Mount Rushmore Family Vacation Ideas


The Greater Mount Rushmore Area in South Dakota is the perfect spot for family vacationing. The area offers the perfect blend of fun and learning in the Old West. Whether you're panning for gold, enjoying a chuck wagon dinner, or visiting the United States' greatest monument, the family is sure to enjoy the sights and attractions the area has to offer.




  • Chuck Wagon Dinner and Western Music Show at Circle B Ranch (Rapid City). Enter the 1,300-seat chuck wagon barn for a dinner of slow roasted beef, delicious barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, fresh hot biscuits, cool peaches, homemade gingerbread, hot coffee, and thirst-quenching lemonade. Following dinner is an hour of authentic Western music and comedy. The Circle B Cowboys entertain guests with authentic cowboy show tunes and music performed on dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, bass fiddle, and guitar.
  • Black Hills Passion Play (Spearfish). This play recreates the last seven days of the life of Jesus Christ in an outdoor amphitheater.




  • The Journey Museum (Rapid City). The Journey Museum displays four major collections of prehistoric and historic significance including the dinosaurs, the Lakota people, the pioneers, and present day. A fun learning experience for the entire family.
  • The City of Deadwood. Visit the town where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane lived. Visit the Deadwood Wax Museum, pan for your own gold, and visit the area's largest fun park.
  • Train and Mount Rushmore Lighting Ceremony Tour. Take a ride on an 1880 Train through the scenic Black Hills for spectacular views that won't be forgotten. After the ride, visit Mount Rushmore at dusk for a patriotic show that bathes the images of our country's greatest leaders in illuminating light.




  • Radisson Hotel (Rapid City). This hotel is a first choice pick for families. The hotel may be known for its intricately designed marble floor, but that's not all this hotel has to offer. Amenities include a Nintendo system in every room, high-speed Internet access, fitness center, on-demand movies, hot tub, indoor pool, spa, and more. Children stay free.
  • Best Western Town 'n Country Inn (Rapid City). Located in Rapid City and just a half-hour drive from Mount Rushmore, this hotel offers quality amenities at affordable rates. The kids will enjoy the children's playground and parents can take advantage of complimentary coffee in the lobby. The hotel offers a heated outdoor pool, a hot tub, free parking, free local calls and free airport transportation. Children under 12 stay free.
  • Deadwood Comfort Inn. Located in the center of the Black Hills and just minutes away from all of the attractions, the entire family will appreciate what this hotel has to offer. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, arcade, family fun park and snack center (in the summer), Homesteak Restaurant, and over 70 cable channels.
  • President's View Resort (Keystone). Enjoy a view of Mount Rushmore from your hotel room or spend time relaxing in the pool. The hotel offers wake-up service, cable television, non-smoking rooms, indoor heated pool and hot tub. Kids stay free.
1880 Train: A 19th Century Train Ride Tour
Great train ride! Kids will love it!
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-- Nina Roberts - Knoxville, TN
1880 Train: A 19th Century Train Ride Tour
We came out to the black hills for the second time in three years we love it so much. We brought our son and his family with us and signed up for the train ride. Even though we had rain all the time we were there, the train ride was so great. Enjoyed ourselves and my granddaughter was especially thrilled. Saw wildlife along the way and got to meet and talk to interesting people as well. Would recommend highly. Got the pictures taken while on the train ride and we were so glad we did!
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-- Joanne Sabotta - La Salle, IL
1880 Train: A 19th Century Train Ride Tour
You should go! We made our visit to the mount rushmore area the week before memorial weekend on purpose...To avoid the crowds and the heat. The weather was beautiful for us during that time. We stayed right in keystone, which i would recommend. We stayed at the holiday inn which is walking distance to the train and everything you'd want to see in the town. We are young 60 year olds but the train was filled with a variety of ages and stages in life. It was an enjoyable 2 hour trip back and forth to hill city. I've been on historic trains before but this was by far in the best shape for an old train. We saw little wildlife on our journey, mainly white tail deer, but the scenery was beautiful. We brought our own snacks on the train and ate our lunch once we arrived at the hill city station. The black hills of south dakota are a gorgeous part of the country. Be sure a take a drive on needles highway and through all the tunnels on iron mountain road. They are a must! Also, mount rushmore will definitely not disappoint. It was amazing!!! It makes you feel very patriotic to gaze up at the 4 presidents. We are so glad we made this road trip!
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-- Richard Gray - Herriman, UT
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