12 Fun Things to Do in South Dakota with Kids — Best Family-Friendly Attractions!

Without question, South Dakota is a remote and fascinating frontier.

The state is bursting with breathtaking natural beauties that will leave you breathless and in amazement, from picturesque caves to Instagram-worthy prairies.

Additionally, it is the location of numerous historical marvels and national treasures, providing children with priceless educational opportunities.

So, when you come to the state again, explore our list of family-friendly activities in South Dakota.

  1. Custer State Park Jeep Safari Tour — Custer

What You’ll Experience

Are you looking for a unique family adventure in South Dakota?

Take a jeep safari tour around Custer State Park as a favor to yourself.

You and your group will have many chances to see amazing animals as you partake in this unique safari excursion.

You will get up and personal with antelopes, bison herds, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, and mule deer on this open-air jeep safari adventure; I guarantee it.

After the tour, you can continue hiking on some of the park’s most beautiful paths for the day.

Although you can visit the park independently, we recommend using this path because it is convenient and entertaining for children. The top South Dakota family hotels endorse it.

Recommended Ages

Children ages three and up will undoubtedly love observing the cute animals on an open-air jeep trip at Custer State Park.

  1. Storybook Island — Rapid City

What You’ll Experience

Without question, Storybook Island is among the must-do activities for families with young children in South Dakota.

Your children’s favorite stories and nursery rhymes will come to life at this attraction, which is vibrant and full of life.

Children can spend the entire day interacting with various characters, including Pinnochio, Humpty Dumpty, and many more.

Additionally, the park includes many free activities for kids and free entrance.

The traditional carousel ride and the Storybook Island Train are two more inexpensive and ticketed kid-friendly attractions available here.

Recommended Ages

The target demographic for Storybook Island is kids aged 12 and below.

  1. Mammoth Site — Hot Springs

What You’ll Experience

Visits to Mammoth Site in Hot Springs are typically part of the most fantastic family vacations in South Dakota.

Families interested in archaeology, history, or animals should visit this location because it is the largest mammoth study facility in the world.

Because it is an indoor paleontological site with climate control, it is ideal for those looking for instructive activities to do with kids when it rains.

Additionally, your children can participate in the site’s 1-hour junior paleontologist program if you make appointments in advance.

Recommended Ages

At the Mammoth Site, kids between the ages of six and twelve can have fun and learn.

  1. Badlands National Park Family Tour

What You’ll Experience

With Badlands National Park, a list of the top family-friendly South Dakota attractions is complete. This national park, known for its tall spires, narrow canyons, and stunning vistas, is a haven for nature lovers.

In addition, its expansive grasslands are home to various species, including bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs.

Taking a family tour is the ideal way to experience this national park.

It is practical and instructive, with knowledgeable guides offering priceless insights.

Additionally, it stops at other South Dakota attractions that are family-friendly, such as the Minuteman Missile Site and the community of Scenic.

Recommended Ages

All ages of kids can enjoy Badlands National Park.

  1. Angostura State Recreation Area — Hot Springs

What You’ll Experience

Despite being a landlocked state, South Dakota has some fantastic beaches.

One of the best family beaches in South Dakota is the Angostura State Recreation Area.

This region offers sandy beaches for swimming, relaxing, and fishing along its more than 30 kilometers of beachfront.

A ski beach, a 9-hole disk golf course, horseshoes, and volleyball are just a few activities available for teenagers, children, and adults.

Recommended Ages

Guests of all ages can participate in various activities at Angostura State Recreation Area.

  1. Bramble Park Zoo — Watertown

What You’ll Experience

Undoubtedly, one of our top kid-friendly destinations in South Dakota is the Bramble Park Zoo.

This wildlife paradise is home to about 800 species, including a wide variety of arthropods, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals.

Expect to witness fish, otters, boas, macaws, kangaroos, tigers, bears, and wolves.

Even better, the zoo offers kid-friendly shows like Leader of the Pack and Bear Necessities that are fun and educational.

Recommended Ages

Children ages 3 to 12 will undoubtedly find the Bramble Park Zoo a fascinating stop.

  1. WaTiKi Indoor Waterpark Resort — Rapid City

What You’ll Experience

The largest indoor waterpark in the area is located at WaTiKi, a kid-friendly utopia.

You’ll have plenty of chances to check out the waterpark’s multiple slides, hot tub, and the lazy river once inside.

The Arcade, which features a variety of video games, is a great place to go when you need a breather from the splashy excitement.

Did we also mention that WaTiKi is one of South Dakota’s best family resorts?

Recommended Ages

Children of all ages are welcome at WaTiKi Indoor Waterpark Resort.

  1. Black Hills and Mount Rushmore Tour — Keystone

What You’ll Experience

By taking a private trip, you may see the Black Hills’ splendor and magnificence in a pretty convenient way.

Since the tour includes a stop at the well-known Mount Rushmore National Memorial, it is also an educational experience for kids.

The tour also includes a hike along the famous Flume Trail, which runs from Sheridan Lake Dam to the gold-mining hamlet of Rockerville.

Recommended Ages

Children 3 and older will benefit significantly from taking this South Dakota trip.

  1. National Presidential Wax Museum — Keystone

What You’ll Experience

Families may enjoy a distinctive and patriotic experience at the National Presidential Wax Museum.

More than a hundred wax figures of every US president are displayed throughout the museum.

Additionally, the museum offers self-guided audio tours that allow children to discover the background of these American icons.

The museum also offers a kid-friendly scavenger hunt, which is the most incredible part.

Recommended Ages

The National Presidential Wax Museum is the best option for children six and older.

  1. Storybook Land — Aberdeen

What You’ll Experience

Storybook Land is undoubtedly one of the kid-friendly and colorful attractions in South Dakota.

This park, themed to nursery rhymes and fairy tales, including Old MacDonald’s Barn, Three Bears, and Goldilocks, is ideal for families with young children.

The yellow brick road-equipped Land of Oz is undoubtedly fun for kids.

We also adore their train, balloon ride, carousel, and child coaster for Humpty Dumpty.

Recommended Ages

Kids between 3 and 12 may have much fun at Storybook Land.

  1. 1880 Train — Keystone

What You’ll Experience

Get on the historic 1880 Train for a unique and exciting way to experience the picture-perfect Black Hills.

The train excursion will delight passengers with delicious meals and its breathtaking natural environment.

In addition, particular train trips include live entertainment for the entire tribe.

Recommended Ages

All ages of children will like this unique experience in South Dakota.

  1. Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride — Custer

What You’ll Experience

Are you looking for a kid-friendly activity in South Dakota?

You should have a breathtaking and unforgettable hot air balloon flight at Custer State Park.

Despite just being an hour long, the trip will leave you with a ton of lifelong memories.

Take in breathtaking aerial views of prairies, lakes, valleys, rock formations, and mountains as you soar above the picturesque Black Hills.

Additionally, the journey allows you to see animals such as elk, mule deer, buffalo, whitetail deer, antelope, and mountain lions.

Recommended Ages

Children ages six and up should feel safe and enjoy this aerial adventure.