Reptile Gardens
Reptile Gardens
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
- Temporarily closed World-renowned adventure park, Reptile Gardens is a must-see family attraction no matter what your age. We maintain the finest collection of tropical plants, colorful flowers, and exotic reptiles anywhere - we have more species and subspecies of venomous reptiles than any other zoo or park in the world!
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Mike H
    Plainfield, Illinois179 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go see the largest reptile museum in the world
    A guest in our hotel told us about and we took the grandkids they just loved this place. They are the largest reptile zoo in the world. Saw a alligator and snake show given by Connor was great at teaching us about them. Even let the kids touch and feel them. The grandkids got to get to see and touch a 550 LB tortoise. This place has been in business since 1937 so much too see
    Wow!! Thank you so much for the kind comments and review. Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 16, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • MSpall
    65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Gem
    A gem! We visited with kids age 10-17 and they all loved it. The animals were SO active. The tortoises and crocodile named Maniac were our favorites. For more time with the tortoises, visit during a snake or gator show. We were practically the only ones there. This is a very well-maintained place with good customer service and knowledgeable team members.
    Thank you for the review. We have a great staff and some pretty incredible animals. Thanks Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 23, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 17, 2023
  • Lisa L
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun for the entire family!
    An awesome place for the entire family both our girls ages 4 and 15 had fun especially getting to walk right up to and pet the giant tortoise! we learned a lot during the snake and gator shows thanks to Connor who was the presenter at both, we enjoyed the shows a lot! There was so much to see and do make sure you give yourself plenty of time to visit
    Thank you for the 5 star review. I love the tortoises also. I will pass on your remarks to Connor. Thanks Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 23, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 17, 2023
  • Rick S
    34 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Reptile Garden a Must!
    Such a fun place. From the alligator show to the snake show to the birds, all were fantastic. The animal experts were young and full of fun facts. They had the birds talking. Hubby’s favorite was petting the turtles. The gardens are lush and it smelled so good out there. Everything was moderately priced. My fav was Dane the snake and alligator showman. I highly recommend this for absolutely all ages!
    Thank you so much for the great review. We have a wonderful staff and I will pass on your compliment to Dayn. Thanks again Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 23, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Seaside739343
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Time
    In this family trip we included the Reptile Garden. The Grandkids enjoy all the variety of animals they have. The Safari Room was nice and when they saw Maniac the faces were 😳😳. Was a Gator or a Crocodile? We forgot. But the experience for them was great. The facility are in very good condition and clean. The gator Show was good .
    Thanks for the review. Maniac is a salt water crocodile. Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 30, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 23, 2023
  • alison p
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Coolest reptile exhibit ever!
    Reptiles Gardens was AMAZING! Our grandson thoroughly enjoyed seeing such a vast number of God's creatures and got to pet an alligator and hold a pigeon. The shows were corny and funny and totally worth seeing :)
    Thank you for the review. Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written July 30, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 25, 2023
  • MsV300
    Murdock, Nebraska4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Animals & Plants - Oh my!
    This attraction was one of the highlights of our trip. If you like plants, exotic animals or both, you are in for a treat. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with many different varieties & colors of plants that are kept in excellent condition. The dome in the center of the property is deceiving at first glance. One would think there cannot be that much to see inside that little building. But walk inside, & there is three levels of animals, skeletons, fossils & plants to see & enjoy. The first floor houses many beautiful tropical plants & animals in a natural, uncaged environment. We spotted a couple of small green lizards running the length of a couple of the trees & a couple parrots perched in some of the trees observing all of the visitors. There are employees present in the tropical garden milling about to make sure no one messes with the animals. Surprisingly, there is no glaring "animal smell". With the hundreds of snakes, reptiles & insects housed there, you would think it would have "that smell". But it didn't, it was very clean & inviting. I would also recommend attending one of the hourly gator shows. The young man, Connor, did a fabulous job educating us about alligators & crocodiles & entertaining us with "dad jokes", wrangling one of the alligators & sharing a baby crocodile with us. There is also a small aviary on the premises. The birds looked like they might be injured rescues. As one of the birds was a turkey vulture missing most of a wing. But they were beautiful, interesting animals to see from a 5 - 10' distance. We did not take in the snake show but it is available as an hourly show also.
    Wow!!! Thank you so much for the glowing review. I feel like I need you to do our marketing. Thanks again Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written August 13, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 6, 2023
  • MyersFamilyTravelers
    152 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Visit
    We had visited here many years ago and made it a stop on our visit to Yellowstone. If you are zoo/aquarium people like we are, this is a great stop. Boasting one of the largest reptile collections in the US, this place has it all. Be sure to visit the dome and look for lizards running around the falls (they are hard to find!). Check out the snake presentation and alligator/crocodile presentation as well. Lastly, be sure to see Maniac, one of the largest crocs in captivity.
    Thank you for the review. Ye "Maniac" is a very impressive crocodile. Thanks Rattling yours Johnny B
    Written August 20, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 14, 2023
  • HawaiiKaiGail
    Las Vegas, Nevada945 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Gardens and Oh, Those Reptiles!
    Who would have known this attraction would turn out to be a 5 Star one? From the outside, we saw some lovely gardens but the best is inside. It’s almost like a mini Butchart Gardens in Victoria! They take a lot of care of their grounds, Oh yeah, there’s reptiles too! Any some pretty exotic ones at that. Snakes, alligators, frogs, crocodiles and even a Komodo dragon. An avery too. A large gift shop and snack bar with plenty of outside seating. We had a great time and I think you will too.
    Thank you so much for the 5 star review. The botanic team and the animal team both do excellent jobs. Thanks Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written September 18, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 16, 2023
  • James B
    6 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the price
    Just a great place to spend a few hours at a very reasonable price. Lots to see and do with bird and snake shows, wonderful gardens and attractions including getting to pet the friendly giant tortoises. Very knowledgeable and helpful staff.
    Thank you so much for the review. Our staff is great. The tortoises are my favorite also. Rattling Yours Johnny B
    Written October 22, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 15, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,343 reviews
Excellent
1,558
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603
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148
Poor
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Terrible
10

gypsymamma
Minnesota752 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We were excited to see Reptile Gardens again after being away for a few years. We had a really nice visit. We were sad because the shows had been changed due to the virus situation, but understood the reason. We appreciated that they tried to come up with alternatives for the bird show and the alligator show. The grounds are beautiful, the dome is so much fun with all the different animals, and we had fun exploring. We spent much less time here than in visits past, but the admission fee had been discounted to reflect the changes. We also appreciated the military discount. Would definitely recommend.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much the the positive review. Hopefully the gator and snake shows will be back next year. Thanks Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written August 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Brendan S
Arlington, VA2,098 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
It makes little sense to have a reptile zoo in South Dakota, which has no native reptiles of which I am aware, but Reptile Gardens was an interesting attraction to visit. The highlight is a giant domed building, which houses dozens of scary-looking and highly venomous snakes, plus several species of alligators and crocodiles including one jaw-droppingly large gator.

The outdoor portion of Reptile Gardens includes a giant tortoise enclosure where they invite you to pet these gentle animals. There's also a vibrant prairie dog village a dozen large birds, a crocodile-feeding area and a venomous snake show.

Reptile Gardens shows its age, is not very big and, with a $19 adult admission fee, is on the expensive side for an attraction you can visit fully in an hour or two at most. But the animal variety is interesting and the staff is friendly and it makes for an enjoyable visit overall.
Written June 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

david m
Chubbuck, ID472 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
My family and I went to this on July 16th of 2020. We loved seeing all the turtles, snakes, bugs, crocodiles, alligators, and the fossils being displayed there. I want to note that if you are visiting this place. You really want to plan about an hour or two because there is so much to do there. We were there for only an hour because we needed to catch the 1880s train ride which it too is worth it. I recommend anybody to go to the reptile garden because they have rare animals such as Cuban Crocodiles. This type of crocodile is endangered to the point of extinction in Cuba and are very unique in having a somewhat pack mentality! You will not be disappointed in the creatures you'll find there because there is something for anybody there! The only downer is the shows were canceled because of the corona virus, but with that said the price was reduced too. It was fun petting giant tortoises!
Written July 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank for taking the time to give us a great review. We recommend around 2 hours for a visit. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written August 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

tiffany1737
Billings, MT10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
I’m not a fan of snakes, but agreed to stop here for my husband and I’m very happy we did! There were so many animals, a person could spend an entire day here reading about each one. We came late in the season, so we missed seeing the giant tortoises outside and I was also bummed to see their bird show was canceled due to COVID, but we understand. I still loved seeing the giant tortoises inside and definitely need to return during a warmer month when a person can interact with them outside!
Written October 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the great review. Please do come back when things are back to normal. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written October 18, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sarah O
10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Family
My family absolutely adored the tortoises and being able to pet them. They were so sweet and it was crazy to see a 117 year old tortoise. We enjoyed the prairie dogs, snakes, frogs, lizards, turtles, etc. I really enjoyed seeing all the snakes. The amount of snakes and information posted was impressive. I especially liked how it was posted how venomous each snake was. I never thought I would be face to face with an anaconda so that was cool.

We were disappointed with the lack of communication in regards to some of the exhibits offered. I had been on the website to plan for our trip's budget prior to coming to South Dakota and nowhere did I see it listed that they were not offering shows. It was what I was excited for the most about our visit to the Reptile Gardens. It appeared to be a surprise to one of the employees as well because when I asked about the time of the shows, she started telling me the times and another employee had to correct her that there were no more shows for the season. I am glad that they were not showcasing most of the birds for their protection against avian flu, but I think this should have been posted walking into the building and on the website as well.

With that being said, the prices were discounted and I felt like the price we paid for a family of 4 ($42) was a good price, especially compared to some of the prices back home in Minnesota. We just would have rather caught it all in one trip.

The only other thing I have to add is a selfish comment and that is that I wish the bug display was separated by a curtain. I loved seeing all the other animals but as someone with arachnophobia, my husband had to guide me along the other wall to the "safe" area with my back turned to the spiders. I can't be the only one with this problem lol.

Thanks for all you do!
Written October 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I'm sorry we didn't communicate that the shows were done for the season. I think you got there the first day we didn't have shows. I hope you can visit again when our shows are running. Thanks for the comments. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written October 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rocks-on-vacation
Sheboygan Falls, WI133 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
If you are at all questioning whether or not to put this on your list of attractions to visit you must no matter what age you are!

I’m just going to start off by saying of the 4 of us in our family I hate zoos, I hate the crowds, the smell, they’re always hot and to me are just gross! My wife hates snakes, The kids (age 13 and 15) absolutely loved this place!

First to address my issues. Reptile Gardens has got to be one of the most clean and well cared for facilities that I have ever visited! I was absolutely amazed at how clean the grounds were! The trees, plantings, landscaping no doubt should be winning awards if they haven’t already! We chose a day during the week and first thing in the morning when it was less busy to avoid the crowds. As far as smell and animal area cleanliness here too they are doing a great job. Naturally there is going to be that traditional zoo animal smell but it didn’t seem as bad here even in a very hot day! My wife’s issues of the snakes….well it’s a reptile place she’s just going to have to deal with it. HA! The kids loved everything too! The alligator and snake shows are worth checking out but get to the seating areas early they fill fast. We found that during the times of the shows is a great time to check out other things in the park a bit closer.

Throughout the park you can interact with different animals and caretakers. Get up close to big turtles. A rainforest like dome to see even more up close and I’ll just say again the grounds and landscaping here is amazing!

Overall 5/5! The staff here is doing a great job! Keep up the great work and again was well worth the price of admission!
Written August 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wow!! Thank you so much for the great review and comments. I will share this with our staff. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written August 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ColoradoTravelsWorld
298 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Overall, the facility was interesting to view, but not significantly more than any other aquarium or reptile facility we've visited. The best part of the facility is their season pass option - which is to pay the entry fee and then go to one of the cut outs in the facility and take a selfie, then you can use that any time during the season to get back in if you're part of the selfie picture - that was pretty cool, and we needed to find a quick 45 minute activity right before we left town and ended up inside for a quick "freebie" visit since we had decided to take a selfie the first time we were there. Plus there's a line for pass holders, which was great since there were about 30 paying guests in line in front of us. There were LONG lines to get in first thing in the morning the 2nd day we visited, but the first day we ended up there shortly after lunch time, which was great as most of the families with little kids had left for lunch/naps, so the park was less crowded than it was first thing in the morning. Plan to spend ~an hour there, but probably not much more unless you're visiting with a reptile lover who reads every single sign. There isn't any social distancing happening at this time and they don't require wearing masks inside the buildings and people aren't shy about crowding you while you're looking at the snakes. Overall it was a fun to see, but not a must see. They had not started the alligator/croc feeding show yet when we were there, and I think that would have been more enjoyable as well, but it is seasonal, which is understandable.
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura F
37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Family
Family with 3 boys (9,10,12) and we thought it was pretty awesome. Great snake show- excellent handler. Displays were plentiful and all three kids got great stuff sluicing- the size “gems” were large enough that buying individually would exceed the $5-6 for the sluice bag. I call that a bargain!

We spent three hours and my husband usually rushes us through everything (he gave it 4 stars, the rest of us 5). Recommend. Go right when it opens.
Written September 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SeñorElGreco
North Merrick, NY215 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Reptile Gardens is a very well kept zoo, specializing in, well, reptiles. The grounds of the gardens are very nice; well taken care of with nice flowers. The exhibits are all in good shape. You will see many different snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles/alligators galore. They have a snake show several times a day which is fun and informative, kids love it. One can also feed crocodiles/alligators for an additional charge, this is incredibly fun (this adult loved it). In addition to reptiles there are some birds, and a cute prairie dog town. However, my favorite was petting the Giant Aldabra tortoises. These are very gentle and interesting creatures; they enjoy human contact and made my day to pet them. The staff at the gardens seems to be young people who seem to love animals; they are all very nice and were a pleasure to deal with.
Written August 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mat S
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
It’s pretty cool but honestly overpriced for basically a small zoo. I find it asinine that there are no drinking fountains (aka bubblers for us Wisconsin people) anywhere and even a plain water bottle is $3 from a vending machine. I have mixed feelings about watchingy a guy drag an alligator around by its tail for the entertainment of a crowd of humans. I have mixed feelings about zoos in general though, so I guess that’s something to think about before going to anything like this. The dome with all the little lizards and frogs roaming around is very nice. Whoever does the flowers and grounds keeping does a fantastic job (although it must take a lot of water during a drought year 🤔).
Written August 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
I'm sorry you didn't have good experience. We are a private attraction that has a very high overhead so we need to charge what we do. We receive no other funds. I'm happy you enjoyed the grounds. We allow guests to bring in there own water. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written August 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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