Scales and Tales

Celebrate Mother's Day with Reptile Gardens in Rapid City

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and we're all about celebrating these wonderful women at Reptile Gardens. On May 13, Mother's Day, we will be giving all moms free admission with the donation of two cans of food for the KOTA Care and Share drive.

"The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so spend the day at this great Black Hills family attraction. Soak in the lush landscapes as you get an up-close encounter with our reptiles, bugs and amphibians," said Reptile Gardens' CEO Joe Maierhauser.

Let mom pick between the gator, snake or bird show. These unique, educational and entertaining shows are sure to please the whole family. For more information about Reptile Gardens' attractions, visit /attractions/.

Instead of giving mom a bouquet of flowers, pay a visit to our Safari Room in our three-story Sky Dome that makes us a famous Black Hills attraction. Here, mom will be able to check out tropical plants and flowers from all over the world. She will get new ideas for her garden when she views our beautiful orchids, caladiums, and cacti.

Get out your cameras and pose with mom with our giant Aldabra tortoises, Quazi and Tank. It's a rare chance to encounter this endangered species, so you definitely won't want to miss them.

Finish off the afternoon by taking mom out to eat at our Green Parrot Café or Cola Cabana. Grab a refreshment and take a stroll through our Tortuga Falls. Moms need a day of relaxation and she'll love listening to the calming sounds of our waterfalls.

Before you head out, get mom a present at our gift shop. From beautiful rocks, to books, to stuff animals of our favorite residents, you'll be sure to find the perfect souvenir to commemorate the fun day you spent with mom.

All mom really wants to do is spend a fun day with the people she loves most, so bring in two cans of food for the Kota Care and Share drive and treat mom to a fun day of adventure and relaxation at Reptile Gardens.


About Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens maintains one of the world's finest collections of reptiles. To learn more about Reptile Gardens' employment opportunities, hours, admission costs and season pass specials, call (605) 342-5873 or visit their website:




Main Exhibits






Other Reptiles

Amphibians and Bugs

Native to South Dakota


Botanical Gardens




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Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing or go on a 3D safari. Our very own old west ghost town as numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

Don't miss your chance to Pet a Python!  Our snake handlers ar here to talk about any questions or myths you've heard about snakes. Don't forget your camera! Our pythons are very photogenic and love to photos with you!