opened in 1937 and is the largest reptile zoo according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Your animal lover will never forget the experience of seeing these amazing animals up close. You can also wander through the botanical gardens, see tropical birds, and discover minerals.

Things to Do with the Kids in The Black Hills, South Dakota #BlackHillsBadlands (AD) @BlackHillsSD

Rushmore Cave/Rush Mountain Adventure Park 

Keystone, SD. There is no need to make a reservation to take a guided cave tour because there is plenty of room for everyone with tours leaving every 30 minutes. After the cave tour, visit the adventure park to ride the mountain coaster, fly down the zipline, mine for gemstones, and check out the Gunslinger 7-D Interactive Ride.

Rushmore Tramway Adventures

Keystone, SD. Are your children more of the adventurous type? Take them to ride the alpine slide and whizz through the air on the zipline. There is also the Aerial Adventure Park, scenic chairlift, jump tower and more to do at Rushmore Tramway Adventures. 

Bear Country USA

Rapid City, SD. Drive through three miles of this one-of-a-kind wildlife park where you will see bears, elk, buffalo, wolves, and more. After your drive you can walk through Babyland to see the baby bear cubs and what could possibly be cuter than that?!

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1880 Train – Black Hills Central Railroad

Hill City, SD. If your kids are anything like mine, this will be the greatest thing to ever happen to them! That week, anyway. Enjoy a 20-mile train ride through the Black Hills on an old-fashioned steam train. But book your ride early because they do sell out. 

South Dakota State Railroad Museum

Hill City, SD. Located next to the 1880 Train Depot, your older kids will love learning about the great railroad history of South Dakota. If you have kids of varying ages like I do, there is a kids’ area for the little ones. 

Black Hills Escape Rooms

Rapid City, SD. Over the past few months, I have been hearing so much about escape rooms. I am intrigued by the idea because I love to solve puzzles and figure things out. An escape room is kind of like a scavenger hunt where you have an hour to decipher clues and puzzles that will help you, well, escape the room. 

Each room has a different difficulty rating. Some of the experiences at the Black Hills Escape Rooms are Shootout in Deadwood, Treasure at Mount Rushmore, Murder in Saloon #10: Catch Wild Bill’s Assassin, and more.

Things to Do with the Kids in The Black Hills, South Dakota #BlackHillsBadlands (AD) @BlackHillsSD

Plan your trip today to The Black Hills of South Dakota. You and your children will love all that it has to offer from rich history, unique wildlife, spectacular views, and lots of family fun for kids of all ages. I know that we will be back very soon!

Things to Do with the Kids in The Black Hills, South Dakota #BlackHillsBadlands (AD) @BlackHillsSD


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  1. So much historical beauty that Canadians usually only read about it. I was always fascinated that Custer’s ultimate demise i
    began in the Black Hills over Gold

  2. So much historic beauty that Canadians have only usually read about it…I was always fascinated how Custer started his demise over the Black Hills gold fine

    1. I have always been fascinated by The Wild West so I loved seeing some of these places in person. If you ever get the chance, Deadwood is really cool! I’m so glad we took the ride out there even though our time was short.

  3. So fun!! I adore the Black HIlls of SD!!! We went to a Kangaroo park and I got to hold a baby Kangaroo!! That was super fun as well!!

  4. This looks like such a nice trip! I’d love to see Mount Rushmore one day!

    1. I hope you do. I has been on my bucket list for a long time and I’m really glad we did it.

  5. I can see I’ll be adding South Dakota to my bucket list! My sister took her family out to Yellowstone Park, pulling their pop up trailer, and wandered through South Dakota visiting Mt. Rushmore. I was so jealous! Her kids had the best time of it. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get together for a family trip out that way in a couple years. I’ll be sharing this with her, it’s just so interesting all the places to go & see in South Dakota!

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