Five things to know before you head out to Rapid City’s Storybook Island during the holidays
RAPID CITY, S.D.– On the day after Thanksgiving, Rapid City’s Storybook Island transforms into their annual Christmas Night of Light, a festive party for families visiting the park. Executive Director Jackie Laws explains more about the event.
How did Christmas Night of Light get started?
The Christmas Nights of Light event was first started almost 30 years ago as a fundraiser for the park by the local Rotary Club, and has since become a must-see for local residents. “For most people it is a holiday tradition,” Laws said. “They wait, and we get numerous phone calls of when are we starting.”
Admission is $4 per person and all proceeds go towards keeping the park admission-free for residents and visitors in the summer during regular operating hours.
When does the park open up for the event?
The park schedule is listed as the following:
- Dec. 9-11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Dec. 16-23 from 5:30 to8:30 p.m.
- Dec. 26-31 from 5:30 to 8:30
Will there be any new light features this year?
Yes. Laws says that every year, they include a new feature for visitors to enjoy among the 20 miles of lights they put up every year.
“It’s nothing short of amazing. Once you see all the lights on in the park and every year it’s different, we add new new lights, new sets. So it changes substantially year to year,” she added. “Peter, who’s the assistant maintenance manager here at Storybook Island– he transformed our front bridge into like a tunnel of lights. And it is absolutely breathtaking.”
Do they ever run out of tickets for the park?
Laws says they have not run out of tickets yet, but are always prepared for a busy time. And nicer weather definitely helps bring in more people. “The nicer the night, the longer the line,” she said. On December 2 while working in admissions, she said around around a thousand people showed up that night alone to enjoy the park.
Are any of the other attractions open for kids?
The train and the carousel are also open during the night, and cost $3 each. The park will also have cookies, hot chocolate, hot cider, and more treats for purchase when open. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will also be in attendance for visitors. “Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, we have Santa and Mrs. Claus so the kids can come and tell Santa what they want for Christmas,” she said. “And of course, they get a candy cane.”