Dinosaur Park. The name says it all. It’s a park with dinosaurs—seven dinosaurs, to be exact. Seven life-size cement dinosaurs. Is it worth stopping at this kitschy Rapid City, South Dakota, roadside attraction? Absolutely. Here are six reasons why:
1. You can measure yourself up to the dinosaurs.
We know that dinosaurs were huge beasts, but getting up close you realize exactly how big they were. Just the leg of a brontosaurus was more than twice my height. While you’re measuring up, it’s a perfect time for a …
2. Photo op.
A vacation isn’t complete without having a photo of you at a quirky roadside attraction.
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3. Get a history lesson—times two.
Besides checking out the massive reptiles that roamed the area in prehistoric times, you get a bit of 20th century history, as well. Dinosaur Park was a 1936 WPA Project. The WPA (Works Progress Administration, later changed to Works Projects Administration) was a program established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs to the unemployed during the Great Depression.
The five original sculptures (the five on the hill; two others, added later, flank the gift shop door) were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
4. Gorgeous views of the city.
The park sits atop a hill along Skyline Drive, a scenic road that follows the hogback ridge that divides the city.
5. Buy a souvenir for your favorite little dinosaur lover.
The gift shop (open seasonally) is filled with dinosaurs of many species, materials and sizes.
6. It’s free
There is no admission fee, so there is no excuse NOT to stop.
If you visit Dinosaur Park
Dinosaur Park is a city park located at 940 Skyline Drive, about a mile and a half west (and a tad south) of downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. You’ll see the brontosaurus up on the hill from quite a distance away. Check the web site for further details.
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Disclosures: My visit to the Dinosaur Park was hosted by the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau and the South Dakota Department of Tourism.
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2 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Visit Rapid City’s Kitschy Dinosaur Park”
My dad grew up in Rapid City and I have such lovely memories of visiting this when I was little! Thanks for sharing these photos 🙂
You’re lucky to have gotten to visit the Dinosaur Park and other Rapid City attractions as a kid. I wish I could have taken my grandsons there when they were young, but I only discovered it a few years ago–and I was on a press trip.