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Trip List by YoungFarmWife

Black Hills with kids 4 & 8

Jun 10, 2007  Trip from eastern NE via I-90 going and NE Hwy 20 coming home.
4.5 of 5 stars based on 5 votes

Day one: driving, Badlands, Wall Drug. Day 2: Bear Country, Rushmore, Gold Mine. Day 3: Crazy Horse, Wind Cave, Mammoth site, drive to Chadron. Day 4: Fort Robinson and long-drive home.

  • 1. McDonalds in Mitchell

    A modern, clean McDonalds with kids area. Right of I-90

  • 2. Chamberlain
    Chamberlain, South Dakota

    Stop at the scenic overlook/rest stop just before Chamberlain. It's a great view over the Missouri river and lake. Pick up a nice legal paper size map of the black hills here (or at any of the rest stops). We walked out to the overlook point and got some nice pictures. Plus, the kids can burn some energy.

  • 3. Badlands National Park
    Badlands National Park, South Dakota

    Wow! Stopped at the Window and Door Scenic overlook and walked the short boardwalk paths. Kept a close watch on the adventorous 4yr old. Very worth the time.

  • 4. Wall Drug
    Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota

    Touristy, but fun. Clean restrooms. Cafe is expensive, but food is good. Order/pick-up at counter service. Kids enjoyed water spout park and getting pictures with all the animals, etc. Found a $1 shot glass! Another place for them to move around and touch things.

  • 5. Hill City
    Hill City, South Dakota

    Main street is pretty with an old western look. Scenery getting to town is great, too.

  • 6. Comfort Inn
    Quality Inn, Hill City, South Dakota
    Show Prices
    Avg price: $138

    Nice hotel with nice pool and breakfast. Pretty town.

  • 7. Bear Country USA
    Bear Country USA, Rapid City, South Dakota

    Go early in morning. Very cool. Kids LOVED it.

  • 8. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota

    Not too busy this time of year. Easy to find. Brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw it. Went on trail to see different views. Beautiful area all around. Nice clean bathrooms and busy, busy giftshops. Missed night show because of storms. :(

  • 9. Hill City Cafe
    Hill City Cafe, Hill City, South Dakota

    Kids menu. Nice Buffet. Good filling food. Wooden booths and real town atmosphere instead of cookie-cutter cafe.

  • 10. Big Thunder Gold Mine
    Big Thunder Gold Mine, Keystone, South Dakota

    Touristy, but a chance to see a bit of history. Bit pricy, but 4 and under are free. If you pan for gold afterwards just get pans for kids. They will need adults help to find their "free" gold. Our girls liked their little vials for gold flakes and it was something you aren't likely to do too many other places.

  • 11. Pizza Hut, Rapid City, SD

    Not a good Pizza Hut. Dirty and short staffed.

  • 12. Crazy Horse
    Crazy Horse, South Dakota

    Nice Native American museum. Could get close to things and see the details. Native American artists were there to sell things which was cool. The film about Crazy Horse Memorial does a great job of explaining the site. It was cold and windy, so we did not do the bus ride to the mountain, but views from visitor site (and hwy) were awesome. Kids got free rocks from mountain in artist's studio room.

  • 13. Pizza Hut, Custer, SD

    Nicer Pizza Hut.

  • 14. Wind Cave
    Wind Cave, Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

    Went on "Natural Entrance Tour." Lots of downward steps. 8 yearo-old was fine, but a bit tough for 4-year-old. Any younger would have to be carried. Really cool, though. Once the path leveled out both children loved it. Went back up in elevator. Phew! Very informative visitor center. Bought a small book that did an great job of explaining the caves formation.

  • 15. Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
    Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Hot Springs, South Dakota

    Adults and 8-year old ate this up. Tour guide was good and the dig site facinating. We let the 4-year old wander a bit as we listened to info on phones. The museum part had a mammoth bone hut which was cool. Great history lesson and nice gift shop. The lab in the basement is worth checking out, too.

  • 16. Super 8 Chadron NE
    Super 8 Chadron, Chadron, Nebraska
    Show Prices
    Avg price: $65

    Poor pool area. Noisy.

  • 17. Fort Robinson State Park
    Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Nebraska

    Cheyenne Break Out memorial was being dedicated. A neat gathering of Native Americans in honor of their ancestors when we were there. Stagecoach ride was fun. Really bumpy when driver had the mules gallop through a small creek. Girls were thrilled! Lower Officer Adobe houses fun to view. Lunch of Buffalo Burger at Lodge was very filling. Neat atmosphere. We spent about 3 hrs there, but heard that some days there isn't as much going on. Worth the stop.

  • 18. McDonalds inside C-store, Valentine, NE

    Nice, modern McDonalds inside of big c-store on south side Hwy 20. Last McDonalds till O'Neill.