South Dakota November 20, 2016
11 Christmas Displays in South Dakota That Are Pure Magic
From stunningly lit main streets to captivating displays, South Dakota is getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year. These extravagant Christmas set-ups are sure to bring out your holiday spirit and make you feel as though you’re surrounded by magic. So grab your winter coat, gather your loved ones and check out 11 of our favorite Christmas displays in South Dakota.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Sioux Falls Annual Parade of Lights hosted by Downtown Sioux Falls Inc, 230 S Phillips Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104.
Visit the historic downtown of Sioux Falls on Friday, November 27th at 7:30 PM for a truly festive experience. The 24th Annual Parade of Lights is the perfect way to welcome the holiday season. Come early and enjoy a free wagon ride.
2. Storybook Island’s Christmas Nights of Light, 1301 Sheridan Lake Rd.
Rapid City, SD 57702.
Come to Storybook Island for a merry Christmas stroll through Storybook Island. This spectacular display is just $3 per person and open November 25th-27th, December 2-4, 9-23, 26-31. Santa will be present every night until December 23rd, with live reindeer in attendance December 9-18. As if Storybook Island wasn’t magical enough!
3. Watertown Optimist Club Winter Wonderland, 90 S Lake Dr, Watertown, SD 57201.
This stunning wonderland is organized every year by the Watertown SD Optimist Club to help fund children’s programs in the community. View the gorgeous displays and trees from the comfort of your warm vehicle, and jump out and greet Santa Claus at the end. When you consider that approximately 30,000 people explore this wonderland each year, you know it's well worth your visit. Experience the magic the Saturday after Thanksgiving through Christmas weekend. They are open 6 PM to 9 PM.
4. Christmas at the Capitol, 500 E Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501.
Each year the historical Capitol Building is decorated with nearly 100 Christmas trees thanks to faithful, talented volunteers. Explore 3 floors of pure holiday bliss while enjoying delightful music provided by carolers and musicians. This free display begins on November 25th with a lighting ceremony. Visitors can explore the Capitol daily through December 27th, and if you happen to stop by on December 13th, you’ll get to enjoy free pie! It's fantastic.
5. Festival of Trees, 313 W Main St. Lead, SD 57754.
Located in the Historic Homestake Opera House, this festive holiday event is a fundraiser for music and theater programs in the community. Marvel at beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths while participating in a silent and live Christmas auction. Delicious wine, beer and Christmas treats will also be available as well as pleasant holiday music. This event takes place December 1st and 2nd.
6. Santa Day / Parade of Lights, 170 Wessington St. Wessington, South Dakota 57381.
This annual parade has been dazzling viewers for years. Wessington comes alive with a marvelous line-up of creative Christmas floats. Grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and vote for your favorite Christmas display before enjoying a delicious chili/soup supper.
7. Winter Wonderland at Falls Park, 131 E Falls Park Dr. Sioux Falls, SD 57104.
Between November 18th and January 8th, Falls Park will be transformed into the dazzling “Winter Wonderland.” Stay in your warm, cozy car and drive through this impressive mile long display of wreaths, decorated trees, strings of lights, and various animated features. The view from the observation tower is absolutely exquisite.
8. Festival of Lights/ Holiday Celebration and Winter Market, 526 Main St.
Rapid City, SD 57701.
The locals line the streets each year to enjoy this magical Black Hills tradition that features over 75 dazzling, unique holiday floats. Grab your ice skates and join the other locals as they glide around Main Street’s rink. Afterwards, find the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one with the help of the Winter Market’s local vendors. This is a winter premier event you won’t want to miss. It all begins on Saturday, November 26th at 6 PM.
9. Madison’s Magical Christmas, 924 NE 5th St. Madison, SD 57042.
This beloved light display in Madison is held every night after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day from 6:00 PM-10:00 PM. Tune into 88.9 FM and watch the glittery lights dance to the music. All donations will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
10. Holidazzle Light Parade, Main St. Spearfish, SD.
The 16th annual Holidazzle Light Parade will once again illuminate Main Street Spearfish on December 3rd starting at 6:00 PM. Arrive early for Holiday Shopping sales, roasted chestnuts, and a community chili feed and food drive. You can’t get much more festive than that.
11. Living Christmas Tree, 203 S Washington Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401.
Soak in the Christmas splendor at The Living Christmas Tree, an Aberdeen tradition since 1988. Talented performers sing your favorite holiday tunes from a 20-foot-christmas-tree-shaped structure complete with plenty of garland and sparkling lights. Welcome the Christmas season the first Saturday and Sunday of December at 6 PM.
Where is your favorite place in South Dakota during the holidays? Share your photos, and tell us what we missed!
Address: 500 E Capitol Ave. Pierre, SD 57501 Address: 924 NE 5th St. Madison, SD 57042 Address: 230 S Phillips Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 Address: 90 S Lake Dr, Watertown, SD 57201 Address: 313 W Main St. Lead, SD 57754 Address: 170 Wessington St. Wessington, South Dakota 57381 Address: 131 E Falls Park Dr. Sioux Falls, SD 57104