South Dakota March 09, 2017
10 Legitimately Fun Things You Can Do In South Dakota Without Spending A Dime
Is there anything better than free? We think not, and especially if we’re talking about legitimately awesome things to do that don’t cost a dime. Check out these 10 attractions in South Dakota, then hop in the car and get on your way to some free fun.
1. Feed the fish at the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery.
Head to Spearfish to see a real, live fish hatchery. Learn all about South Dakota's fish species and see them up close in aquariums and outdoor ponds. For some spare change, you can buy little cups of fish food, or just visit for free. 423 Hatchery Circle, Spearfish.
2. Spend the day immersed in nature at The Outdoor Campus.
This place has so much to offer that you won't believe it's free. Visit the butterfly garden, go for a hike on the two miles of trails, see the 30,000 gallon aquarium and play on the coolest playground you've ever seen. Sertoma Park, 4500 S Oxbow Ave, Sioux Falls.
3. Experience the wonder of flight at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.
Visit the South Dakota Air and Space Museum to see vintage aircraft alongside some of the newest aviation technology. Explore both the indoor exhibits and galleries and the 30 outdoor exhibitis - it's all free! Open seven days a week from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. 2890 Davis Drive Bldg #5208, Rapid City.
4. Bask in the beauty of Dakota Nature Park.
Dakota Nature Park has something for everyone - hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing and fishing. Stroll along the walking paths and take a look at the ponds. Plan to spend an entire day at this beautiful place. 22nd Avenue South and 32nd Street, Brookings.
5. Visit the remains of South Dakota's oldest residents at the Museum of Geology.
Don't let this museum's boring name fool you - they've got some really cool dinosaur skeletons in here, as well as some fascinating displays of geodes, crystals and precious gems. From Labor Day to Memorial Day, hours are Monday - Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. 501 East St. Joseph Street, Rapid City
6. See dinosaurs in their natural setting at Dinosaur Park.
For an even more interactive dinosaur experience, head to the Dinosaur Park at 940 Skyline Drive in Rapid City, where you can see dinosaurs as they might have looked in their natural setting here millions of years ago.
7. See the sheriff fight the bad guys in a shootout in Deadwood.
The historic town of Deadwood offers tons of great attractions, but you definitely don't want to miss the free shootouts Monday - Saturday running Memorial Day through the end of September. The Deadwood Alive troupe will entertain you with a variety of historic shootouts staged right in the middle of Main Street. Don't worry - the bullets are blanks! Shootouts occur three times per day at 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. at 715 Main Street in Deadwood.
8. Go on a scavenger hunt for sculptures in Sioux Falls.
Every year, Sioux Falls installs new sculptures around the downtown area. Take a walking tour to see them all, then vote for your favorite. Visit the
for a walking map and instructions on how to vote.
9. Explore LaFramboise Island Nature Area.
Lewis and Clark once visited this pretty little island on the Missouri River; you can visit it now for free. Amenities at the island include drinking water, a fishing dock, boat dock, picnic shelter and vault toilets. Go for a little hike and enjoy the river views. Find it in Pierre.
10. Wander through the Japanese Gardens in Sioux Falls.
The Japanese gardens in Terrace Park are so peaceful and serene that you'll never want to leave. Water features, stone pagodas and gazebos are just a few of the things you'll see here. N. Euclid Ave. and W. 4th Street, Sioux Falls.
Of course, this is just a partial list – there are way too many free things out there to list them all here. So, what other free things should our readers know about? Tell us in the comments!