photo of storybook land aberdeen sd

Our Full Review of Storybook Land in Aberdeen, SD

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Storybook Land and Other Adventures in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Planning a trip to Storybook Land in Aberdeen, SD and wondering what it’s like? Not sure what else there is to do in Aberdeen?

Last month, we were in serious need of some family time, so my husband and I decided to take our daughters there, and today I’m sharing all the details.

(Believe it or not, we never visited Aberdeen when we actually lived in South Dakota!)

But of course, our firstborn was only a year old when we moved away, so we never had a reason to take her to Storybook Land back then….

Anyway, although Raelyn was too young to enjoy the theme park, Kenna had a blast! It was a fun way to celebrate her third birthday.

In this review, I’m going to share some pictures of the things we did on our trip, and I’ll try to answer any questions you might have about visiting Storybook Land.

Let’s begin!


pinterest image that says storybook land aberdeen sd and the land of oz with small kids


What is Storybook Land in Aberdeen, SD?

Storybook Land is a theme park with over 65 nursery rhyme themed exhibits, including rides, shows, and playgrounds.

You can also visit Dorothy’s home, experience a tornado simulation, and follow the Yellow Brick Road through the Land of Oz (from the story The Wizard of Oz, which originated in Aberdeen, SD).

Storybook Land is located in Wylie Park, which also has a campground, a zoo, beach, bumper cars, mini golf, and more.

While you can experience Storybook Land in a day, you could also take a few days to visit Wylie Park and enjoy everything it has to offer.


Here is a quick video I put together with highlights from our trip:



Storybook Land Aberdeen, SD Hours

The Visitor’s Center is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm during the Summer (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend). Hours can vary in the Spring and Fall.


Storybook Land Rides

Kids two and under can go on the rides for free, as long as they meet the height requirements, so you just pay for an accompanying adult.

Monday was Kenna’s last day as a two-year-old, and we didn’t realize that kids two and under could go on the rides for free. So we bought a ten-ride punch card as soon as we arrived and used up all the rides throughout the day.

Tuesday happened to be her third birthday, and we used up another punch card that day.

She was really excited about the train tour of Storybook Land, and she rode it at least three times. One of the times, all four of us rode together — it was the only ride Raelyn could go on.


Note: If you’re there with a stroller, you can leave it next to the train station — but make sure to take anything valuable with you.


photo of the train ride | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of the train ride | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd


Nursing Station

Shortly after arriving, Dan took Kenna on the train tour while I went to nurse Raelyn. Storybook Land has a breastfeeding station, located in Santa’s House, where you can feed your babe out of the heat and humidity.


Exploring Storybook Land

We then visited the Storybook Land castle, where the theater is located, and watched a few kids put on an impromptu performance.

Since it was past noon by this point, we went back inside the visitor center to cool off and get some concessions. They have things like personal pizzas, nachos, corn dogs, and even Italian ice.

After we ate, we did some more exploring and took Kenna on a few rides. We went inside Dorothy’s house, and Dan went through the tornado simulation. It was pretty scary for Kenna, and I wasn’t all that eager to try it either.

She did enjoy petting a goat, although she wasn’t able to feed the animals because the feed machine wasn’t working.

Raelyn enjoyed a parent-and-baby swing on one of the playgrounds, which was really neat. Dan and I delighted in her giggles as we swung with her.

Of course, Kenna had to check out each of the Three Little Pigs’ houses (this is one of her current favorite stories).


photo of the yellow brick road | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of the pumpkin shell | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of my baby and me | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of the castle | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of r swinging | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of k petting the goat | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of a barn | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of dorothy's house | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd

photo of the straw house | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd


Roma Ristorante Italiano

After checking into our hotel, we went out for dinner. We decided on Roma Ristorante Italiano.

I was a little apprehensive at first, because it sounded really fancy and, well, I’m not wild about taking kids to a fancy restaurant. But it was absolutely family-friendly, and the food was great.


photo of k at the italian restaurant | storybook land aberdeen sd


And despite being absolutely stuffed, we stopped at The Twist Cone on our way back to the hotel for ice cream. Kenna was enthralled with her kids’ code, which was garnished with candy eyes.


photo of d and k with ice cream | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the birthday girl | our trip to storybook land in aberdeen sd


The next day was Kenna’s birthday, so she got to open up her present from us before breakfast.

We just ate the continental breakfast at the hotel, which was your standard hotel breakfast — scrambled eggs, sausage, make-your-own pancakes, plus all the typical cold options — cereal, granola bars, yogurt, etc.

We had already spent about four hours at Storybook Land the previous day, but there were a few things left to see. We ended up spending another 3-4 hours there the second day.

Kenna got to slide down Jack and Jill’s hill, climb up the clock (from Hickory Dickory Dock), and we all walked through a life-size maze (yes, even while pushing the double stroller!).

After visiting the animals at the Wylie Park Zoo, we followed the Yellow Brick Road past the cowardly lion’s den (which Kenna deemed “too scary” to go inside) and the witch’s castle (also too scary).

We ordered food from the concessions stand again for lunch. Kenna enjoyed a couple more rides, then I took her on one last train ride before we called it a day.

It was getting hot, and we still wanted to take the girls to the hotel pool.


photo of jack and jill's hill | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the carousel | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the teacup ride | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the wizard of oz characters | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the clock | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of a mirror | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the bison | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the deer | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of llamas | storybook land aberdeen sd

photo of the trees | storybook land aberdeen sd


Best Western Ramkota

The Best Western Ramkota has a really fun indoor swimming pool!

There is a frog water slide, lily pads, and a water cannon (which unfortunately didn’t seem to work while we were there).

The pool isn’t very deep, which is perfect for younger kids. Kenna had a blast! Even Raelyn enjoyed sitting in the shallow end with me.


photo of the hotel pool | storybook land aberdeen sd


Nervous about staying in a hotel with little ones? Here are some pointers for planning a hotel stay with kids.


Afterward, we took showers and baths and got ready to go out.

We asked Kenna what she wanted to eat for her birthday dinner. In typical three-year-old fashion, she decided on cake. And chocolate.

So I did some quick Google research and found a restaurant with chocolate cake on the menu.


photo of the birthday girl with her dessert | storybook land aberdeen sd


The Brass Kettle

Chocolate Flourless Cake was the birthday special at The Brass Kettle.

We arrived there with two sleeping girls, who apparently had had too much birthday fun. Kenna slept until our food arrived (by the way, the pizza is delicious and oh-so-greasy).

Sadly, they were out of the Chocolate Flourless Cake and Kenna got Oreo Cheesecake instead. She ate the whipped cream and Dan and I were happy to share the cheesecake.


photo at storybook land | storybook land aberdeen sd


Storybook Land in Aberdeen, SD is a great destination for a quick family getaway.

We look forward to bringing the girls back in a couple years, when Raelyn is old enough to enjoy Storybook Land too.

Are you planning a trip to Storybook Land? Or have you been there already? Share your questions and comments below!


Read More:

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  1. Wow! Storybook Land looks like a lot of fun! My husband keeps trying to get our family to South Dakota. This just might tip the scales. And being one of eight girls in my family, I have a soft spot for daddy/daughter photos!

    1. Definitely consider it! Even if you have older kids, I’m sure you will find things to interest them in Aberdeen.

  2. This looks like such a fun vacation! I always tease everyone because I really love SD and I always tell my family we need to go on a family reunion there and they just laugh at me. It’s because they have never been!

  3. I want to go to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore and this would be the perfect addition to our trip with our 2 and 4 year old!

  4. Looks fun, and HOT! My sister lives just a few blocks from Wylie Park and I’ve jogged through the park in the mornings, but I’ve never been into Storybook Land. Next time I’ll find a kid to take!

  5. I’ve been looking for some little easy trips for us to go on this summer! This one looks perfect I think we might end up taking our kids there this summer!

    1. Your kids would love it – there’s so much to do there! I kind of want to go there again with my girls, actually. 😀

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