Our famous three-level Sky Dome is the most iconic building at Reptile Gardens, and probably one of the most iconic in South Dakota.  Step into our Safari Room a veritable oasis filled with beautiful orchids, bromeliads, caladiums, and other tropical plants from all around the globe. Be amazed as you encounter sculptures from Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia as our free-roaming lizard and frog friends give you and the family a proper Reptile Gardens welcome.  The Sky Dome is home to the largest collection of reptiles in the world!  Climb up to the Mezzanine level where you’ll encounter our collection of venomous and non-venomous snakes.   Venture down to the lower level of the Sky Dome where you’ll encounter the giant croc, Maniac, and his crocodilian friends.  Continue your journey in the lower level of the Sky Dome and see where our amphibian friends and our "BIG BUGS!" dwell.

Exotic Reptiles, Amphibians & Bugs

The Mezzanine Level features our collection of exotic reptiles. Meet the most venomous snakes on earth, the Fierce Snake (we have the only specimens of this rare species in North America), as well as the rarest snakes in the world, the Rough-scaled Python, as well as Giant Pythons, Mambas, Cobras, venomous lizards, and rattlesnakes.

The lower level of the Dome houses some of our cool Crocodilian friends, the most famous (and most feared) being Maniac, our giant saltwater crocodile. The lower level of the dome also houses our collection of amphibians, like the brightly colored (although deadly) Poison Dart Frogs.  You’ll also be able to see our collection of "Big Bugs!" and get up close and personal with some visitor favorites like the giant tarantulas.

Amazing Fossils

For those not particularly fond of snakes and lizards, many of the exhibits in the Sky Dome feature fossils, beautiful mineral specimens, photos, and woodcarvings. The Sky Dome also houses an exact cast of an Archelon Turtle Fossil, the largest ever found.  The fossil was actually discovered by paleontologists a short distance from Reptile Gardens in the 1970's!  In spite of efforts by Reptile Gardens' founder Earl Brockelsby to keep the original in South Dakota, it was sold to a museum in Vienna, Austria.


You can’t miss us!

The Sky Dome is hard to miss and one of the most popular attractions at Reptile Gardens.  The largest collection of reptiles in the world is located just 6 miles south of Rapid City, SD at 8955 S. Highway 16.  Just look for the giant dome at the bottom of the hill on Highway 16.



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Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch Funtier Town

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing, go on a 3D safari, or test your aim at the shooting gallery! Our very own old west ghost town has numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

At the end of every snake show, you will get the opportunity to pet a python and chat with our knowledgeable show presenters. Don't forget your camera!