South Dakota Air and Space Museum

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

South Dakota Air and Space Museum
4.5
Military Museums • Speciality Museums • History Museums
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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
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About
Aircraft that have been flown throughout the eras are on display at South Dakota's premiere free aviation museum! The museum has two major static display venues: First, a outdoor air park filled with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, and present day aircraft lets you get close to & touch history. This includes the currently flown B-1B Lancer. Secondly, four historical hangars showcase military history & technology,space tech & EROS, SD aviation, and EAFB local military history in a fresh and immersive walk-through. Mid-May through Mid-September bus tours of nearby Ellsworth AFB and the Minuteman II missile training silo are offered at a nominal fee. You will be able to go inside the silo and on base for a 50 minute guided tour of the only MMII silo open to the public. Make sure you bring your ID or Passport (Non-US) to enjoy the tour!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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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
939 reviews
Excellent
550
Very good
315
Average
59
Poor
9
Terrible
6

Lentara71
Houston, TX116 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Great collection of outdoor warbirds.

We went July 2022 and the museum building was closed due to lack of available volunteer docents.

There are about 30 vintage aircraft outside, including two unarmed missiles, that are open to look at.

If you are a veteran or fan of aircraft, be sure to check out this free exhibit.

Note that even though the building is currently closed, gates are open 8am-5pm daily.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mis33
2 contributions
May 2021 • Family
This place was amazing, so much history from all the wars and the different planes and how they were or are used today still. My husband loves all history about planes and war, so this was very fitting for him to visit. It did not disappoint at all, the presentation of all the displays were set up fantastic, well maintained property. The gift store guy was super friendly as well, highly recommend, and if you do go please give some to their donation box as well, I would think even a few bucks would help them continue to keep the museum open and it’s free to go through.
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cindy S
North East, MD4 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We thoroughly enjoyed the large Informative outdoor displays as well as the inside displays. The displays were very informative and incredibly interesting. They were well spaced out so there was no overcrowding. This museum was so much better than we would’ve ever imagined. Parking is free and easy, the displays are well-maintained, and the museum staff was great. We especially enjoyed speaking to the museum curator, tech Sergeant Patterson. His rich knowledge made our visit extra special. Our kids really enjoyed speaking with him as well as Vietnam veteran Dan.
Written July 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan W
East Palestine, OH13 contributions
Jul 2022
Stopped on Sunday morning at 9. Gate was locked, even though the website said it opened at 9. We hung around until 9:30 and someone eventually came and unlocked the gate. Inside museum was closed for "updating", but outside displays were labeled well. We enjoyed the variety within the displays. FREE.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Traveler
828 contributions
Jul 2021
This is a small (compared to some other aviation museums), but is well worth the visit. The outside display of planes is done very good. Lots of walkways and story boards to explain the role each plane played. The interior displays are not very big. But they are all well laid out, and again, lots of story boards. This museum seems more focused on the impact of Ellsworth AFB to the overall mission of the USAF. This gives a more personal feel to the displays.
Written July 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IvenBay
Nisswa, MN1 contribution
Mar 2022 • Family
This could be a great visit. There are about 20 aircraft outside to view and learn about up close. There is an inside museum which was closed on the day of my visit despite the fb and website saying it was open. This organization does a poor job communicating their hours. Many disappointed families shared my experience today.
Written March 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anamari4
Miami, FL98 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
On a whim while traveling around South Dakota, I decided to stop at this museum located by the Ellsworth Air Force Base. What a great choice as my husband is obsessed with airplanes and this is a hidden gem. In an outside area it houses quite a collection of aircraft exemplifying our country’s military history in aviation, while inside it has many artifacts and interesting facts to learn and appreciate. It’s easy going and they don’t even charge a set fee, it’s an honor system where you can give what you can. The gift shop was nice. You never know and while outside you might be treated to seeing one of the planes you are looking at in the museum landing at the base. We did see a B1B bomber landing and my husband was in airplane heaven!
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LSQRD1
Kent, OH690 contributions
Jun 2021
If you love planes and are visiting the area, this is a great stop. The museum has a number of planes on display outdoors as well as indoor displays. We learned a lot about the air force in SD. We also saw planes taking off and landing from ellsworth..which my husband love. Plus it is free.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

swoodruf
Muskegon, MI1,084 contributions
May 2021
Even though the actual museum was closed due to Covid, we were able to walk around and read about all of the big planes and space vehicles. As you get near the entrance to the Main Gate of Ellsworth Air Force Base you will see the museum. There are many retired planes outside to look at and read about. Even thought this isn't usually my cup of tea, I enjoyed it. This base is the headquarters for the nuclear air command. Worth a short stop for sure!
Written June 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gingersnaps527
Spearfish, SD398 contributions
Jan 2020
I have been here several times. I always recommend this place to friends visiting the area. The variety and quality of the exhibits is amazing. I'm not a particular fan of aviation but I love the history surrounding each airplane. People often voice amazement that Rapid City has such a great museum. It is free to the public and volunteers are available for questions.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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South Dakota Air and Space Museum (Rapid City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about South Dakota Air and Space Museum

South Dakota Air and Space Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM