If the day is jam-packed with business, there are plenty of evening opportunities available for groups that would like to include a fun and relaxing off-session activity during the meeting itinerary in South Dakota.
From events featuring spirits of the liquid and paranormal kind to a water ski show starring skiers of all ages, following are eight great ideas for after-hours entertainment throughout the Mount Rushmore state.
Groups meeting in Sioux Falls can easily arrange an enjoyable evening outing to visit the six local craft breweries that make up Brewer’s Row, according to Krista Orsack, director of marketing for the Sioux Falls CVB.
Situated downtown within a three-block area, each brewery offers a unique menu of delicious beers.
Craft brews at Remedy Brewing Co. include Split-Shift Dakota Common Lager and Queen Bee Imperial Honey Cream Ale, and Hydra Beer Company serves Unholy Sweet Stout and Death Breath IPA, among others.
“Many of the locations also have special event nights and local music,” Orsack said. “While walking to each brewery, groups will encounter great food stops, local boutiques and more.”
Another option for groups that would like to toast the day’s work after-hours is Icon Lounge, a chic entertainment venue/bar that has a creative menu of signature drinks and tapas, as well as a lively atmosphere punctuated by live music.
According to Orsack, there is also an event hall located next door for larger group outings or off-site events.
“The building was an abandoned warehouse, so the ambience really mixes history with hip urban decor,” she said. “By request, special events can be customized.”
Groups in search of after-hours intrigue need not look further than Rapid City’s popular Blind Lion, which requires a password to enter.
“With a Prohibition-era theme, this speakeasy is sure to entertain your group with spectacular food and handcrafted cocktails, including the potent, herb-flavor absinthe-based Green Fairy,” said Tyson Steiger, director of convention sales for Visit Rapid City.
Blind Lion is located in the heart of downtown and accommodates groups of up to 100 people.
“Search for them on Facebook to get the digits you’ll need to text to gain your special access,” Steiger said. “Be sure to follow the rules posted, and no cell phones allowed!”
Another engaging evening group activity in downtown Rapid City is an event at Canvas 2 Paint, during which participants will learn the basics of acrylic canvas painting and leave at the end of the night with the work they created.
“This isn’t your high school art class,” said Tyson Steiger, director of convention sales for Visit Rapid City. “The interactive and creative class is for both the artistic and not so artistic.”
Throughout a painting event, he added, great music sets the mood, games are played and adult beverages are enjoyed.
Groups are encouraged to check in with the town’s resident ghosts when the sun sets in Deadwood.
“We have several locations in Deadwood that have paranormal activity and all of them have a unique location with equally unique stories and characters that haunt the establishments,” said Hannah Bohlinger, marketing and events specialist for Deadwood COC and Visitors Bureau (DCVB).
Most ghost tours are offered nightly or can be facilitated at special times depending on the group’s request. A local favorite is the paranormal tour held in October at the Historic Adams House.
“This can include a group meeting with a well-known medium,” Bohlinger said. “For a little darker look into Deadwood’s past, this is the ticket.
Another popular nighttime option for groups meeting in Deadwood is a walking poker run that winds through Deadwood’s historic Main Street. During this event, teams work together to achieve a winning poker hand.
“The best part is the locations and times can be tailored for each specific group,” Bohlinger said. “And, we even provide a Deadwood-themed gift basket for the best hand.”
If a poker run doesn’t match the group’s style, the DCVB can arrange a scavenger hunt that incorporates visits to downtown merchants, casinos and restaurants, according to Bohlinger.
“The big selling point on these outings is they are free,” she said.
A fun evening opportunity for groups during summertime is an outing to check out the Aberdeen Aqua Addicts, who present an action-packed water ski show choreographed with music and incorporating jumping, pyramids, ballet and more.
This is a relaxed, casual option for groups, replete with a small concession stand for snacks and bleacher seating.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for groups to experience something new together, while relaxing and enjoying the setting South Dakota sunshine,” said Laura Ptacek, convention sales and marketing coordinator for the Aberdeen Area CVB.
On certain nights throughout the summer, the team presents a learn-to-ski event that welcomes group participation, she added.
New to Spearfish in 2018 is the Spirit of the American Cowboy comedy music show, which is hosted at the High Plains Western Heritage Center and features an authentic chuckwagon supper followed by musical entertainment.
“In Spearfish, the spirit of the American cowboy comes to life,” said Mistie Caldwell, executive director for Visit Spearfish. “This is a great and unique event for groups because it is an originally created entertainment piece that highlights the Spearfish and Black Hills area.”
She added the show’s host venue is bus-friendly, accommodates small and large groups, and boasts a view of five states.
South Dakota CVB Contact Information
Aberdeen Area CVB
Deadwood COC and Visitors Bureau
Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau
Pierre Area COC
Sioux Falls CVB
Visit Rapid City