Lights Sparkle in the Night | Black Hills Travel Blog

Lights Sparkle in the Night

  • Lights Sparkling in the Night
    Lights Sparkling in the Night
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Over the last ten years, my children have grown up playing and exploring at Storybook Island. One of our favorite yearly activities we never miss is the Christmas Nights of Light at Storybook Island. This local gem drives home the spirit of the holiday season which ultimately means its "beginning to look a lot like Christmas."

Christmas time for my family invokes a sense of joy and excitement; from decorating the tree, the crisp winter air,a little bit of down time to snuggle and stay warm. All this aside, there is something special about letting your kids know it is time to hop in the car to spend an evening at Storybook Island. Once you arrive, expect to stand in line for a bit, but once you are inside, the real magic begins. As you enter this winter wonderland take a moment to notice your kids' faces... eyes light up and mouths open wide in awe that their favorite storybook characters have been decorated beautifully with holiday lights.

If your family is familiar with the layout of Storybook Island, typically, you are free to roam in any direction you please. However, on these special nights you will follow the pre-designed pathway leading to everything there is to see.  We always stop to take pictures and talk about what we like best. Over the years the introduction of LED lights have added to the vibrant nature of the evening.

At the halfway mark, it is almost mandatory to pick up some hot cocoa and apple cider to warm your hands and bellies. Both are such a delicious seasonal drink. It always adds a little extra warmth and cheer to our holiday experience.

By the end of the grand loop, the kids have asked for a train ride, maybe...a half a dozen times. Saying no would be sacrilege, plus, you can hitch a ride yourself. The train ride will give you a closer look at some of the other scenes that the path does not take you by. Catch holiday tunes are played throughout the park, leading to some singing on the car ride home.

Once you've seen all there is to see you have the option to exit the park, but the star of the show is waiting at the end, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Stop and visit as it may be the perfect time for a picture to hang on your wall and for the kids to deliver some last minute Christmas wishes.

It is a joyous experience that I always look forward to each year. These nights always leave a special place in my heart and add to the wonderful family memories I have made living in the Black Hills.

Plan for at least an hour and a half and dress warm, wear gloves, long-johns and a hat. Christmas Night of Lights runs from November 24-December 31 from 5:30-8:30pm.

  • Admission is $3 Per Person
  • Ride the train for $2 Per Person
  • Hot Cocoa, Apple Cider, and cookies from Eileen’s available for additional charge.


  • November 24th  • Christmas Nights of Light Begins
  • November 24-26th  • Christmas Nights of Light
  • December 1-3rd  • Christmas Nights of Light
  • December 8-23rd  • Christmas Nights of Light
  • December 8-18th  • See the Reindeer
  • December 26-31st  • Christmas Nights of Light

About the Author

Greg a California native who transplanted to South Dakota with his wife and children over 10 years ago.  Armed with a background in professional photography, Greg chooses to tell the story through the eye of the camera.  His appreciation for the Black Hills stems from his outside-looking-in approach.

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