Central States Fair (Rapid City)

Destination: North and South Dakota

Rapid City is a great location not only because it's close to lots of attractions but also because it plays host to the Central States Fair. We purposely planned our trip so we could be there while it was happening.   We live in Southern California so our  fairs don't really feel authentic and so we were super excited to attend the real deal.  Sometimes we are hard pressed to find a night time activity and so … [Read more...]

Cosmos Mystery Area (Rapid City)

Destination: North and South Dakota

To be perfectly honest, my kids and I were not quite sure what to make of The Cosmos Mystery Area but we were totally mystified.  Before heading out, we were given a short briefing and a story about a couple of boys who were playing and who happened upon some unexplained phenomena-like balls rolling and water flowing uphill.   After the intro, we then mozied up towards the first of some little tree house like … [Read more...]

Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns (Rapid City)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

Walking through the Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns felt like we were walking through a giant Geode, and you know what, we probably were.  This incredible cave holds the world’s largest display of dog-tooth spar crystal, which look like diamonds as all their facets are  reflected in some of the pools in the cave. We walked down quite  few steep steps to get inside the cave, but our effort was totally rewarded once … [Read more...]

International Vinegar Museum (Roslyn)

Destination: North and South Dakota

Located in the tiny town of Roslyn, South Dakota,The International Vinegar Museum is in a wonderfully interesting place, albeit way off the beaten path-in fact as we were driving I kept asking myself if this was the right move as I wasn't sure it would be worth the long haul.  I am so glad I persevered.  Not only was it worth it, it was a terrific hands on learning opportunity the everyone enjoyed-especially the … [Read more...]

Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame (Sturgis)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

We stopped in Sturgis to visit the Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. Sturgis is also  home to one of the biggest gathering of motorcycle riders in the entire country—the Sturgis Rally. Thankfully, it wasn’t taking place when we were there; in fact, it felt more like a ghost town. We were desperate to find a family friendly place  to eat, so I walked into a storefront where I encountered a very butch looking … [Read more...]

Wall Drug (Wall)

Destination: North and South Dakota

All the guidebooks we use to plan our trips said Wall Drug is a not to be missed stop.  As we were driving along  Highway 90 leaving Rapid City on our way to the Badlands we were beckoned by the colorful roadside signs that sporadically appeared and started to become much more frequent the closer we got.  As we got close there was so much hype and hoopla that we just had to stop although we were not sure exactly … [Read more...]

Bramble Park Zoo (Watertown)

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

As you may already know, I am not a huge fan of zoos.  Parts of the Bramble Park  Zoo were really great, such as the petting zoo.  The kids really enjoyed getting up close and personal with the animals.  My youngest son Joel who can at times have a hair trigger temper is also the most loving and emotional of my 3 kids.  He is really drawn to animals and when I watch him it's like he has some kind of special … [Read more...]

Thunder Road Family Fun Center (Watertown)

Thunder Road Family Fun Center

At the end of a long hot day on the road, The Thunder Road Family Fun Center was the perfect place to indulge in some fun and games.  The kids rode the go-karts and then we partook in a game of mini golf.  I just love mini golf.  Once we get past the chaos of who goes first and the order of turns, I love discovering the cute and wacky scenarios of each hole.  When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot so a trip … [Read more...]

Itinerary #5: North and South Dakota

Destination #5: North and South Dakota

What is there to do in North and South Dakota, you ask? Plenty! When people ask me which trip was my favorite, I always think of this one, mostly because I was surprised by what I took away from it: a new appreciation of the American spirit embodied in the homesteaders and pioneers who toughed it out for a piece of land to call their own. It’s tough to imagine my kids and me coming out on a covered wagon to settle … [Read more...]