Family, Travel

Wylie Park and Storybook Land-A Great Place For Kids!

We recently took a family vacation to Storybook Land at Wylie Park in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and it was awesome! This was a perfect vacation for us to take with our kiddos who are ages 1.5 years, 5 years, and 8 years old.

We had a partnered sponsorship with Wylie Park for this trip, and were really excited for all the attractions that the park has to offer.

Wylie Park is a beautiful 210-acre park located in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  The park has lodging accommodations that include tent sites, RV sites, as well as cabin options that include 7 small cabins, 4 medium cabins, 4 large cabins, and 1 deluxe cabin.

For this vacation we were really excited that our extended families were able to join us. My parents, my husbands parents, and my two brothers were able to make the trip to the park and spend the weekend with us and the kids, and it was a blast!

My parents had vacationed with my brothers and I at Storybook Land when we were kids. While we were too young to remember much from the trip, we were all still really excited for the opportunity to return as a family and explore the park again and see how much it’s changed.

Our Cabin Accommodations
Our family of 5 stayed in one of the large cabins (C22), and it was perfect for us and our kids.  The cabin included a queen size bed in the master bedroom, as well as 2 bunk beds and a loft with 2 twin size mattresses on the floor. The leather couch also was a pull out bed if needed. The kitchen had a full-size fridge, 2 burner cook top, toaster, coffee maker, sink and cabinets furnished with pans, plates, bowls, cups and mugs, silverware and cookware. There was also a small round kitchen table with 4 chairs. The bathroom was spacious enough with a sink, toilet, and a roomy walk-in shower. The cabin was clean and obviously new as it smelled wonderfully of the beautiful wood it was made out of.

The view of the front of our cabin (C22)
The inside of our cabin (C22) from top left: master bedroom/couch and loft/twin beds in loft/vaulted ceiling/full size kitchen/bathroom-walk-in shower/bunk beds/eating area

180* view of our cabin (C22)

Linens are not included with the cabin, which we were told at the time of booking. We brought a bed sheet and large blanket for the master bedroom, sleeping bags for the older two kiddos in the bunks, and our youngest slept with us. We also brought our own hand towels and towels for showering.

My parents and brothers also shared a cabin right next to ours (C21). Their cabin had a different layout that didn’t include the loft, and their kitchen was smaller in size and only included a dorm-size fridge.  However, their cabin did include an amazing deck with chairs.

There were picnic tables by each of the cabins, as well as a fire pit with a grill. We brought our own food and enjoyed grilling for supper the evening we stayed as well as a fire that evening.

The outside of cabin C21
K enjoying the fire in the evening

After spending our weekend in the cabins, we all agreed we enjoyed it more than staying at a hotel. We felt like we had privacy and were able to do our own thing, which is something we enjoy when we vacation. We were also more comfortable with the larger space we had by staying in the cabins, especially with the kids. As a mom with a son who has dietary restrictions, I was thankful for the grill and kitchen to keep and prepare our own meals at.

We all agreed that the prices were also affordable and comparable to staying at a hotel. They also offer affordable campground travel packages that include lodging and tickets for the rides at Storybook Land, Thunder Road, and the Aquatics Center (which was closed for the season when we visited). The staff at the Lodge were all very friendly and informative. The Lodge had a small gift shop, drinks, firewood, charcoal, and limited groceries (the necessities).

Storybook Land is also just a short walk from the campground area, so we were able to visit Storybook Land during the day, eat our meals at the cabin, and walk back to Storybook Land until the kids were tired enough to go to bed, all without having to drive or leave the park!

On their way back from an after-supper walk to Storybook Land from our cabins!

Storybook Land
We planned to get to the park around 10am since that was when we knew Storybook Land opened.  Summer operating hours vary, so if you plan a trip make sure to visit the Wylie Park website for updated time and attraction information.

Our family managed to arrive at the park first. While we waited for our other family members we let the kids play on the playground equipment and had some lunch. There are several playgrounds throughout Wylie Park, and each site had equipment that all three of our kids were able to play on and enjoy. Most of the playgrounds have pavilions with picnic tables to eat at as well.

When everyone finally arrived, it was time to enter Storybook Land!

After walking through the arch entrance and down a short path you arrive at the visitor center, wishing fountain, and train depot.  The visitors center contains a gift shop, concessions, restrooms, party rooms, and visitors center.

Storybook Land is free to get into, making it a very affordable place to visit! The rides available throughout Storybook Land are very reasonably priced, and discounted punch cards are also available. One punch card has 10 punches, and it can be used by everyone in your group, making it convenient and affordable.

Visitor Center
Wishing Fountain

To start with we decided to take a ride on the Storybook Land Express. This is a train ride around the park that takes 15-18 minutes. We thought it would be a good way to see the sights, and our youngest loves anything with a motor, so he was pretty excited for the ride!

The Storybook Land Express
The hubs and the kiddos ready for our train ride!

The train travels through the park and around Storybook Land. The conductor will point out significant attractions and give a brief history about them. There is also a zoo on the outer edge of part of the park where we saw buffalo, whitetail deer, elk, prairie dogs, geese, and llama.

Buffalo
Elk
Llama

Once we were done with our train ride we headed through the visitor center to enter Storybook Land. At the entrance there is a large map of the park. They also have an app available if you prefer to use that!

Storybook Land Map

At the time of this post, there are 45 attractions in Storybook Land and another 14 in The Land of Oz. In this post I’ll be sharing our Storybook Land favorites, but there are more to see!

As soon as you emerge from the visitor center into the park you see a huge rainbow and pot of gold. Jack and the beanstalk is towering overhead and you can see Jack climbing it if you look up!

Rainbow and pot of gold
Jack climbing the beanstalk

Next up was Yogi Bear. A thought he was pretty cool!

A standing by Yogi Bear

Cinderella’s carriage helped get G excited to see more princesses!

Cinderella’s carriage

We loved the detail in the nursery rhyme ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’.

Hey, diddle, diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon; The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Mary and her lamb were also a hit with the kids.

Mary had a little lamb

The characters of Bambi were so cute! A thought he could take a ride!

A riding Bambi

There were a lot playground areas throughout Storybook Land. The kids loved this, and it helped them to burn off some of their excited energy!

Playground Area

One of the few parts of the park that I remember from when I was there as a kid was the Old Woman’s Shoe. For some reason this stuck in my mind, and it was really cool to see how much my kids enjoyed this attraction as well! They loved climbing inside and going down the long slide!

Old Woman’s Shoe

Another thing I remember from when I was a kid and was glad to see was still there was the statutes of the Wizard of Oz characters.  G loves the Wizard of Oz and was really excited when she saw them all!

Wizard of Oz characters at the entrance to The Land of Oz

The Three Little Pigs were a hit with G and A!!!

The Three Little Pig’s Houses’

Our kids love all petting zoo’s, and the petting zoo at Old MacDonald’s Barn was no exception!

A feeding animals at Old MacDonald’s Farm. He loved the chickens!!!

Another great playground area was the pirate ship. A was able to do it all by himself, which he was super excited about! It was such a beautiful attraction!

A going on to the ship
A coming down the ship’s slide!

Jack and Jill was another great slide for the kids to play on. They loved the climb and the descent!

Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water…
Slide at Jack and Jill

One of the main attractions at Storybook Land is the castle. The castle is magnificent and stands at the center of Storybook Land. To get into the castle you have to cross the moat by using one of the bridges. Once inside, you will find a beautiful mural painted behind a stage where productions take place all summer long. There is bleacher seating or you can climb the stairs and stand in the balcony.

180* view of the stage

The Rides at Storybook Land
There are several kid-friendly rides at Storybook Land, and our family enjoyed the all!  The oldest ride is the antique carousel. This carousel may be antique, but it is obviously well taken care of and loved. While at Storybook Land I went live on Facebook while the kids were riding the carousel. You can see that video clip below.

Papa, A, and G on the carousel
K on the carousel

Our oldest sons favorite ride was also the newest ride at the park. The roller coaster was a lot of fun for both our son and daughter, and they rode it several times!

Another fun ride was the Hot Air Balloon at the end of the yellow brick road. This attraction was added in 2005. You can make the basket spin by turning the wheel attached to the post in the middle of each basket, or you can simply enjoy the basket rising and the view of the park that you get from the top. As you can hear from the video, it was a lot of fun for my family as they rode to the top and made their baskets spin!

We really enjoyed our family vacation at Wylie Park and Storybook Land and would encourage anyone with kids to consider Wylie Park and Storybook Land for their family. The kids loved it and everything was so kid-friendly while still enjoyable for the adults. The accommodations at Wylie Park Campground made for a comfortable and laid back stay, and the kids absolutely loved the playgrounds the park had to offer.

The Land of Oz is also located in Storybook Land. In The Land of Oz you get to follow the story of Dorothy and Toto as they follow the yellow brick road from Dorothy’s house all the way to the wicked witches castle. Check back for a post featuring The Land of Oz coming soon!

Thunder Road is also located at Wylie Park right next to Storybook Land. On our second day at the park we enjoyed some of the rides and attractions at Thunder Road. Keep tuned for a post detailing our fun at Thunder Road soon!

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30 thoughts on “Wylie Park and Storybook Land-A Great Place For Kids!

  1. This brings back memories of trips to the Enchanted Forest in Oregon when I was a child, it’s a very similar amusement park. Loved your post and all of your photos and videos are very descriptive!

  2. Looks like a fun time was had by all. Wish I lived closer to enjoy places like this. Miss being able to drive into other states to see what they have to offer. Would defiantly try this if ever we return to the lower 48.

  3. Oh my gosh, how cool!! I’ve never heard of this place. We want to go to South Dakota this Fall, so I’ll have to put this on the list. Thank you for sharing this awesome post!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Make sure to check their website for their dates and times of operation. Unfortunately most things at the park close down after Labor Day. Hope you make it there tho! It’s a great time for the whole family!

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