Dickinson, ND is a rapidly developing place, it’s been one of the fastest-growing cities in America since the North Dakota oil boom.
Dickinson is known as the gateway to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and has a lot of cool things to do.
Whether you’re looking to relax, take in some nature or just have fun, Dickinson has a range of great options. If you’re visiting anytime soon, check out these fun things to do!
1. Explore the past at Dickinson Museum Center
Spanning a 12 acre campus, the Dickinson Museum Center is a complex with 4 different museums to explore.
The Badlands Dinosaur museum is home to the biggest dinosaur fossil collection in North Dakota with 6 full skeletons and interactive displays. The Pioneer Machinery Hall is a huge collection of farming and agricultural exhibits. The Joachim Regional Museum features historical artefacts from Dickinson, while The Prairie Outpost Park houses historic sculptures from North Dakota.
The Dickinson Museum Center is accessible for all ages and is a great way to spend a day learning about local culture and history. Entrance is really cheap at $6 for adults and $4 for kids.
2. Be in awe at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Named in honor of the famous president who hunted bison there, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a stunning scenic landmark.
The park has a vast selection of animals to see, from bison and elk, to snakes and lizards. There are over 186 types of birds in the various habitats.There are also up to 500 species of plants inhabiting the park.
Kids are issued with a junior ranger book on arrival to help them spot different kinds of nature as well as educate them on the park’s history. The park has a range of activities for adults as well such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking and kayaking. Camping is also available with reservations recommended.
3. Watch a race at Southwest Speedway
If you enjoy the thrill of stock car racing, or want to experience it for the first time, Southwest Speedway is the place to go!
Southwest Speedway is an oval shaped clay racetrack which is home to stock car races. The races are fast, exciting and a must see if you’re spending time in Dickinson, ND. The races feature a variety of different cars and plenty of car on car bumper action.
The track is family friendly and visitors are even allowed to take their own food and alcohol! Concessions are available at reasonable prices. Races are usually held on Saturday evenings so check their website to see what’s happening during your trip.
4. Grab a drink at Phat Fish Brewery and Pizzeria
With a range of locally brewed beers, Phat Fish Brewery and Pizzeria is a great family-friendly bar and restaurant in Dickinson, ND.
The bar has a great selection of handcrafted beers, all brewed in North Dakota. Most of the draft beers are brewed on-site by their team of expert brewers. From IPAs and stouts, to Belgian beers, they have it all.
The bar’s pizzas are famous in Dickinson, with the breakfast pizza being a highlight. There is a kids menu and plenty of games to keep the younger ones entertained. The bar even has an axe throwing section. Take care if you try this after a few drinks!
5. Relax at Patterson Lake Recreation Area
Known locally as the best park in the city, Patterson Lake Recreation Area is a fantastic spot for all ages to enjoy.
Set amongst a sprawling 1,763 acres of land, the park is huge and features the beautiful Patterson Lake. The grounds are well-maintained and beautiful at all times of the year.
There are an abundance of activities at the park suitable for both kids and adults. Workout equipment is located all around the park close to kids play areas. Kids can enjoy golf, tennis, T-ball, swimming and more. Adults can choose from soccer, curling, basketball, volley and other sports. The park even has an 18 hole disc golf course.
Patterson Lake is stunning and has a swimming area, jet skiing, boating and fishing activities. Camping is also available on site.
6. Throw a strike at Paragon Bowl
A great alley located in Dickinson, Paragon Bowl is a fun way to spend a few hours.
This bowling alley has 12 lanes, all with automatic scoring and is open until late.
Paragon Bowl has a fantastic bar and grill, along with a casino area. The alley is suitable for all ages and is reasonably priced.
Local bowling leagues are played at the lanes and live music events are held on the weekends.
7. Work up a sweat at West River Community Center
Home to fitness, sports and swimming, West River Community Center is an excellent sports complex to burn some calories on your trip to Dickinson.
The center has an indoor and outdoor pool with water slides which can be used by both kids and adults. Lifeguards are available at all times and the spa and lazy river are great for relaxing.
The fitness area has a great selection of free weights and machines, with personal training and classes available. There are basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts to use. There is a fantastic kids play area as well as a rock climbing wall. The center even has tanning beds for those looking to get a bit of vitamin D.
Daily passes are on sale at just $8 for adults, and $6 for under 18s making this a perfect choice for those on vacation.
8. Visit Ukrainian Cultural Institute
In the 1890’s, a large number of Ukrainian moved to North Dakota. The Ukrainian Cultural Institute was founded to preserve their history.
The institute is home to Ukrainian arts and crafts such as Ukrainian decorated eggs and arts. The Ukrainian settlers played a big role in local history and a lot of it is showcased here.
Ukrainian food is served in the cafe and the gift shop sells some lovely fine crafts. The institute is a popular attraction amongst visitors to Dickinson, ND.
9. Take the Dickinson Walking Tour
In order to get a real feel for the city, the Dickinson Walking Tour is a must do!
The tour will take you throughout the town and give you a chance to witness the buildings and sights which make the city what it is today. The half mile walk showcases local architecture and offers an insight into the role of slavery and freedom in local history.
Maps and brochures are available at the Dickinson Museum Center, which is the start point of this self-guided tour. Guided tours can also be booked.
10. Go for a play at Heart River Golf Course
If you’re wanting to play a round during your trip to Dickinson, Heart River Golf Course is exactly what you’re looking for.
This challenging 18 hole course is well-kept and features some beautiful scenery. The course is suitable for all skill levels and has great views of the Heart River. The front 9 holes are on the prairie, with the back 9 in the valley, giving a great variety of landscapes.
There’s a driving range at the course and the club house serves excellent food and drinks.
11. Spend the day at Rocky Butte Park
Known as one of the most beautiful and tranquil parks in the city, Rocky Butte Park is a great place to spend a whole day exploring.
This picturesque park has great walking trails and is used by joggers, cyclists and dog walkers alike. There are a number of activities available such as disc golf and a great modern playground for kids.
The park hosts outdoor concerts in the summer months and is an awesome place to have a picnic on the hills.
12. Drift downstream with K5 Kayaks
Take a trip down the stunning Heart river with K5 Kayaks during your visit to Dickinson.
K5 Kayaks are a kayak rental company who offer kayaks and paddle boards. The company offers a pickup service and will advise you on the best spots to paddle along the river. Equipment can be hired for 2 or more hours and comes with a lifejacket and dry bags to keep your valuables safe.
13. Taste some wine at Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery
Located in North East Dickinson, Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery is a cozy, comfy place with something for everyone.
Fluffy Fields specializes in locally made wine and beers and offers a great view of the surrounding sunflower fields. Wine tasting is available for only $10 for the sample set, while glasses and bottles are reasonably priced. A wide-range of local beers are sold here with several on tap. The restaurant offers excellent food and kids are welcome to play in the play area.
14. Catch the latest movies at Griffon Theaters LLC
An ideal choice for film buffs, Griffon Theaters LLC is Dickinson’s premier movie theater.
This small cinema offers the latest blockbuster movies at reasonable prices, with tickets only $5 on Tuesdays. The sound and picture in the theaters is excellent and all seats are reclining! There is also a snack bar to get food and drinks before the showing.
15. Watch the Badlands Big Sticks
Playing in the Independence League, Badlands Big Sticks are Dickinson’s showcase baseball team.
Playing their home games at Dakota Community Bank & Trust Ballpark, the team has a great support and local fanbase. The Big Sticks are a summer collegiate team and play their games from May to August. The stadium is family friendly and is a great way to spend an afternoon during the season.
16. Take aim at Roughrider Archers
Home to the finest archers in Dickinson, Roughrider Archers is an amazing indoor and outdoor archery range.
This range is where the local community of archers practice and hosts leagues for both kids and adults. Beginners and experienced archers are welcomed and made to feel right at home. Both the indoor and outdoor ranges are great fun and have a variety of challenging targets. Equipment is available for hire and they can be contacted through their Facebook page.
17. Experience a Pitchfork Steak Fondue
Set just outside the city, on top of a hill overlooking the Badlands, Pitchfork Steak Fondue is a truly unique eating experience.
The chef puts a 12oz steak onto a pitchfork and cooks them on the fork! The steak is served buffet style and comes with all kinds of sides. Visitors are treated to live cowboy and music shows while eating. If you’re looking for an experience you’ll never forget, this is a must do during your trip!
FAQs on Things to Do in Dickinson, ND
What is an interesting fact about Dickinson?
Originally called Pleasant Valley Siding, the city was renamed in 1882 after Wells S. Dickinson, a railroad official who planned and mapped the town.
What’s the weather like in Dickinson, ND?
Winters in Dickinson are extremely cold, with snow and wind common. Summers are pleasant, warm and comfortable.
Are there any famous people who come from Dickinson?
Kellan Lutz, who plays Emmet Cullen in the Twilight Saga was born in Dickinson, ND. He also played roles in Tarzan and The Expendables 3.
Take a break in Dickinson, ND
Our guide should have given you more than enough activities to keep you entertained during your visit to Dickinson.
From museums to parks, to racetracks and sports games, we’ve got plenty to see and do for all ages and interests. When you’ve tired yourself out from all the fun, check out some of Dickinson’s great restaurants and bars. We’re sure you’ll have an awesome trip.
If you’re spending time in North Dakota and looking to check out some other great things to do, take a look at our other guides of the state. One of the must see cities in ND is Bismarck, home of The Dakota Zoo!