My Daughter's First Time At Storybook Island

Best known as “Dani”, this a-smile-can-change-the-world kind of gal thrives on creativity, positive vibes and meaningful quotes. She currently shares her talents as a designer, copy editor, email marketing guru, consistency upholder and website guardian for Visit Rapid City.

May 21, 2020

It’s the little moments in life that create the biggest memories. One of my favorite childhood memories growing up was visiting Storybook Island in Rapid City. Much of the happiness I found here, I now get to relive through my daughter, Emma. And there’s really nothing better than that.

Mother and Daughter at Entrance of Storybook Island in Rapid City


During the summertime, this fantasy park is filled with children, enthused by life-size figures of their favorite storybook characters. Throughout the park classic Disney songs are played on loop – and I must admit I know all of the words thanks to my five pack Disney Classic set of CD’s I bought as a child. I have a whole shoebox of photos from here, back when printing photos at the drugstore was how you kept your favorite memories.

Pirate Ship at Storybook Island in Rapid City


Experiencing it through your child is almost better than experiencing it for the first time yourself. I'm reminded of the joy this place brought me, and now getting to witness my daughter make memories of her own is part of the magic of Storybook Island. Based on her reactions, you would never know that she doesn’t know these characters well. Yet, when we exited Winnie the Pooh’s tunnel and found Piglet, Tiger, Rabbit and Kanga waiting on the other side, her face lit up. Or approaching Cinderella and her carriage she flashed a sweet little grin that would make any heart melt. The whole place is an interactive playground where a child's imagination can soar.

Child Playing in Yogi the Bear Basket at Storybook Island


Watching my daughter's reaction to everything in the park was priceless, and so is the admission. Yup, Storybook Island is free. They do have activities within the park like riding the train, the carousel or jumping in the bouncy house that cost a few dollars. But this amazing place operates on donations and their annual fundraisers like Christmas Nights of Light. It’s a true treasure of Rapid City.

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