USAFmommy09's Passport


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10 January 2011

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2 Reviews

January 10 2011
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Mount Rushmore National Memorial | kids travel, kids activities
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Highway 244,
South Dakota
"Do it all!"
Don't let the title fool you, I did enjoy seeing Mt Rushmore. It is definately something I think everybody should do at least once in their life. But I expected something more.
On my first visit we only saw the monument. We didn't go on any of the trails, or go to the museum. So it was about a 20 minute trip for us, and I left disappointed.
We have since been back a few times. The best thing I have seen was the fireworks on the July 4th. It was completely spectacular. But if you are going to do that, I recommend it without the children. The monument is extremely crowded and you have to get there very early to get a seat.
The museum was great. It gives great history of not only the monument but of the Black Hills.
My favorite thing by far though, was the trails. We were able to get really up close to the monument as well as get a glimpse of the beautiful scenery. The one trail we took the kids on was even a board walk type with rails so the kids could go off a little ways without me having to get too worried (never out of my sight though.) We were even able to get up close to quite a few of the big horn sheep that roam around the are. That trail led us to the sculptor's studio, which was really great to see.
At the monument they also offer headsets for a guided tour, for a small fee. A great gift shop, a lovely resturaunt with good food, and ICE CREAM!
So while it wasn't everything I was expecting initially, it has turned out to be really great! I highly recommend it. Just try and make it one of the only things you do that day, because if you take it everything about it you will be greatly please!
Oh and just a little side note. The parking pass is what you pay for, they like to tell you the monument is fee. Either way, the season pass is going up to $11 this year.
January 10 2011
0 families found this helpful
Storybook Island  | kids travel, kids activities
Storybook Island
1301 Sheridan Lake Rd,
Rapid City,
South Dakota 57701
"Real life pop-up book!"
So when you think of South Dakota, most people only know 2 things about it:
1) Mount Rushmore
2) Snow

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.