How to Spend Christmas in the Black Hills

Locals and visitors spending Christmas in the Black Hills will get to experience one of the best seasons in the Black Hills. The towns are decorated in beautiful Christmas lights and there are plenty of fun activities and events to get you into the holiday spirit! Because it’s the offseason, you’ll also find less crowds at major attractions like Mount Rushmore. Here are some of our favorite things to do in the Black Hills area during the holiday season: 

Things to Do During the Holidays in the Black Hills 

Ride the 1880 Train – Holiday Express  

1880 Train Deadwood

Experience the magic as you ride the Holiday Express 1880 Train! Your destination begins in Hill City, SD and ends at the North Pole where Santa will hop on board as you head back to Hill City. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, sip on hot cocoa while nibbling on a sugar cookie, and listen to a holiday story while enjoying the 1-hour train ride. All kids will receive a bell to ring for Santa and be able to talk with Mrs. Claus and Santa. For adults who want to join in on the Holiday Express fun, there is a Holiday Express Spiked option, where passengers enjoy everything received with a regular ride along with spiked hot cocoa in a keepsake mug! For more detailed information, visit here

Christmas Nights of Lights at Storybrook Island 

Head to Rapid City to marvel at the spectacular light display at Storybook Island. The park is decorated in festive lights, allowing you to feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. Sip on a hot cup of cocoa and cider while you admire the lights. Children will enjoy the holiday train and carousel rides and meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus. Stop by the ice cream shop for hot cocoa, cappuccino’s, milk shakes in a Storybook Island souvenir cup, root beer floats (A&W root beer), and cookies from Eileen’s. Tickets are $4 for all ages and the park is open from 5:30pm – 8:30pm on December 10,11,16-23 and 26-31, 2022. 

Ice Skating & Bumper Cars at Outlaw Square 

Perfect your ice-skating skills at Outlaw Square this holiday season or try out the ice bumper cars if you’re seeking a little more thrill! Hours for ice-skating and bumper cars depend on the day of the week. Rentals are available for ice skates, but you are free to bring your own as well.   

Christmas Tours at the Historic Adams House 

Visit the Historic Adams House during the Christmas season and enjoy an open house-style tour. A kid-friendly scavenger hunt with prizes will be available for children. Unique gifts are available for purchase in the Adams House Gift Shop. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members, $5 for children 6 – 12, and free to children 5 and under. General admission tickets can be purchased online after October 25 or at the door. For more information, visit  

Hit the Snowmobile Trails or Ski/Snowboard at Terry Peak  

If you’re seeking a little more adventure during the Christmas season in Deadwood, winter is the perfect time to hit the slopes or cruise on a snowmobile. There are several snowmobile trails in the Deadwood area for you to explore. Skiing and snowboarding are also a popular pastime during the winter in Deadwood, so check out the weather conditions for the ultimate pow day. 

Give the Gift of a Black Hills Vacation this Christmas 

Wannabe Moose Lodge - Black Hills Vacation Rentals

Gifting family a Black Hills vacation is one of the best ways to create more memorable experiences for your loved ones. Deadwood Connections offers a wide selection of gorgeous homes and cabins in Deadwood and surrounding areas. Whether it’s a family reunion, birthday, or the family just needs a getaway, you can’t beat a trip to the Black Hills.