Photo © SD Tourism

Activities and Programs in Custer State Park

Custer State Park hosts mant activities and educational programs everyday. Be sure to check the Events Calendar to see all the daily happenings in the park. 

The Black Hills Playhouse

The Black Hills Playhouse is one of the oldest, continuously operated theater companies in the nation. Each summer the playhouse produces high-quality, live performances featuring musicals, comedy and drama. Custer State Park provides a unique setting for this intimate and dynamic theater experience.


Daycamps generally take place during the third week of June, July, and August, please check the calendar for specific times and dates.  Geared for children 7-12, they have a chance to learn how to tie a fishing knot, or learn the difference between cat and dog tracks, or explore more about the park’s iconic buffalo. Reservations are required and must be made by calling 605.255.4464.

Hook 'em and Cook 'em Fishing 

Learn how to fish from start to finish. Available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. from June to mid-August.

Junior Naturalist Program

As part of the Junior Naturalist program, kids 7-12 years old, participate in several different activities to earn a certificate, gold seal, and/or embroidered patch. Activities highlight the park's resources through guided nature hikes, recreational activities, evening programs, and other fun and educational offerings.

Participants will receive a Junior Naturalist Guidebook packed with fun activities that guide kids as they learn about Custer State Park and its heritage.

To earn an embroidered patch, a series of activities as well as a Junior Naturalist program are required of each participant. During the summer season, qualifying activities are held daily in the park.  The Junior Naturalist program is typically at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day at the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center.

Patio Activities

Activities on the patio at Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center are happening daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Pups Program

The Pups Program is designed to help 4-6 year olds learn more about nature and Custer State Park. Similar to the Junior Naturalist Program, there are requirements for the kids to complete in order to earn an embroidered patch for their hard work. Qualifying activities are held daily in the park during the summer season.  The Pups Prowl, a program specifically designed for younger kids, is typically at 10am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Virtual Geocache Adventure

Custer State Park offers a Virtual Geocache Adventure each year. No physical caches are hidden. Instead, nature provides the answer! Seven waypoints will guide participants to a natural or historic landmark, an interpretive sign, a scenic area or overlook to find the answer to a variety of questions.

Interested participants should stop by the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center and pick up the Virtual Geocache brochure. The hunt is June 1 - October 31. Answers are not revealed until after October 31. Participants who successfully find the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes.

Geocache Booklet

Seasonal Volksmarch

Volksmarches are non-competitive walks along pre-marked routes. Teaming up with the Black Hills Volkssport Association, Custer State Park offers a seasonal trail for interested hikers. For more information or to make group arrangements, contact the Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center at 605.255.4464.

Where to Start: Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center
Registration: Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center, daily 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Distance: 6.2 miles 
Trail Map

  • Hike only: $2
  • Credit only: $3
  • Credit and "B" award: $4

Wildlife Loop Road Caravan

The caravan departs from the Visitor Center at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the days it’s scheduled.  Please contact the park for specific times.