Sod houses and white prairie dogs are both rare. But at Prairie Homestead in South Dakota, an original, sod house, dating back to 1909, is still intact, and an entire colony of white prairie dogs live on the property.
South Dakota tourism
How Reptile Gardens Blends Beauty and Beast
Reptile Gardens seems an oxymoron to me. I think of gardens as plant life, beautiful colorful flowers. The word “reptiles” brings to mind exactly that: snakes, lizards and alligators. How can the two possibly coexist in one attraction? The Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota, does it well, combining a botanic garden with the largest collection of reptiles on the planet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with 225 species and subspecies, over 1,000 animals altogether.
Weathering this Midwest Winter
“I’m tired of this winter.” I’ve heard it over and over again for the past month. And I agree. It seems that every day, at least here in the Chicago area, we’ve been getting either more snow, making roads dangerous to navigate, or single-digit to sub-zero temperatures, so we can’t go out and enjoy snow activities. Of course, the obvious remedy is to go somewhere warm, and if you can do that, great. But for many, a vacation to a warm climate is impractical or even impossible. Besides, a week later, you’ll be back home in the snow and cold again. So aside from hibernating and counting the days until spring, here are a couple of ways to counter the cabin fever that has hit the Midwest hard:
Go to indoor events and attractions. On the days that are cold but the roads okay to drive on, go to a local museum that you haven’t been to in a long time. (Call first to make sure they haven’t closed due to the cold.) Or go to one of the many travel, RV, boat, auto, or home shows going on in cities all over the Midwest. You’ll find links to information on lots of them on the Midwest Festivals & Fairs page.
Plan your summer travel. Now is the time to plan your summer getaways. Get them on the calendar before your calendar fills up with other obligations. If you’re planning to go to a popular seasonal destination, you should make your accommodation reservations as soon as possible, too, for the best selection. Need help in deciding where to go? Turn to the convention and visitors bureaus of the states you are thinking about. On the Internet, search “[state name] tourism” to find the state’s official tourism site, which will have listings of attractions, accommodations, dining options, and events. You can order free hard copy travel guides for the states or regions you are considering for your getaways, too. I personally like to peruse the hard copy guides from the cozy comfort of a sofa and then use the Internet to get further details on places that interest me. To get you started, I’ve included links below to order tourism guides for the Midwest states.
Just thinking about and planning your summer getaways will do wonders to counter the winter doldrums. Do you have other suggestions for cabin fever remedies? Answer in the Comments box below.
Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. If you enjoyed this post, enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe. Be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.
Other attractions you may enjoy this winter:
Peoria Riverfront Museum: Interactive Exhibits, Planetarium and Giant Screen Theater
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Springfield IL: Museum Meets Disney
Frank Lloyd Wright Dana-Thomas House: 12,000 Square Feet of Phenomenal
Visit Jelly Belly, Pleasant Prairie WI: Take the Tour, Taste the Candy
Tour Stone Hill Winery, Hermann, MO: Most Historic and Awarded Winery in the State