South Dakota offers a riveting array of museum venues for meetings and off-site events. From gold mining history to rodeo, the state’s repositories and collections tell stories of the past and spotlight the region’s culture. Following are some standout options.
- Adams Museum, Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (www.adamsmuseumandhouse.org) in Deadwood is one of the top and Old West museums in the country. It contains the history of the Homestake Mining Company, the richest and largest gold mining company that operated from 1876-2002. Meeting spaces offer many educational opportunities.
- Orpheum Theater Center (www.siouxfallsorpheum.com) in Sioux Falls has three spaces for events, including a theater that seats 700. The theater opened in 1913 as a vaudeville house with superb acoustics, and in its newly preserved state, it hosts plys, concerts and community events throughout the year. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Museum of Visual Materials (www.sfmvm.com) in Sioux Falls features antique dolls, porcelain frogs, 80,000 sewing buttons and other interesting finds. This frequently changing display of artifacts from one family’s collections is a visual treat and a great green spot for events, as it is located in South Dakota’s first LEED Platinum Building. Spaces accommodate up to 230 guests.
- Journey Museum (www.journeymuseum.org) in Rapid City takes visitors on a trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. The museum brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections that tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains, from the perspective of the Lakota people and the pioneers who shaped its past to the scientists who now study it. Event venues include a theater, library, boardroom, outdoor area and gallery that can host up to 200 people.
- Crazy Horse Memorial (www.crazyhorsememorial.org) is not only the world’s largest sculpture in progress, it’s also a great event site. The visitors complex includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural Center, a 40,000-square-foot orientation center and two theaters. The nightly multimedia laser-light show that spotlights Native American culture is a dramatic addition to events.
- Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center & Mattie Goff-Newcomb Conference Center (www.caseytibbs.com) in Pierre offers function space for up to 250 people. Several venues offer spectacular views of the Missouri River and surrounding scenery, along with the opportunity to appreciate the rodeo hall of fame champions, rodeo stories, artifacts and lore.
- The High Plains Western Heritage Center (www.westernheritagecenter.com) in Spearfish includes a Five-State Regional Museum founded to honor Old West pioneers of the Great Plains. Over 20,000 square feet of quality exhibits feature Western art, artifacts and memorabilia, including the original Spearfish to Deadwood Stagecoach.