We were in South Dakota for about 6 days, and they were jam packed as there was so much to see. The first day we went to go check out Mount Rushmore in the morning and The Crazy Horse Memorial in the afternoon. Mount Rushmore was pretty phenomenal, you see it so much in movies but to actually be standing there staring up at the mountain was something else.
They had a great museum and interpretive centre, as always Brian and I could have stayed for much longer but the kids only last so long. Having said that they really enjoyed the short film on the history of the mountain, the sculptor and they also liked seeing some of the old tools that were used. They also liked that 90% of the mountain was carved out by explosives.
After we left the kids and I came up with a little rhyme to help remember the names of the four presidents on the mountain. I love that my 5, 6 and 9 year old not only know the names of these people but also a little bit about what they stand for. Night at the Museum also played a part in that and they were all very excited to recognize Theodore Roosevelt up on the mountain when we first got there.
We had some lunch after touring the museum and then packed up and headed for The Crazy Horse Memorial . Brian and I both were told to go check out the memorial and that it was really worth it. We had never heard of it before but were intrigued.
The Crazy Horse Memorial has been under construction since 1948 and is still very far from completion. Not to diminish Mount Rushmore but The Crazy Horse Memorial was by far my favourite. Although I don’t know if I was more impressed by the story of Crazy Horse or that of the sculptor. Korczak Ziolkowski was the sculptor recruited for the job. The first seven months he worked on the project he lived in a tent at the base of the mountain. He did so much of it all on his own. He later went on to have 10 children who after his passing are still so invested in this memorial. It truly is an amazing story.
They have a huge museum, cultural centre and so much more. We almost didn’t make it through everything and in retrospect we should have split these two up because the kids were so done by the end of the day.
They had a great “hands on” area which was a relief because Brian and I felt like we had been barking “Don’t touch that” all day long and we were sounding like broken records “look with our eyes not our hands”
It was a historically filled day. The kids overall had a great time and loved the stories. If you are ever in the area we highly recommend making time for the Crazy Horse Memorial.