Winter Events in the Black Hills and Badlands | Black Hills Travel Blog

Winter Events in the Black Hills and Badlands

  • Winter Events in the Black Hills and Badlands
    Winter Events in the Black Hills and Badlands
Friday, October 27, 2023
By : 
Black Hills and Badlands

The dropping temperatures in the Black Hills and Badlands kindle a tranquil change: The energetic bustling of warmer months cools to a peaceful pace, encouraging visitors and locals to relax in coffee shops, stroll along snow-padded paths, and enjoy indoor attractions.

It also brings about a sense of community, and visitors will notice exciting events popping up throughout November and December, with many options to choose from. Enjoy music series,’ whiskey and beer festivals, holiday-themed celebrations, and much, much more.

Rapid City

  • 2023 Gold Rush Nationals - An action-packed demolition derby event held at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, featuring drivers from both America and Canada competing in various classes for a chance to win exciting prizes
  • Mountain West Beer Fest - The 6th Annual Mountain West Beer Fest offers a one-of-a-kind experience at Spearfish Canyon Lodge, featuring a large selection of craft beers from local, regional, and national breweries, food, live music, and a chance to sample a variety of American beers.
  • Mannheim Steamrollers - Experience the magic and spirit of the holiday season as Mannheim Steamroller, the Grammy Award-winning Christmas music tradition, performs their classic and distinctive program, featuring dazzling multimedia effects.
  • Christmas Nights of Lights at Story Book Island - Check out all of your favorite storybook characters dressed up in lights for the holiday season.
  • Holiday Celebration and Winter Market - Browse booths showcasing hand-crafted goods, such as custom wood carvings, ornaments, jewelry, home décor, wreaths, jams, honey, and salsas.
  • Festival of Lights Parade - In downtown Rapid City, floats strung with thousands of lights sparkle in the trees, twinkle on the buildings, and dazzle more than 30,000 spectators.
  • The Nutcracker - Enjoy this timeless classic brought to you by the Black Hills Dance Theatre


  • Deadwood’s Big Whiskey Festival - Big Whiskey participants can expect to select from more than 30 different Whiskeys including Rye, Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Japanese & Canadian at several different locations during the Big Whiskey Festival.

  • Hairball - Hear all your juiced-up 80’s hair hits from KISS, Queen, Van Halen, Prince, and more, not to mention the plethoric amount of unrestrained lights, lasers, and confetti.
  • Christmas Tours of the Adams House - Enjoy a Christmas twist on a tour of the historical Adams House. A kid-friendly scavenger hunt with a prize will be available for children. Unique gifts are available for purchase in the Adams House Gift Shop.

Hill City

  • Girlfriends’ Weekend - Grab your girlfriends for a weekend of specials, activities, entertainment, and fun! Get your sparkle on with us Friday, November 3rd, 2023 through Sunday, November 5th, 2023.
  • Naughti Wines Comedy Night - Get ready to laugh until your sides hurt! Comedian Tanveer Aurora is taking the stage at Sick N Twisted Comedy Night on November 18th.
  • Holiday Express Spiked – Aboard the 1880 Train - Holiday Express Spiked passengers enjoy everything received with a regular ride along with spiked hot cocoa in a keepsake mug!
  • Hill City Old Tyme Christmas Parade, Lane of Lights and Holiday Celebration - Enjoy shopping, specials, and old-world charm in Hill City as we start the month-long festivities that comprise Hill City’s Olde Tyme Christmas!
  • Holiday Express First Class- Aboard the 1880 Train - Experience the magic as you take a one-hour, round trip journey from Hill City to the North Pole where Santa will board the train and ride back to Hill City, taking time to visit with each child on the way.
  • Trees & Trains Exhibit -  Trees and Trains is for the entire family. Walk around the beautifully decorated South Dakota State Railroad Museum to view the different Christmas trees on display.


  • Santa’s Village Craft Fair - The Custer YMCA Child Development Center is once again presenting Santa's Village Gift and Craft Fair. Enjoy walking about different crafters and vendors, and enjoy delicious food!
  • Custer’s Annual Christmas Parade - Enjoy lights and excitement as Custer celebrates the season with their Annual Christmas Parade. 

Whether you are visiting the Black Hills and Badlands region for a day, or perhaps as a part of a weekend getaway, be sure to add these winter events to your calendar, and check out our events page for updates and more!