6 Reasons to Visit Rapid City’s Kitschy Dinosaur Park

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:

Dinosaur Park, Rapid City SD1. 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 …

Measuring up to a brontosaurus at Dinosaur Park2. 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.

National Regiser of Historic Places sign4. 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.

Rapid City, South Dakota5. Buy a souvenir for your favorite little boy. What little boy doesn’t love dinosaurs? (Yes, I know, some girls do too, but in my experience, it’s been mostly a boy thing.) The gift shop (open seasonally) is filled with dinosaurs of many species, materials and sizes.

Toy dinosaurs at Dinosaur Park, Rapid City SDTioy dinosaurs6. It’s free—as in no admission fee. So there is no excuse NOT to stop.

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.

BrontosaurusDisclosure: 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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