It’s hard to choose the best thing we did on our family trip to the Black Hills, but we did save the BIGGEST for last!

The hubby and I just happened to be at the same music camp in the Black Hills about 14 years ago. The concerts for the camp were at that amphitheatre pictured above at the base of Mount Rushmore and that was the last time both of us were there!

The lovely folks at Mount Rushmore have made some really nice updates to the area surrounding and leading up to the famous faces since we last visited, including the Avenue of Flags…

We were able to find the Nebraska flag and on the post below each flag, they also have more info about the state…

A fun way to learn about the United States with the kids!

There are many different ways to view the faces. You can bring your binoculars…

Or take one of the trails or stairs to view it all a little closer up…

We chose not to do the extra walking with the little guys this time, but it is a wonderful way to explore the area and take in the beautiful scenery surrounding the mountain as well!

And of course, the whole park is a GREAT place to take pictures!


I honestly thought the boys might not really “get it” or enjoy it, but we had talked about it enough ahead of time that they were very excited. Plus, there are giant heads on the side of mountain – who wouldn’t think that was awesome?!

The National Park Service’s Mount Rushmore site has a page just for kids and one for teachers as well! I learned a lot exploring these pages, including WHY these particular four presidents were chosen for the mountain…


George Washington represents the BIRTH of our country.

Thomas Jefferson represents the EXPANSION of our country.

Abraham Lincoln represents the PRESERVATION of our country.

Theodore Roosevelt represents the DEVELOPMENT of our country.

Isn’t that cool? Such a great way to explain it to the kids!

The title of this post is “Monumental Sights” because there is another monument in the Black Hills you must see. The problem is we COULDN’T see it because of the fog so I have no pictures of my own {just this one from the South Dakota Tourism site}!

Crazy Horse is an incredible work in progress {model pictured in front, actual sculpture in the distance} that will dwarf each head on Mount Rushmore in size…

Chief Henry Standing Bear wrote to sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski in 1939 urging him to visit the Black Hills and carve a mountain sculpture honoring American Indians.

Fifty-five years after Ziolkowski began carving Crazy Horse Memorial, his family continues the dream and work progresses on the world’s largest mountain sculpture. When finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high. {South Dakota Tourism website}

This is an important place to visit to round out your trip to the Black Hills in terms of history and culture. It is also a great testament to hard work and perseverance – an excellent example to use with your children!


So, that wraps up our posts on our family trip to the Black Hills! So glad you joined us on the journey! And if you have any questions about planning your own vacation to the Hills, please leave a comment or email erin {at} homewiththeboys {dot} net and I will do my best to get answers for you!


Disclaimer: Head for the Hills is a sponsored series with the South Dakota Department of Tourism. We were compensated for portions of our trip, but all opinions in this series are 100% our own!

You can connect with the friendly and helpful people at the South Dakota Department of Tourism on Twitter and Facebook! Tell them Home with the Boys sent you!