10+ Ways To Enjoy A Rainy Rapid City Vacation
It’s no secret that rainy weather can put a damper on your vacation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Rapid City offers an abundance of indoor activities that are fun for all ages! So, when mother nature decides spending time outside isn’t going to happen, here are a few options you’re bound to love rain or shine!
Right in Rapid City you’ll find attractions that will make everlasting memories for you and your family. The best part – each has an indoor option so you’re guaranteed fun no matter what the South Dakota weather has in store.
Black Hills Escape Rooms
Solve the murder at Saloon #10, discover the ghosts of the Black Hills, take on zombie prairie dogs, survive a Deadwood shootout or uncover information about WWIII: Ellsworth Air Force Base and Aliens! These five locally based scenarios at Black Hills Escape Room will keep everyone’s heart racing and leave everyone talking about the experience long after it’s finished.
Outdoor Campus West
When spending time outdoors isn’t an option, the next best thing is Outdoor Campus West! Explore the indoor exhibit that displays a variety of western South Dakota wildlife and their habitats and a 4,600-gallon freshwater aquarium! They also offer a variety of free indoor educational classes for youth, adults and families for hands-on experience like archery or wildlife cooking classes!
The weather is always perfect inside the largest indoor waterpark in the Dakotas! Open all year round, you and your family can relax with a float around the lazy river, take a thrill ride down three different waterslides, soak it up in the hot tub spa, and kids can play in KoKo the Monkey’s Kingdom!
Museum and Galleries
See, hear and feel the culture and history of Rapid City and the Black Hills at local museums and galleries! You’ll leave with new knowledge and appreciation for our area.
Journey Museum & Learning Center
The history of the Black Hills is laid out between the walls of the Journey Museum and Learning Center. Have fun exploring the different exhibits and learning about what makes our area so unique!
The Dahl Arts Center
The Dahl is an art center for contemporary visual arts, arts education and performing arts! Stroll through the five visual art galleries, play around in the interactive children’s gallery, view the Cyclorama Mural of American History or join in on a class and learn a new skill.
SD Air And Space Museum
Located at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum displays past, present and possibilities of the future in aviation and space exploration. Walk through over 30 different vintage military aircrafts dating all the way back to the World War II bombers up to the present-day B-1.
Explore the vibrant rooms of Prairie Edge Trading Co. in Downtown Rapid City! Shop a selection of great locally made items and Native American inspired craft like weapons, headdresses, drums, pipes, robes, painted art and more.
Is it really a vacation if you don’t enjoy a few beverages at local bars and breweries? Rapid City offers a variety of fun local atmospheres you won’t find anywhere else.
Treat yourself to Rapid City’s craft brew scene with a stop at one or all of its local breweries. Try out Firehouse Brewing Co., Lost Cabin Beer Co., Hay Camp Brewing, Dakota Point Brewery, Cohort Craft Brewery, Last Mile Brewery and Zymurcracy Beer Company, each offers a new selection of beer and a unique atmosphere to complement it.
You’ll only find one local winery in Rapid City - Firehouse Wine Cellars. Lovers of red or white wines will enjoy listening to live music while sipping on different locally crafted wines like Mythical Beast, Stargazer, Adventurer and more!
If drinking and enjoying an activity is more your style check out Press Start. It’s hard to beat a beer and a little friendly competition on some old school arcade games like Skee Ball, Pac-Man and more!
Black Hills Contraband
Rapid City’s only local distillery has mastered the art of making alcohol. These flavored liqueurs go down smooth and make for a “dangerously” good time.
Want more? Check out our things to do page to discover all the attractions our area has to offer! Don’t forget to follow us on social media at Visit Rapid City for more great ideas of things you could be doing during your vacation!
Exploring below the earth's surface is a go to activity no matter what the weather is up to, especially with the caves you'll find in our area.
Black Hills Caverns
Located right outside of Rapid City, Black Hills Caverns was discovered in 1882 by gold seekers. This cave composed of Paha Sapa Limestone unveils a beautiful underground landscape. Black Hills Caverns offers two different tours, the Adventure Tour which is an hour long tour that explores all three levels of the cave, or the Crystal Tour which is an 30-minute tour taking place in the first level of the cave.
Wind Cave National Park
Below the beautiful protected prairies of Wind Cave National Park lies the passages of one of the world's longest and most complex caves. Named after the barometric winds felt at its entrance, Wind Cave also boasts a stunning display of the unique formation called boxworks. They offer a few different guided tours to choose from, but all tickets are only available on a in person first-come, first-served basis the day of the tour.
Jewel Cave National Monument
With over 208 miles of mapped cave and surveyed passages, Jewel Cave is currently the third longest cave in the world. Visitors can discover the beautiful calcite crystals that sparkle like "jewels" during their cave tour along with interesting formations called cave bacon. Jewel Cave offers different guided tours for visitors to select from. However, due to elevator renovations taking place, for the 2021 season only a modified tour will be available.