Holiday Events Planned at Wind Cave National Park

A person standing in a snowstorm looking through binoculars on a snowy day.

Wind Cave will be hosting their annual Christmas Bird Count on December 15. Photo via NPS

South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park will kick off its holiday events on Sunday, December 15, with the park’s 18th annual Christmas Bird Count. The festivities continue the following Tuesday, December 17th, with the park’s holiday open house.

The Christmas Bird Count is patterned after the National Audubon Society’s effort to document trends in wintering birdlife throughout the United States. The count area will include all of Wind Cave National Park, areas of the Black Hills National Forest as well as Custer State Park.

Anyone wishing to take part in the bird count should meet at the visitor center at 8:00 am. Participants are asked to dress warmly, bring a lunch, field guides, binoculars, and something to share in a potluck dinner. Watchers will return to the visitor center at 4:15 pm to compile results and share in a potluck dinner. For more information, contact Barb Muenchau or Dan Roddy at 745-4600.

Two days later, the open house run from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm at the visitor center. Light refreshments will be served, and students from the Hot Springs’ third grade will sing carols beginning around 1:15 pm. A Christmas tree in the visitor center will also be decorated by the students.

The open house is one of our favorite events each year as it gives us an opportunity to meet and greet our neighbors. We would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you either at the open house or in 2014. Vidal Davila, Wind Cave National Park Superintendent

During the open house, the public will be able to view park exhibits and browse through the visitor center’s bookstore which is operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association. Cave tours will also be offered, as they are throughout the winter, at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.

The visitor center and cave will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day to allow staff to celebrate the holidays with their families. Throughout the rest of the winter, the visitor center will be open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

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