South Dakota December 05, 2018
6 Little-Known Museums In South Dakota Where Admission Is Free
Everyone knows that South Dakota is chock full of museums, monuments, and other historic gems, but did you know that we are also home to a number of little-known attractions that are both fascinating
and free? If you are ready for something new, hop in the car and check out these 6 hidden gem museums that are both fun and free:
1. South Dakota Air and Space Museum (Ellsworth Air Force Base)
For a truly out-of-this-world experience, look no further than the South Dakota Air and Space Museum! Housed on the Ellsworth Air Force Base, this museum has a little something for everyone with their many hands-on exhibits, on-site air and spacecrafts, and various special events.
2. Adams Museum (Deadwood)
Founded in 1930 by pioneer businessman W.E. Adams, the Adams Museum showcases some of the Black Hills' greatest treasures, including a one-of-a-kind plesiosaur, 7.346 troy ounce gold nugget, and a rare pencil sketch drawing of Wild Bill Hickok by N.C. Wyeth.
3. Teddy Bear Town (Hill City)
While not your traditional museum per se, Teddy Bear Town is still a must-see, as this quirky exhibit houses the Guinness World Record's "Largest Teddy Bear Collection," which consists of a whopping 10,000 teddy bears!
4. Museum of Geology (Rapid City)
Do you want a free attraction that really ROCKS? (Ha, see what I did there?) You will love the South Dakota Museum of Geology in Rapid City! Housed at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, the Museum of Geology features exhibits ranging from fascinating paleontology to mesmerizing mineralogy.
5. Old Courthouse Museum (Sioux Falls)
Located in Sioux Falls, the Old Courthouse Museum is just that; an old courthouse turned museum! "Make time for history at the Old Courthouse Museum," which houses three stories worth of regional history within a restored 1800s quartzite masterpiece. (Current exhibits at the Old Courthouse include a vintage toys exhibition, the history of the tipi, and a World War 1 exhibit.)
6. Outdoor Campus West (Rapid City)
One of my personal favorite hidden gems is the Outdoor Campus West, which can be enjoyed year-round thanks to its many outdoor walking paths AND free indoor educational classes, a 4,600 gallon freshwater aquarium, and western South Dakota habitats and wildlife exhibit.
For even more little-known SoDak spots, click on
11 Hidden Gems You Have To See In South Dakota Before You Die.