With a few months left of winter, make the most of it.

Despite many Black Hills tourist attractions closing, Kelsy Peterson, social media and content manager with Visit Rapid City, says Rapid City has plenty to do during this season.

Here are the top six ways to experience the colder months in the area.

Tinker the T-rex is on display at The Journey Museum and Learning Center.

1. Outdoor Recreation

Try winter ice skating at Main Street Square.

“We have a lot of in-city outdoor recreation,” said Dani Benne, director of marketing at Visit Rapid City.

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park has over 20 miles of trails overlooking downtown for brisk hiking or biking. 

Other outdoor activities could include a trip to Dinosaur Park, City of Presidents, or Skyline Wilderness Area.

For those who love the classic wintertime activities, Main Street Square has seasonal ice skating.

2. Breweries + Taphouses

“If you’re doing a day of exploring, a perfect end to an activity is to relax with a nice beer in Rapid City,” said Peterson.

With a few new additions to the lineup, there are eight local breweries in Rapid City. See their winter flavors below.

Woodland Republic Brewing & Blending is a new one that opened within the last month or two,” said Benne. “They specialize in sour beers.”

Benne also recommends checking out Independent Ale House and Pour 54 Taphouse.

Rapid City Brews

*Some brews rotate out faster than others. View brewery websites to verify what’s currently on tap.

Cohort Craft Brewery
Kokomo | 6.5% ABV | 20 IBU
A milk stout that features coconut, vanilla, and marshmallows.

Dakota Point Brewing
“C” is for Cookie | 6.7% ABV | 28 IBU
A nod to oatmeal raisin cookies.

Firehouse Brewing Company
Firehouse Krampus 2021 BK | 6.2% ABV | 23 IBU
Spiced, herbed imperial red with orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom. 

Haycamp Brewing Company
Turtlenaut | 7.5% ABV | 70 IBU
New England hazy IPA made with Australian galaxy hops.

Last Mile
German Amber Ale | 6.4% ABV | 32 IBU
Brewed with German malt with notes of caramel.

Lost Cabin Beer Co.
Electric Mistletoe | 4.2% ABV | 4 IBU
Fruited gose with cranberry and orange.

Woodland Republic Brewing & Blending
Batter: Almond Joy | 10% ABV | N/A IBU
A pastry stout is made with coconut, cacao nibs, and almonds.

Zymurcracy Beer Company
Coconut Tropical Stout | 6.3% ABV | 37 IBU
Full-bodied beer pairs coconut and chocolate malt flavors.

3. Nightlife

When the sun retires for the night, many places are still inviting. 

Press Start, has a full bar and menu to try while guests compete with their friends at modern and vintage games.

“You find a new one every time you go because it’s two levels of just arcade games,” said Peterson.

Reserve your spot at the Blind Lion, the 605 Best Place for Craft Cocktails.

For a more exclusive experience, reserve a spot at the Blind Lion, an underground speakeasy, for culinary excellence, handcrafted cocktails, and live entertainment. The Blind Lion was awarded the 2021 605 Best Place for Craft Cocktails.

Peterson adds that, from the décor to the bartender’s garb, the secretive location is modeled after those from the Prohibition era.

Vertex Sky Bar atop the Hotel Alex Johnson offers free admission to hotel guests and has a panoramic view of the surrounding city.

4. Restaurant Experiences

From classic restaurants to worldly cuisine, there’s something in the Rapid City culinary scene to check everyone’s boxes.

A must-try restaurant in Rapid City is Tally’s Silver Spoon, which Benne deems a classic stop. The diner plates their locally and globally inspired dishes for a fine dining experience. Juniper also features a curated local menu.

There’s also an abundance of options for diverse cuisines.

Try Rapid City’s new Bokujō Ramen, a Japanese-inspired restaurant.

Grab a bowl of ramen, Black Hills style, at Bokujō Ramen.

“Their menu choices for ramen feature homegrown, local ingredients. You can find chislic in one of their bowls, mushrooms, and bison,” said Benne. “It’s a Black Hills, South Dakota ramen experience.”

For a more private experience, reserve a heated, outdoor igloo at Que Pasa Cantina and munch on authentic Mexican food.

5. Art + Museum Scene

Stay out of the brisk wind at The Journey Museum & Learning Center.

Benne explains that the museum’s content covers everything from Native American culture to pioneer history, painting a full picture of the area’s history.

To browse rotating local and regional artists, walk through the Dahl Arts Center, Gallery Six13, and Suzie Cappa Art Center—which features artists of all abilities.

With two levels and stretching a half a block wide, Prairie Edge Trading Co. has a slew of Native American art and products to admire or purchase.

“They occasionally feature the artists in the store, so you can talk to them,” said Peterson, adding that artists sometimes create their works live onsite.

6. Shopping

Browse shops like Mitzi’s Bookstore near Main Street Square.

Don’t forget to spend time browsing the diverse shopping scene.

Visit Dakota Drum Company to see traditional buffalo hide products, or wander the Bird Cage Book Store and Mercantile to flip through native literature.

Perfect Hanging Gallery started off doing framing, but they’re a shop that features some really awesome, unique products. They have these vintage puzzles, locally made ornaments for the holidays, and a lot of cool stuff.” -Kelsy Peterson

Pure Fox is a naturally made beauty store, so you can find organic lotions, soaps, and beauty products plus other knick knacks and accessories,” said Benne.

Peterson added, “O & A Farmhouse is a good one as well. It’s a boutique with clothing, jewelry, and some locally made products.”

And for the outdoor lovers, Roam’n Around is a can’t-miss.

Honorable Mentions

+ Black Hills Escape Rooms models their puzzle experiences after Black Hills events and legends. 
+ Sabatino’s Italian Ristorante is a modern space with a menu created by an Italian-trained chef.
+ The Tinder Box is a cigar bar with live music. 
+ The South Dakota Mines campus offers a small, stocked museum: Museum of Geology.
+ Mitsy’s Bookstore is stocked with walls of books, and bookworms can even try a blind date with a book based only on hints of the plot.

For more information, visit visitrapidcity.com.

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