Huge kids playground with interactive exhibits that are all based on storybook characters. Lots of play equipment for kids from toddlers through elementary age.
Before I had children I made a visit to Rapid City and visited Storybook Island with a guest from the youth hostel where I was staying. I had a really nice time then and had always hoped I would be able to come back with children
We visited Storybook Island in Rapid City on 6/30. It is a free playground based around different storybook themes. We chose not to purchase snacks or train rides so this was a completely free activity for us. The entire area is fenced and there are flush toilets on site. There is a separate area for those 5 and under to enjoy.
All of my children (ages 12, 10, 7 1/2, 5 1/2 and 2 1/2) really enjoyed all of the unique play equipment. They especially loved the old school stuff like the merry go round and loved that they were allowed to touch and climb on all of the statues.
The kids begged us to stay longer (we were there a few hours) and repeatedly asked us to return. This is a must stop if you are in Rapid City.
This certainly would not have made the cut if we didn't have any kids. BUT, being that we have a toddler, it was a perfect stop and was almost entirely free. You can do it for completely free if you do not buy snacks or a ticket to ride the train.
This place is a really neat concept and it's quite amazing that they are able to keep the grounds clean and serviceable and there was NO graffiti or vandalism visible--which was also amazing to us! The park is rather secure, with a gated entry and a fence all the way around. They have an indoor bathroom facility and even the potential to host birthday parties.
It's basically acres upon acres of cement statues of some iconic storybook characters and scenes. Some are more interactive than others, but all are kid-friendly. It's a little boring after a few hours for parents, so you should bring a book, just in case it's an all afternoon event! We ended up staying just under three hours.
A nice touch is that there is a drinking fountain on site--I think they are kind of yucky, being a germaphobe, but it's really a nice gesture to have a hydration station for all the kiddos. It's pretty busy, so bring water and snacks and don't expect to leave before your child has seen EVERY last statue and play area.
The train rides are $1.50 if I remember correctly and they take the kiddos around the property (basically a decorated lawnmower with train cars) so no worries about going too fast or much danger involved. It's a cheap thrill for the kids, so we got two rides. The snack show is a little pricey, but no worse than any other attraction.
The park was very clean and most of the scenes were pretty safe. If you have kids younger than five, plan to help them on some of the scenes, however, since they might take a tumble if you don't, and most are cement. Some of our favorites were the Yogi Bear scene, the train, and the pirate ship. We also made it successfully around the maze. There is ample shade, so kids can cool off and parents can avoid the heat too--benches are strategically placed about the property.
You cannot beat this place for free entertainment. It's like a really detailed playground, full of all the same characters that you sing, read and watch from the best stories from our own childhood memories! You can see Snow White, Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Cat in the Hat, Yogi, the gang from The Wizard of Oz and many more all in one day!!!
During a recent trip to Rapid City, my 10 year old really wanted to stop by Storybook Island after seeing it in one of the travel books. It was a cold and rainy day but once we got there, we were so glad we stopped! This is one amazing playground and I can't believe it's free.
It's an older playground which I LOVE because it still has some of the play equipment that the newer ones don't offer (like the spinning seats that kids love). Plus, each of the exhibits is themed after a story -- Winnie the Pooh has a great treehouse & honey tree, the Wizard of Oz, the Cat in the Hat, Raggedy Ann, and a number of nursery rhyme characters are all there. In addition, you can climb up on a train engine and fire truck too.
There's a nice play area for kids under age 5 (although they can easily play on the larger items too) and ever older kids will enjoy a visit. Parents will remember parks like this from their childhood. There's also a cute gift shop and ice cream stand in the park. Even in the rain, we stayed and playe for an hour. Make sure to check their website for special events (music, magic shows and kids theater) during the summer.
This is a must see park, even though the name says island. We came across this when we were on our trip out west. It is a fun and exciting park for the young ones as well as the adults to enjoy. The park is full of storybook characters statues . As you begin to enter, you cross over the 3 Billy goats bridge in which you see them on one side and the ugly troll on the other. Just before you enter the castle, the prince is hanging on for dear life onto Rapunzel's hair. I wish we had a park like this one in my hometown. The kids climbed into Yogi Bear's basket , swung on a Gorilla swing, climbed aboard a pirate ship, saw 3 men in a tub, had their picture taken with Dorthy,Lion,Scarecrow, Tin man & the Wicked Witch, walked under the rainbow, said hi to Snow White, help Mary Contrary water her garden, and so much more. It is a nice place for kids to stretch their legs and have fun.
Loved, loved, loved this stop in our trip out west! We have young children ages 3, 2, and 1 and this was a perfect activity for them. They were able to ride the little train there and play on the various activities from the 3 little pigs houses, to Winnie the Pooh's treehouse, to sitting on Aladdin's rug! I highly recommend this place for anyone who has children under 10. Awesome place!
So when you think of South Dakota, most people only know 2 things about it:
1) Mount Rushmore
But nestled in the Black Hills are many wonderful attractions. My family's favorite just so happens to be a little place called Storybook Island.
Think local park meets pop-up book. It is wonderful. Just about every popular cartoon character is present here, made in to playground equipment for the kiddos. And the best part you ask? It is completely free. Yes you heard right F-R-E-E, free!
For the younger ones you can glide down a slide at the three little pigs house or visit Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Woods.
For the girls in the family this place can be heave. If there is a favorite princess, she is here. My daughter's favorite thing is the Cinderella carriage replica that you can view from a castle bridge. She can also have her picture taken as Cinderella in one of the many wooden cut outs they have.
I would say the park is probably geared towards children 13 and under, but I hear it makes for a really cute date for the 20-somethings as well.
On the weekends they have some sort of play through out the day. They also have a children's train that runs through the park for a minimal charge. As well as a gift shop.
The only down side I have found to this wonderful place is that it is only open from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Of course in South Dakota that usually isn't a problem since outside of that season it is usually pretty cold.
I highly recommend this park. Our children throughly enjoy it. And when they are open we try to go at least every other week.