The Perfect Winter Getaway in Rapid City
Winter in Rapid City can look like a lot of things. It could be a slow, cozy getaway filled with warm beverages and toasty fires, or it can be filled with outdoor discoveries as you trek across snowcapped mountains. In fact – it can be both things and more when you plan Rapid City. Experience our destination to the fullest this winter by enjoying these popular activities.
A little ice provides a lot of ways to have fun.
During the winter, the popular fountains of Main Street Square are transformed into a charming ice rink. You can rent skates and spend a few hours enjoying this rink that’s larger than the one found at the Rockerfeller Center in New York City. If hitting the ice isn’t your style you can join the crowd of spectators rooting for the local professional ECHL hockey team the Rapid City Rush! Their season runs from October to early April.
Get the full winter experience by dining or drinking in an igloo! Start off in Hill City where you can sip on craft beers from Miner Brewing or wine from Prairie Berry Winery inside an igloo. From there you can continue the igloo themed fun while grabbing a bite to eat on the patio of Que Pasa in Rapid City.
Explore the frozen gems of the Black Hills. Throughout Spearfish Canyon waterfalls freeze to make breathtaking ice castles. Take the scenic drive through the canyon to soak up the beauty, extend the outdoor enjoyment by exploring the trails to discover more beauties off the beaten path. Spearfish Canyon is also a popular place for ice climbing.
Fishing fun in the Black Hills and Rapid City never ends. As the lakes of the area freeze over the season of ice fishing begins. Popular places to drop a line include Pactola Lake, Sheridan Lake, and Deerfield Lake. If you’re new to ice fishing head to Outdoor Campus-West for a free hands-on class!
Some winter days the best thing to do is cozy up in a comfortable space with good company.
The coffee shops of Rapid City are the perfect place to get comfortable for a meal or beverage during the winter season. Whether it’s pre or post adventure, relax on couches or gather around a large table in these toasty shops .
Head to the historic Elks Theatre, where you can appreciate a recently released film in a spectacular movie setting – and the fan favorite popcorn. The Elks also hosts film festivals and concerts, both provide another great excuse to visit this charming attraction.
Find perfectly crafted cocktails during your winter getaway. If you’re looking for a spot to relax, enjoy live music and good conversation, find yourself a nook in the Tinder Box. Rapid City’s only cigar bar which offers a variety of beverages and premium cigar options. Discover a whole new Rapid City atmosphere by heading underground into Rapid City’s prohibition era speakeasy the Blind Lion. If it’s your first visit we recommend a seat at the bar so you can watch the captivating process of these cocktail creations. The opposite of the underground is the sky-high city views found at the Vertex atop the Hotel Alex Johnson. Hotel guests get free entrance, other guests can visit with an additional entrance fee.
Surround yourself with beer, wine, and seltzer options in Rapid City’s taphouses. The modern atmosphere of Pour 54 lets you control the pour so you to sample a variety of flavors. At the Independent Ale House you’ll find a more intimate atmosphere where bartenders and servers can help you navigate a long list of beverages for one you’ll enjoy. Both taphouses offer a great selection of local and regional breweries.
The best vacation destinations teach you something new.
Get hands-on in Rapid City and learn a new skill. Places like Prouty Pottery and Canvas 2 Paint offer classes to unleash your artistic abilities. Or taste your way to perfection with a unique cooking class at Sabatino’s Italian Ristorante.
Take in the history and culture of our area with a visit to The Journey Museum & Learning Center. Their exhibits will walk you through time as it brings together five major prehistoric and historic collections all under one roof or visit the Museum of Geology on South Dakota Mines campus.
Warm winter days are the perfect opportunity to greet the City of Presidents sprinkled throughout our downtown district. These bronze, life-sized statues will really quiz you on your presidential history. Add a challenge to the tour by completing the scavenger hunt found on the back of the City of Presidents map. With fewer crowds, the winter months are also the best time to explore the nuclear missile silo and launch control facility at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.
Discover a different perspective on our area by touring local artist exhibits at the cities galleries. Heavily inspired by the natural beauty and culture found in our area, local and regional artists know how to bring that Black Hills feeling to life. Explore the work of local Native American artists and maybe even meet them at galleries like Dakota Drum Company and Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries. The Dahl Arts Center feature rotating exhibits from local and regional artists that create with a variety of mediums and make each visit a new experience.
Snow is the perfect reason to get outside and play.
The Black Hills National Forest offers 416 miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling making it one of the top destinations in the country for enthusiasts. There are snowmobiles in the area to rent or bring your own and have fun zipping through the trees.
Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing
Throughout the forest there are groomed trails designated for cross country skiers and snowshoeing. Both outdoor activities allow you to explore deeper into the woods where you can find untouched wilderness.
Fat Tire Biking
Hit the trails of Skyline Wilderness Area, next to the giant beasts at Dinosaur Park, or Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park with a fat tire bike this season. These in city trails offer great city views with all the outdoor fun. Expand your exploration out onto the trail options of the Black Hills National Forest. From Rapid City it’s easy to access a variety of trail options.
Invite a little friendly competition into your getaway with unique area challenges.
Flags and Wheels
When you're looking for options of indoor fun, head to Flags and Wheels. Offering everything from Go Karts, Laser Tag, Batting Cages and Reball, it’s an entertaining space to spend a winter afternoon.
Putz n Glo
Mini golf is just more fun when it’s under black lights. This retro course is a blast from the past that all ages will love. Add a fun twist to your game by taking turns spinning the mischief spinners.
This restaurant, bar and arcade provides hours of entertainment. Find all the classic favorites like Pac Man and Frogger mixed in with thrilling games of Mario Kart and Guitar Hero. It’s two levels full of arcade fun you’ll have a blast exploring.