Day 4 – De Smet, South Dakota


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There were SO many great things about today!

  • Left around dusk because we had 5 hours to drive and many of the activities at the Ingalls Homestead stopped at 2pm.
  • We decided that traveling when kids are tired in the early morning is a MUCH better option
  • Only 4 brief stops along the way – two for bathroom breaks, once to drive around Walnut Grove,  and once for a quick “to-go” lunch at McDonald’s
  • We pulled in at the Homestead around 12:15 – wow, we made good time!
  • There were only a handful of other visitors there so we got to do all the available activities including: rope-making, corn-cob dolls, pony ride, shetland pony driving, covered wagon ride (all 4 kids had a chance to drive the horses), and a visit to the schoolhouse and church building.
  • After the planned activities where done, we were free to explore the rest of the property and buildings
  • We played in the Ingall’s Home (rebuilt to the same dimensions in the same place as the original claim)
  • Saw a dugout home, a shanty, played in the barn, played with the local kittens, told CJ to put the kittens down 42 times, made some more corn-cob dolls and rope, climbed the lookout tower, played a little horse shoes, looked around the gift shop
  • Then we “checked in” and found out we’d be the only folks camping – and after 5 would have the entire property to ourselves and could play anywhere we want as long as we shut the doors when we’re done (What?!)
  • We headed into town, drove past some other local historic sites, and grabbed some Subway/DQ (same building).
  • Returned to the Homestead – Mom & Dad unloaded and reorganized/cleaned up the van while the 4 kids took off to play at the house
  • Then we all played at the house a bit more, then drove the van down to play in the school house again (it was walkable, but a bit far) before coming back to settle in in our “bunk house”
  • Played some games, ate some snacks, watched an episode of Little House, then hit the sack
  • Dad took a short walk outside to look at the clear South Dakota sky – just as many stars as he’d hoped to see!
  • Overall, the day was great. Weather was beautiful. Our schedule was unhindered. Activities where available as long as the kids wanted. The place was ours. Couldn’t get any better than that!

We highly recommend Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dekota and hope to return


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