REPTILE GARDENS WEATHER
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FAQ

What are your prices/hours?

These vary from season to season. Please see these pages for rates and hours.

How much of the experience is outdoors? Do you do shows in rain?

This also varies slightly according to the season. When it is chilly in spring and fall, our attraction is roughly 80% indoors and 20% outdoors. As things warm up and summer arrives, this shifts to about 50% indoors and 50% outdoors.

  • INDOORS: The majority of our reptile displays are indoors and can be enjoyed anytime. In spring and fall, our snake and bird shows are primarily indoors unless the weather is warm. There is a lush garden in the Safari Room. The giant tortoises have their own building that can always be visited. You will be able to enjoy exhibits, plants, and bird/snake shows regardless of weather (unless the weather is extreme and we are closed!)
  • OUTDOORS: Our bald eagle and prairie dog town are outside year-round. During the summer, we move all of our shows outside and add an alligator show to our schedule. The bleachers are covered, to provide some shade and protection from precipitation for our Guests. During the summer, shows will continue regardless of rain, unless it is hailing or lightning is very close – we want our staff and our Guests to be safe! Tortuga falls and the many flower beds on grounds are outside. 

When are the shows?

Show times and availability vary from season to season. These links can direct you to our show descriptions and schedules: Snake Show, Bird ShowAlligator Show

Are strollers available to rent?

We have roughly 10 strollers available free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is the park handicap accessible?

Yes! The paths are paved. There is a lift available for those who need assistance getting to and from the 2nd floor of the Sky Dome.

Are wheelchairs available?

Yes, we have a few wheelchairs available for use free of charge, on a first-come first-serve basis.

Is the parking lot big enough for my RV or trailer?

It sure is! Our parking lot is quite large.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, we welcome friendly dogs on leashes. Because the safety of our animals and yours is paramount, there are a few areas with free-roaming critters that have special considerations:

  • In the Safari Room of the Sky Dome, which houses roaming lizards and birds, we request that the leash of the dog is kept at 4 feet.
  • In the Giant Tortoise Yard, we also request that leashes are kept at 4 feet, and the dogs do not contact these gentle giants.
  • At the summer Bird Show, we that require that dogs remain behind a sign marker located about 75 feet back from the bird stage. A bench beneath a bit of shade is provided in this area. For indoor spring and fall bird shows, calm leashed dogs are welcome.
  • Elsewhere, dogs can go everywhere Guests can go (including the snake and gator shows), provided that they are leashed and supervised.
  • Service dogs are welcome everywhere, including the summer bird show, where bird staff can seat them in a special part of the bleachers.

Can I bring food? Is there food available there?

In the spring and fall, you are welcome to bring food along if you like. Our gift store stocks snacks like chips, jerky, and soda year round. In the spring and fall our gift store has a selection of refrigerated sandwiches as well as hummus, fruit cups, chips, jerky, specialty sodas, and many other snacks.

In the summer our Green Parrot Café is open and serving hot food and cold treats (hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, taco salads, ice cream, coffee). During this season, we ask that you not bring large coolers or outside meals onto the grounds. There is a shady stand of trees on the south side of the parking lot that lends itself well to picnicking.

If you need to, you can enter the park, leave to have lunch (in the parking lot or at one of Rapid City’s delicious restaurants), and return to continue enjoying the Gardens. Just make sure to get a season pass or vacation pass prior to leaving.

Water bottles are always welcome. There is a water fountain in the lower ring of the Sky Dome. If you have small children and need to keep a few small snacks in a purse or diaper bag, feel free to do so.

How do I get a season pass?

Anyone who pays full admission can receive a free season pass to Reptile Gardens. Just ask about the pass at our admissions desk when purchasing admission, and we will fill one out for you at our Guest Services area.

If your first visit to RG during the calendar year is with a group at a discounted group rate, and you would like a season pass, you can pay the difference (between the group rate and full admission) and receive your season pass.

You can receive a season pass at any time of year, but of course, you’ll get the most use out of it if you get one in the spring!

How long is the season pass good for?

Each season pass covers admission for one individual for the rest of the calendar year. We are generally open the first Saturday of March until the last day of November.

What’s the difference between a season pass and a vacation pass?

A season pass lasts through November 30. A vacation pass lasts for 10 days, so that Guests visiting from far away can visit again during their vacation. There is no difference in cost. Ask for whichever pass suits your needs!

Are you open on holidays?

We are closed on Thanksgiving day and December through February.

Do you offer a military discount?

Yes, Guests with military or veteran IDs and their spouses receive a discount on admission and in our gift store. Please visit our rates page for discounts by season

Can I donate my pet reptile/bird/frog?

Unfortunately, like most zoos, Reptile Gardens is unable to take in unwanted or abandoned animals. The best place to look for a home for an unwanted animal is on the internet. Search for "Reptile Rescue" to see if there is one near you. Once you find a rescue facility, you might want to check into them a little, as with all things, there are good and bad reptile rescue facilities. Other options include the local pet stores, newspapers which often offer free classified ads for lost animals, Craig's List, and Facebook groups dedicated to finding homes for unwanted reptiles.

I found a wild injured reptile/bird, can I bring it to you for help?

We do not have the facilities or Federal permit for wildlife rehabilitation. If you are concerned about an injured bird of prey, you can contact the Black Hills Raptor Center (blackhillsraptorcenter.org), an all-volunteer nonprofit that can help you assess the situation.

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Other Reptiles

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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 Funtier Town

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing, go on a 3D safari, or test your aim at the shooting gallery! Our very own old west ghost town has 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!