The Ultimate Kid-Friendly Black Hills Vacation

South Dakota is the breathtaking Black Hills, known for their incredible hiking trails, fantastic sights, and extensive wildlife population! The Black Hills is a great place to head for an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

With amazing adventures to be had and some incredible Cabin Rentals in the Black Hills, you will have the time of your life with the wilderness for your backyard!

Things to Do

One of the only problems you might have while staying in the Black Hills is finding enough time to do and see everything that we have to offer! With so many fun and exciting family-friendly activities in the Black Hills, we have done our best to narrow things down to a few of our personal favorites below.

Visit Bear Country USA

A drive-thru experience where you can see bears! This sounds like a terrifying adventure, but from the safety of your own car (or perhaps a hot air balloon trip), viewing these magnificent animals is something that you won’t want to miss out on. When you arrive, you will begin your three-mile drive through several enclosures. You will be able to encounter many incredible animals, including black bears, elk, deer, reindeer, goats, cougars, bobcats, and many more. The adventure can take up to 3 hours, but it is worth it! This needs to be on your list of things to do while here in the Black Hills.

Evans Plunge

If you want a relaxing time soaking in some of the best mineral water you will find, then we suggest checking out Evans Plunge. Built-in 1890, Evans Plunge is situated over the numerous small, sparkling springs and one of the mammoth springs of mineral water located in South Dakota. 

People visit from all over the country to enjoy the relaxing and rejuvenating benefits of the natural springs. We guarantee you will feel all your worries slip away as you enjoy a relaxing soak.

Reptile Gardens

The Reptile Gardens are fun for the entire family, with incredible opportunities to see plenty of exotic animals and reptiles, including the saltwater crocodile, a collection of venomous snakes, the Galapagos, and Aldabra Tortoises, Bald Eagles, and Prairie Dogs! The grounds offer you a scenic environment with a lush oasis of flowers, vegetation, ornamental trees, and tropical plants. We are sure the entire family will enjoy their time here! 

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Being an original mine from 1892, the Big Thunder Gold Mine features underground tours by professional guides, offering its guests a firsthand look into the past. You will receive a free gold ore sample on the tour and will get the opportunity to pan for gold in nearby Battle Creek! This is a great opportunity for families, and the kids will love the experience!

big thunder gold mine sign
Photo from Shutterstock

WaTiki Waterpark

Who doesn’t love a good waterpark? With over 30,000 square feet of water park, WaTiki is the largest waterpark in the Dakotas. The slides and pools are plentiful, and the kids will have a great time! They also have spectator passes available that allow parents to pay for their child’s admission to the park while they enjoy the hot tub at a reduced rate from the viewing area! Parents can have a romantic afternoon while the kids slip and slide their way to fun!

Plan Your Visit

With so many incredible Black Hills Family-Friendly things to do and see, we at Executive Lodging want to make sure that you have an amazing place to stay and call home during your time in the Black Hills. We have a wide selection of various-sized cabins available for every group size. We are ready to help you plan your next unforgettable Black Hills vacation!

Places to Eat

cheeseburger and beer on a wooden tray

Custer

While staying in the Black Hills, you need to visit the town of Custer to enjoy some of their incredible restaurants. They have a few to choose from, but two that we enjoy the most are the State Game Lodge and the Black Hills Burger & Bun Co.

The State Game Lodge is more of a fine dining establishment offering casual yet elegant breakfast, lunch dining, and a much more formal ambiance for dinner. Their menu differs each day, especially in today’s climate. Still, there is sure to be something on the menu for everyone. 

The Black Hills Burger & Bun Company is more of a kid-friendly restaurant offering delicious and unique burgers, handcrafted beverages, and delicious appetizers unique to them! The kids’ menu is great, but we guarantee your littles will want to try some of their incredible burgers for sure! 

Rapid City

A trip to Rapid City while you are in the Black Hills is a necessity. Once again, it is another great city with amazing food and beverage options! You are sure to find something in Rapid City for every eater in your group, but we have a few that have kept us coming back for years! 

When looking for a fantastic dining experience with a slightly upscale vibe, we suggest checking out Dakotah Steakhouse. They have 20 craft beers on tap, an extensive “wines by the glass” program, and specialty martinis that really round out their beverage selection. However, they also have an amazing menu selection that will leave you full and satisfied! 

If you are hoping to mix a little history with your meal, we would suggest checking out Firehouse Brewing Company, one of the oldest breweries in South Dakota. They have a delicious tasting menu, some delicious entrees, and of course, beverages galore! 

Deadwood 

You should plan on visiting Deadwood City while vacationing in South Carolina; we suggest taking the time to visit two of our personal favorite restaurants! Regardless of your travel companions, everyone will be able to find something that they absolutely love on the menus at these two locations. 

First up, we have Legends Steakhouse, home of the best dishes that you will find anywhere! If you are looking for some delicious, made-from-scratch meals and incredibly cooked steaks, then this is the place you need to visit! You will find mouth-watering daily specials, handcrafted signature cocktails, and desserts that will satisfy every sweet tooth you have.

If you are looking for something different than a steakhouse, Deadwood is also known for Saloon #10. The food they serve here is incredible, and the Whiskey Bar might entice many people to visit. They are known for being a “living museum” where you will find reenactments of historical events that have occurred in the area, including the demise of Wild Bill Hickok!