Written on December 20th, 2019
We are all about saving money; we are Black Hills Coupons, of course. Luckily, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to explore the great communities in the Black Hills—there are plenty of free and low-cost things to see and do in the different towns throughout the region. We'll help you out by putting together itineraries featuring inexpensive activities. Bring along your Black Hills Coupon Book to save even more money!
Spearfish, located in the Northern Hills, is home to Black Hills State University. If there's one thing college students are interested in, it's beer! OK, and saving money, too. Tuition and books are expensive, after all. If you're looking for fun things to do in Spearfish that won't break the bank, don't worry—we've got you covered!
Explore the Local Art Scene
Spearfish has gained a reputation as an arts and outdoor community, and it's little wonder—the city is home to several premier art galleries boasting free or inexpensive admission. Several galleries are located on the BHSU campus, including the Ruddell Gallery, which features a rotating schedule of contemporary art and educational exhibits from students, as well as local and nationally-renowned artists. More art can be found on campus at President's Gallery (featuring the work of regional and national artists) and Woodburn Hall Gallery (dedicated to student work). All campus galleries are free and open to the public.
In downtown Spearfish, stop by the historic Matthew's Opera House & Arts Center; built in 1906, this beautiful building houses a Fine Arts Gallery featuring the work of dozens of regional artists from around the Black Hills. Bold, innovative, diverse pieces can be found around every corner. Kids in particular will enjoy the Gallery’s light-up art table and free craft activities. Admission is free. The Gallery is open year-round, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
No art lover should miss the Termesphere Gallery. Located in a geodesic dome just outside Spearfish, the Gallery showcases local artist Dick Termes' internationally-renowned "Termespheres"—revolving three-dimensional paintings on spheres that are suspended from ceiling motors. As they turn, you are able to see north, south, east, west, up, and down. The museum displays anywhere from 30-80 of these unique globes, which resemble oversized reflective bubbles, at any given time. Stop by between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. any day of the week at no cost! Can't make it to the Gallery? There are additional Termespheres on display throughout the community and on the BHSU campus, including a clock tower on Main Street.
Visit the D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery
The D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives was established in 1896, making it one of the oldest fish hatcheries in the U.S. Its goal was to introduce and establish trout populations in South Dakota and Wyoming. The hatchery offers plenty to see and do for people of all ages. Stroll the historic grounds, a 10-acre wonderland of ponds, rock walls, bronze sculptures, and water features; admire the world's largest collection of fisheries artifacts in the museum; tour the Neo-Colonial Revival Booth House to learn about the families that lived and worked at the hatchery; check out Fish Car No. 3, a replica railcar used to transport fish to the hatchery during the Fish Car Era when some 72 billion fish were transported across two million miles of railroad track; admire the Yellowstone Boat, a wooden Great Lakes-style cabin cruiser used to collect trout eggs in Yellowstone National Park; and get an up-close look at brown and rainbow trout from the underwater viewing windows, or feed them from above—a bag of food costs $1.00. (get your coupon here) The hatchery is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk and admission is free.
Play a Game of Disc Golf
Disc golf (sometimes referred to as "Frisbee golf") is enjoying an explosive growth in popularity and is a great game to play with a group of friends. The rules are similar to golf; players throw a flying disc from a tee area toward a target, typically a basket, trying to get it inside in as few throws as possible. It is usually played on a course of nine or 18 "holes." The Spearfish Canyon Disc Golf Course features 27 holes in a beautiful mountain setting and is recognized as one of the Top 50 disc golf courses in the U.S. Alternatively, you can check out the 18-hole course located on the campus of BHSU.
Take a Hike
Ruggedly beautiful Spearfish Canyon is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and appreciated by locals and visitors alike for its stunning natural scenery. Merely driving along the 20-mile Scenic Byway from Spearfish to Cheyenne Crossing is a feast for the senses, but hiking provides an even better opportunity to get up close and personal with nature. There are several hiking trails for a variety of skill levels; try a steep uphill scramble to check out Community Caves or Eleventh Hour, or a more leisurely stroll along the Roughlock Falls trail (with a great payoff at the end). In the wintertime, Bridal Veil Falls and Spearfish Falls ice over; both offer breathtaking photo opportunities. The Canyon is especially popular in the fall, when stands of birch, aspen, oak, and ash turn shades of lime green, gold, crimson, and orange. Colors usually peak during the last week of September or first week of October. Hiking can be enjoyed even during the cold winter months, as long as you have the appropriate gear.