• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

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.
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: December 5, 2013
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Holiday events at Wind Cave National Park begin Sunday, December 15, with the park's 18th annual Christmas Bird Count and continue the following Tuesday, December 17th, with the park's holiday open house.

People wishing to participate in the bird count should meet at the visitor center at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to dress warmly, bring a lunch, field guides, binoculars, and something to share for dinner with a place setting. Participants will return to the visitor center at 4:15 p.m. to compile results and share in a potluck dinner. For more information, contact Barb Muenchau or Dan Roddy at 745-4600.

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 and areas of the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park.

The open house on December 17 will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the visitor center. Light refreshments will be served, and students from the Hot Springs' third grade will sing carols around 1:15 p.m. The visitor center Christmas tree will 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," said Superintendent Vidal Davila. "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."

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 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

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 remainder of the winter, the visitor center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Did You Know?

Bull elk in the park.

A Rocky Mountain bull elk weighs between 700 - 800 pounds. Rocky Mountain elk were introduced to the park in 1914 and 1916. More...