Reptile Gardens – Rapid City, South Dakota

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You’ll be amazed to see just how many reptiles and mammals make their home at Reptile Gardens!

From Frogs to Lizards to Giant Tortoises and Crocodiles, Reptile Gardens has many interesting Reptiles and Mammals to see as well as many fun learning and interaction opportunities made available to the public which will be sure to thrill everyone who visits!

Over the years, my family and I have really enjoyed learning everything we could about the wide variety of different Reptiles and Mammals found at Reptile Gardens while visiting and/or while vacationing in the Rapid City/Black Hills area of South Dakota.

At first glance at its name, you would think Reptile Gardens was home to only Reptile species, but once you enter into the Gardens for your exciting Reptile Adventure, you will find there is so much more to this wildly popular tourist attraction than just Frogs, Lizards, Tortoises, and Crocodiles.

When you arrive at Reptile Gardens, you will have no problem finding many fun and adventurous things to do for the duration of your visit.

You could visit Rattlesnake Gulch, where you will be sure to find many great photo opportunities as well as plenty of fun and family activities.

While there, you will learn about some of the many different species of venomous and non-venomous snakes as well as their natural habitats, which makes for some excellent information to have and know for those who love to hike or explore the Great Outdoors in areas where there may be snakes.

While at the gulch, you and your family will also be able to enjoy other fun and many other activities such as gold panning and gemstone sluicing, or you could even opt to go on an adventurous 3D safari (like who doesn’t love safari’s?).

Reptile Garden’s Prairie Dog Town is full of cute black-tailed prairie dogs which can normally be found throughout the areas of the Great Plains of North America.

While visiting there, you will have the opportunity to see – firsthand – what life is like for these adorable little critters, giving you a good idea of what their everyday life must look like.

Moving on to the larger of species to be found at Reptile Gardens, Maniac the Giant Crocodile is just one of the few known giant saltwater Crocodiles in the world.

Measuring an impressive (nearly) 16 feet in length and weighing roughly around 1,250 pounds (more than half a ton!), Maniac is one of the largest giant crocodiles to be found here in the U.S.

Seeing Maniac and learning about this great Reptile will generally give you a better perspective of what the life of a Crocodile must be like.

It also reminds you of the many Crocodile and Alligator stories you hear about on the news – instantly reminding you of their great strength and very aggressive behaviors – while at the same time educating you on what to watch for and be cautious of while traveling in Alligator or Crocodile territories while out traveling.

Cheyenne the Bald Eagle is also a favorite among many people who visit Reptile Gardens.

Knowing the Bald Eagle is our National Bird and also represents Freedom, you cannot help but feel proud when you see this beautiful bird in such an up close and personal manner.

Learning at the Garden’s Eagle presentation and show while there, you get a really good idea of just how Majestic this bird really is.

You will get a good feel for its strength through gaining the knowledge about its wingspan, talons, beak, and extremely sharp eyes, making you realize exactly just how accurate of a hunter these strong and massively powerful birds are.

While at this particular exhibit, you will learn a lot about Eagles and their many habits, in general.

You will also learn about their extreme hunting expertise, their living environments, their great strength and agility, how they raise their young, and so much more.

For those who love Eagles, you will definitely love and appreciate this presentation which is designed to help you and your family learn all you can about this wonderful, beautiful bird.

The amazing Giant Tortoises found at Reptile Gardens are not only very interesting to learn about, but they are also well known for their extreme gentleness, making your visit to the Gardens and your interaction with them quite an unforgettable fun experience.

The huge Aldabra Tortoises are not only gentle, but they also love being the center of attention and interact really great with kids, making for some really excellent photo opportunities for your favorite family albums.

If you love turtles, you’ll DEFINITELY love the many turtles and tortoises you will find here at Reptile Gardens!

The above are just some of the great things you can see and do while visiting Reptile Gardens. Other great activities and things to enjoy include:

• Sky Dome – a tropical/botanical garden which is home to several beautiful exotic plants and tropical flowers

• Methuselah’s Playground – this fun-filled outdoor playground was named after Methuselah, the giant Galapagos Tortoise and long-time resident of Reptile Gardens who weighed over 600 pounds (over a quarter ton!) while alive.

• Snake Exhibits and Shows

• Exotic Bird Exhibits and Shows

• Alligator, Crocodile and Caiman Presentations

• The Jungle Outpost

• New Guinea Art

• Green Parrot Cafe

• Gift Shop

• And much more!

Tip: Reptile Gardens welcomes and allows all well behaved and leashed dogs that have a calm and presentable demeanor around people and children of all ages.

Your dog(s) are welcome inside the buildings as you view the reptiles and are also welcome and allowed at most of the Exhibits, Presentations and Shows.

Reptile Gardens is a really exciting adventure for many families as everything you can and will learn there also sparks an interest in many to continue on with learning about Reptiles and Mammals well after you leave the Gardens.

It makes a great additional Adventure idea for families who love being in the Great Outdoors, instantly giving parents a platform by which they can further educate their children on the various different species of Reptiles and Mammals they may find while out on Family Camping trips or other fun Family Adventures after they leave the Reptile Gardens or the Rapid City area.

Things to Know About Reptile Gardens:

Where it is located: 8955 South Highway 16, Rapid City, South Dakota, 57702

Located 6 miles south of Rapid City, it is on the way to Mount Rushmore from Rapid City.

Phone Number: (800) 335-0275

When it is open: Reptile Gardens is open 7 days a week beginning in the month of March through the end of November.

Hours of operation are:

Spring Season: March 5 – May 25 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Summer Season: May 26 – Sept 5 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Reptile Gardens stops admitting guests into their facilities at 6:00 pm, but the grounds and gift shop will remain open until 8:00 pm.

Fall Season: Sept 6 – Oct 31 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Late Fall Season: Nov 1 – Nov 30 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

* Please check the Reptile Gardens website for more information on hours and dates open.


Adults: Spring Season: $13.50 – Summer Season: $17.50 – Fall Season: $13.50 – Winter Season: $9.50

Children (5-12): Spring Season: $9.50 – Summer Season: $11.50 – Fall Season: $9.50 – Winter Season: $6.50

Seniors: Spring Season: $12.50 – Summer Season: $15.50 – Fall Season: $ 12.50 – Winter Season: $9.50

Children 4 & under: FREE

Season Pass: For the duration of the Summer, area residents can revisit Reptile Gardens free of charge.

Ask for the Season Pass upon your initial visit to Reptile Gardens and you can return any time for free until November 30th. The Season Pass is FREE when included with your initial Reptile Gardens admission purchase.

Vacation Pass: If you are visiting the Rapid City/Black Hills/Mount Rushmore area as part of your vacation, ask for Reptile Gardens Vacation Pass, which will give you free admission after your initial admission purchase and is good any time during your stay in the area.

The Vacation Pass is FREE when included with your initial Reptile Gardens admission purchase.

Group Rates: Reptile Gardens has special ticket pricing for larger groups of visitors. Contact Reptile Gardens by phone for more information on tickets and pricing for their Group Rates.

Birthday Parties: What kid would not want to have a birthday party at South Dakota’s Reptile Gardens? For birthday party packages and pricing, contact Reptile Gardens directly by phone for more information.

*Prior to visiting Reptile Gardens, please be sure to check their website for information on their most current pricing.

Average Length of Visit: 2 1/2 – 4 hours or more if you’d like to make a day of it

Available Amenities at Reptile Gardens:

• Restrooms
• Gift Shop
• Cafe
• Playground
• Botanical Gardens
• Exotic Birds Exhibits
• Gold Panning
• Gemstone Sluicing
• 3D Safari’s,
• Tortoise Interaction
• and many other various fun Family Activities, Kids Attractions, Presentations and Shows


Special Notes: There is so much to see while visiting Reptile Gardens, so you will want to make sure you have a great camera* or camcorder* to capture all of your precious memories!

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