South Dakota Water Parks and Theme Parks

Evan's Plunge water park in South Dakota.
••• Evan's Plunge.

With a total state population of less than 900,000, you wouldn't expect to find a heckuva lot of water parks or theme parks in South Dakota. And you'd be right. There is one medium-sized park and a couple of smaller outdoor parks with water slides and other attractions that offer relief during the summer. There is also a small indoor water park resort that provides year-round, weatherproof fun.

There are even fewer amusement parks.

There are no major theme parks, per se. In fact, there are a total of three roller coasters in the state, two of which are kiddie models and one of which is an alpine mountain ride that isn't really considered a traditional coaster.

South Dakota water parks and amusement parks are arranged alphabetically.

Evans Plunge
Hot Springs
Indoor and outdoor water park
Known more for its natural springs and geothermal pools than as a traditional water park, Evan's Plunge offers a few attractions such as an outdoor body slide, kiddie slide, hot tubs, and kiddie pool. It's open year round (the indoor pools, anyway).

The Flintstones Bedrock City 
Small theme park
Unfortunately, the park closed in 2015. When it was open, it did not offer a lot of rides. But you could have toured Bedrock City and taken a ride on the Iron Horse train. (What did a steam engine train have to do with TV's stone age family? Beats me.) I guess you missed out on a yabba-dabba-doo time.

Rush Mountain Adventure Park​
Attraction with a couple of rides
It's primarily a place to visit the caverns at Rushmore Cave. In 2016, the park added the Rushmore Mountain Coaster, an alpine slide. Other features include a zipline ride and a 4D interactive ride.

Rushmore Waterslide Park
Rapid City
Small outdoor water park closed in 2015.

Storybook Island
Rapid City
Small theme park
A non-profit children's park that is run by local Rotary clubs. It features fairytale and nursery rhyme characters, and offers a children's theatre. Admission to the park and the theatre is free to the public and the park itself is supported purely through donations.

Storybook Land
Small theme park
As its name implies, the park is themed to fairy tales and nursery rhymes such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and is geared to families with young children. It also includes The Land of Oz complete with a yellow brick road. Rides include the Humnpty Dumpty kiddie coaster, a carousel, and a train.

Thunder Road Family Fun Parks
Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and Watertown
Family fun centers (mini amusement parks)
The small centers offer go-karts, mini-golf, and arcades. The larger location in Sioux Falls includes a kiddie roller coaster, bumper boats, batting cages, a Tilt-A-Whirl, and bumper boats.

WaTiki Water Park Resort
Rapid City
Indoor water park and hotel
Small park includes water slides, a lazy river, hot tub and pools as well as an arcade. There are three adjacent hotels.

Wild Water West
Sioux Falls
Medium-sized outdoor water park
Slides include Tornado Alley which features a funnel in the middle.

Other attractions include a wave pool, a lazy river, an interactive water play structure, and a baby pool. Wild Water West also offers go karts, bumper boats, mini golf, and batting cages.