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train with holiday lights on it at night

5 Holiday Celebrations in the Black Hills

October 09, 2020

With stunning wintry scenery and plenty of cold weather fun around every corner, the Black Hills are the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit! In addition to beauty and outdoor recreation, there are tons of events located throughout the area that feature all of the necessities for a festive time – Christmas carols, hot chocolate and cookies, the whole nine yards. So put on your Santa hat and head to one of these five holiday events in the Black Hills during your stay at Quality Inn Rapid City.

Storybook Island’s Christmas Nights of Light

A trip to Rapid City’s Storybook Island for their Christmas Nights of Light is sure to bring childlike amazement to all, with the thousands of lights adorning the fairytale scenes throughout this popular outdoor attraction creating a winter wonderland. There are also train rides available for the little ones, which are sure to create some picture-perfect moments. Make sure to bundle up and grab a cup of hot cocoa or cider to keep your hands warm during your stay!

1880 Train Holiday Express

During the holiday season, Hill City’s 1880 Train embarks on a magical journey through the Black Hills, allowing passengers to bask in the Christmas spirit while venturing to Keystone and back in a rustic steam engine train. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa, who makes a round to visit with each child and give them a gift. For those 21+, check out the Holiday Express Spiked tour, where you can indulge in spiked hot cocoa during the ride. For information about Holiday Express tour dates and to purchase tickets, click here.

Festival of Lights

Every year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, floats covered in twinkling lights make their way through downtown Rapid City, dazzling the over 30,000 spectators in attendance. This year marks the 22nd year of the Black Hills tradition, and the Festival of Lights is going to be just as big as ever! The action starts on November 30th at 6 p.m., so if you’re in the area, head to Main Street and catch the action!

Ugly Sweater Skate Party

If you don’t already have a designated flashy, over-the-top sweater to wear to such gatherings, it’s time to head to a local thrift store or Wal-Mart and pick up the tackiest sweater you can find to wear to the Main Street Square Ice Rink’s Ugly Christmas party on December 20th from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. All ages are invited for skating, entertainment and prizes!

Holiday Celebrations at the Dahl Arts Center

For those traveling on a budget, the Dahl Arts Center provides great free Christmas events throughout the month of December. They will be hosting two free concerts, one on December 4th that features the Rapid City New Horizons Band, and one on December 11th that will showcase an a capella performance from the Shrine of Democracy Chorus. Both of these concerts will be from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and attendees can enjoy free cookies, coffee and hot chocolate during the show.

The Dahl will also hold a gingerbread house-making workshop on December 14th from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. There is no registration required, supplies are provided and (have we mentioned?) it’s free! What can be better than being able to celebrate all that makes the holidays special, while keeping more money in your wallet for gift giving?!

Learn more about both of these Dahl events on the Dahl Arts Center website.

As always, you can count on Quality Inn Rapid City to make sure the rest of your stay is just as magical as a visit to one of these Christmas celebrations!

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