Custer State Park Areaview website
13000 Highway 244
Keystone, SD 57751-0268
Mount Rushmore Description
Mount Rushmore is one of those iconic landmarks that kids will remember visiting fondly -- as an adult. At the actual time of the visit, their interest may only hold for 10 minutes or so. Take the easy .5-mile long Presidential Trail to look up the nostrils of the presidents, eat a meal in the cafeteria (which has a view of the faces), stay for the lighting ceremony at dusk, or check out the dynamite machine in the museum that allows kids to "detonate" a blast and see the effects on the sculpture in progress. These activities should stretch their interest long enough for the adults to enjoy this awe-inspiring monument.
Babies: Nearly all of the areas open to the public are accessible to strollers, and even the Presidential trail is paved (although the second half will take some maneuvering).
Toddlers & Pre-K: The museum exhibits -- other than the dynamite machine -- probably won't hold toddlers' attention, but they may get a kick out of the little "cave" that frames George Washington's face on the Presidential Trail. Also, mountain goats inhabit the area -- watch for them on the rock ledges (they blend in).
School-Age Kids: Pick up the free Junior Ranger Booklet (ages 5-12). They can learn a little bit without you lecturing, and a certificate is awarded for completion of the activities in the booklet, making it seem a bit like a treasure hunt.
- Avoid the crowds. Peak hours of visitation usually run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To avoid crowds, schedule your visit before or after those times.
- See the fireworks. If youre in the area on July 3rd, come for the spectacular fireworks display over the Monument. (They run it the evening of July 3rd so as to not conflict with local celebrations on July 4th.) But come early -- there are no reservations, and its extremely popular.
Just the Facts
Hours: Open daily all year, except Christmas Day, 5 a.m.-11 p.m. in the summer; 6 a.m.-10 p.m. in the winter Evening Lighting Ceremony runs daily as follows: May 13 - August 14 at 9 p.m. August 15 - September 30 at 8 p.m. The Lincoln Borglum Museum and Mount Rushmore Information Center are open daily.
Fees: Under $10
Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours
Reviews of Mount Rushmore
By joebensimo September 03, 2008 | Son: Age 15, Daughter: Age 18
What we loved:
Learning about how the mountain was carved
Weve visited Mount Rushmore twice. We first visited when our children were 8 and 10, and returned a few years later at ages 9 and 11 and 13. They enjoyed it both times. While children arent likely to enjoy staring at the mountain for long, there are many interesting things for school-aged children to learn about how the mountains were carved -- or rather blasted. br/br/When we arrived on our last visit, my 11 year old son commented that $10 was expensive to park. He then wondered out loud if it cost more to build the parking garages or carve the mountain. He then entered the museum with a question he wanted answered. We didnt ask a ranger but we did read that it cost a little under a million dollars to carve the mountain, and that $56 million was donated for park improvements made in the 1990s -- including the parking garages.br/br/Mount Rushmore is also a great opportunity to encourage children to learn about the presidents on the mountain. br/br/Dont miss the trail. It is a easier walk if you take it clockwise, starting from the left as you look at the mountain. You might even spot a mountain goat. Looking up into the presidents noses from the train below, my son said they should let people bungee jump out of the presidents noses. I dont think the park service will go for Andrews booger jumping proposal.br/br/http://yayaandfrog.blogspot.com/2008/08/mount-rushmore.html Read More
By jloxtercamp June 17, 2008 | central minnesota
What we loved:
The fact that it is a historical landmark.
What we didn't love:
Not enough to do.
We went to Mount Rushmore last which was a bad idea. My kids had already seen Crazy Horse and done all the fun things to do there. Mount Rushmore was nice to see up close but then we were all ready to leave because there isnt really anything else to do. Read More