Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens, Rapid City: Address, Phone Number, Reptile Gardens Reviews: 4.5/5

Reptile Gardens
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Zoos
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About
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!
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
2,257 reviews
Excellent
1,488
Very good
590
Average
145
Poor
24
Terrible
10

Brendan S
Arlington, VA1,243 contributions
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.

Laura F
31 contributions
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.

SeñorElGreco
Little Neck, NY181 contributions
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.

ColoradoTravelsWorld
233 contributions
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.

MeBlonde
Chicago, IL102 contributions
Oct 2021
I was very happy to visit Reptile Gardens and it was the highlight of our trip out west. On buying our tickets we were told the "shows" only went on during the summer Memorial Day to Labor Day which was fine with us as there were less people and we got to take our time and see everything. First the gardens, which were beautiful with people caring for the plants really knowing what they were doing. Saw a gathering of pumpkins to beat the frost coming the next week. Grounds were immaculate. Then we got to sit and observe a Bald Eagle, Cheyenne who was injured and cannot go back to the wild. It was a joy to see such a majestic animal up close. Going into the big dome, you get to see all the snakes. I love snakes and every enclosure seemed very clean so if you took a second and read the copy, you could easily find what it said was in there. When you were done, going to the first level it was like you were in an African Forrest and small lizards scampered at your feet. The docent was very knowledgeable but also mentioned that there was another person starting her shift shortly and she could answer any other questions we had, as she was more experienced than he was. Then, the tortoise's! Oliver was the oldest at 102, then Tank and Simon. I got to pet Oliver on the neck and he loved it. Tank spied one of the trainers taking out the hose to water the pen and it was fun watching him pay attention and lumber over so he could get sprayed. Glad I got to see this place and so did my son.
Written October 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marilyn167
Salt Lake City, UT26 contributions
Sep 2021
My husband loves reptiles so this was a must stop on our vacation. I was surprised at how gorgeous it was. The grounds and flowers are awesome. I loved the giant tortoises and the all the exhibits were interesting and very well done. I highly recommend visiting Reptile Gardens if you are in Rapid City.
Written September 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katie
Sheridan, WY254 contributions
Jul 2021
Reptile Gardens is always a great place to do in Rapid City! Our 5 year old loved being able to see all of the snakes and lizards that they had. The snake show was so good. The guy doing it was young, good with the kids, and made a lot of jokes for the adults in the audience too. They weren't doing the alligator show but they did have the option to "fish for alligators." They had a "fishing pole" that they attached a piece of raw chicken to and you were able to hang it over the edge to get a gator. That was fun for the entire family!
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tiffany1737
Billings, MT11 contributions
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.
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.

Marie F
Minot215 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
My 17 year old daughter picked this as her must see on this trip and my 11 year old son also enjoyed it too!
I thought the entry fee was a little high, but we enjoyed the facility and spent well over two hours there. It is a fantastic facility with beautiful gardens and an area to grab lunch. There are several areas to sit in the shade and a play area for the littles.

The snake show is a must see! Our presenter was both knowledgeable and funny! The presentation of the 5 different snakes was informative and entertaining. At the end, he lets people touch the albino constrictor!

There is also a tortoise area and you can pet them! It is incredible to see how big they are and one is even 116 years old!

There is a good sized gift shop there as well.
Definitely need to set at least 1 1/2 hours to do this.
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for the 5 star review. I'm glad your family had such a good time. Rattling Yours Johnny B
Written July 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gypsymamma
Minnesota695 contributions
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.
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.

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