This move wasn’t without it’s fun stops. I planned that intentionally. If we were passing through the area then why not stop and have some fun too?
Our first tourist stop was Zoo Montana. This was a rather small zoo with somewhere around 12 exhibits, a large playground area and some tanks inside the party building. There was also a petting zoo/pioneer farm type area and then free roaming peacocks. The kids had a blast. They got to eat lunch there, run around on the playground, see some animals and do it all with their cousins. We also learned some practical lessons like why the bears were pacing and nipping at each other (it’s mating season) and what happens when a wandering turkey strays too close to an enclosure with a peacock in it.
Our next stop was Mount Rushmore. I will say that this stop was about like our epic journey to the Arctic Circle. Rather disappointing. I do wish we had been able to hike up some of the paths but they were closed. Due to snow. I would have gone despite the snow if I had been allowed to. We went to the gift shop and got some educational materials after taking pictures at the viewing spot. We do have plans to go back later this year. For anyone interested. The parking pass you pay for is good for the calendar year.
It was early enough in the day that we were able to make it to Wall Drug for dinner and got one of the “famous donuts”. That place is absolutely amazing. The food was delicious. The staff was super friendly even though we arrived minutes before closing time. We could have spent a couple hours walking around there. Easy. Sadly it was evening and everything closed for the day while we were eating. We would not be deterred though!
HomemadeDady and I decided that there was enough light left to drive out to the Badlands. It was a bit of a detour but entirely worth it. We saw goats, deer, porcupines and amazing views with a brilliant sunset. Right outside the gates lived a ton of prairie dogs. We were only able to drive in so far because we hadn’t yet decided where we were spending the night. The entire loop is 40 miles long.
These were the major stops we made. There were more parks we drove through and fun things we did. Those were mostly restaurants and such. What do you do to make a big move more fun for the kids?