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Scales and Tales

Unique holiday gift shopping at Reptile Gardens

These Himalayan Salt Rocks give a nice soft glow in the dark.


By now, you have survived the Black Friday chaos and maybe even snagged some deals on Cyber Monday — the Monday after Black Friday set aside for online shoppers.

If you still have some gift shopping to do but don't know where to start, try the gift shop at Reptile Gardens where you'll find a wide range of items from t-shirts to New Guinea artifacts.

Everyone knows that person who is impossible to shop for. They are into "unusual" things and you never know what to get them. Reptile Gardens has plenty of unique gifts, especially for animal, art and history lovers.

The unusual gifts are true collector's items. They have been hand picked by Reptile Gardens' CEO, Joe Maierhauser, and brought back to share with South Dakotans.

You can find interesting pieces like New Guinea tribal masks, primitive weapons and colorful collages filled with farmed butterfly specimens. How about a stunning large photograph taken in New Guinea by Joe Maierhauser? All these items would be a wonderful addition to any art collection. They could also be used to decorate any wall in your house.

More traditional gifts are also available. There is an entire collection of intricate and beautiful hand woven scarves. These fashionable scarves come in every shade and color and will keep you warm all winter long. There is a large assortment of beads for the beader on your list; or beautiful and collectible fossils and mineral specimens.

The gift shop has many other various items like toys, stuffed animals, books and apparel that children love. The books are educational and fun to read.

Some of our gifts are available online. To view our full inventory and find your perfect holiday gift, stop by Reptile Gardens — they are located just south of Rapid City on Hwy. 16.

The park is closed for winter hours. However, the gift shop will remain open through Christmas for shoppers who need to take care of their last minute purchases. The new holiday hours are daily from 9 a.m. — 2 p.m.

You can view our online offerings at www.reptilegardens.com/gift-store/ Or our online selection of New Guinea art at either www.jungleoutpost.com or www.newguineaart.com

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About Us

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!