THINGS TO DO
Welcome. The fresh air, sunshine and wide open prairies greet you when you explore the “Little Town on the Prairie.” Whether you are looking for a fun family vacation, a hunting or fishing trip or some unique shopping and dining, De Smet has it all. Visit the original homes of famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder and take a covered wagon ride or take in the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant.
Visit Lake Thompson, just eight miles east of De Smet, South Dakota’s largest natural lake. It’s an angler’s haven with walleye, perch and northern pike. The De Smet area also offers the best pheasant hunting in east central South Dakota. De Smet also offers many unique shops on Main Street, midwestern hospitality and a wide selection of restaurants.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc. – www.discoverlaura.org
Discover Laura Ingalls Wilder with a visit to “The Little Town on the Prairie”, De Smet, South Dakota. Laura’s stories come to life when you join our costumed guides for a visit to the original homes of author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Explore the Sureyors’ House where Laura and her family spent their first Dakota winter. Laura wrote about this home in her “Little House” book, By the Shores of Silver Lake. Visit the home that Pa built, the Ingalls Home, and learn what happened to Ma, Pa, Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace. Experience a unique journey into Laura’s life and history!
- Ingalls Homestead – www.ingallshomestead.com
Visit the prairie of Laura’s “Little House” stories. Pa Ingalls and his family claimed this piece of Dakota Territory as their homestead. Sample 1880’s pioneering life: Covered wagon rides, Historic school session, Hands-on pioneering activities, and Prairie learning center. Plan an old fashioned family day to De Smet, South Dakota.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant – www.desmetpageant.org
Capture the pioneering spirit with Laura and Almanzo in this year’s production of “These Happy Golden Years”. The setting sun and Dakota prairies provide a wonderful backdrop for the outdoor pageant. The pageant is held one mile southeast of De Smet. From the pageant grounds you can see the land Pa homesteaded and the cottonwood trees Pa planted. The big slough and Silver Lake are nearby. “Little Town on the Prairie” brings Laura and her prairie wonderfully to life. (800) 880-3383 or (800) 776-3594
- The Loftus Store – www.loftusstore.com
The Loftus Store your “Quality Store” since 1879. The original building still stands today. Laura wrote of Mr. Loftus and store in her well known book, The Long Winter. Walk where Laura walked. Discover original shoe boxes and shoes found in the attic 125 years later. Free admission and souvenir. Visa and MasterCard accepted.
- De Smet Depot Museum – Harvey Dunn School
De Smet traces its history to the year the railroad reached this location. The railroad depot is now a museum that features exhibits on De Smet’s early history, a South Dakota wildlife display and a country print shop.Adjacent to the museum is the schoolhouse attended by prairie artist Harvey Dunn who was born near De Smet. Several of Dunn’s original works are on display in the city library, along with a collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder family memorabilia. Public internet access computers are also available at the library.
For De Smet Information call (866) 528-7273 or (866) LAURASD
- Lake Thompson
The changing season produces even more fun for snowmobiling, cross country skiing and year-round fishing. Five miles east of De Smet is Lake Thompson, South Dakota’s larges natural lake. It’s an angler’s haven with walleye, perch and northern pike.
- The Walleye Wrangler Guide Service – Matt Walsh’s guide service for Lake Thompson, Lake Francis Case, and Lake Madison
- Washington Park
De Smet was named for Father De Smet, a Jesuit missionary who spent his life among the Indians, and a statue in his honor stands in the city’s Washington Park. Picnic facilities, a modern playground, campsites with electricity and water, restrooms with showers, a volleyball court, and horseshoe pits are also located in Washington Park.
- Rose Vincent Memorial Park
4-H Park and Rose Vincent Memorial Park provide additional picnic facilities and modern playgrounds.
- Summer Recreation
Other recreational facilities available in De Smet are an athletic park, bathhouse and swimming pool, and tennis courts. Summer youth activities include Red Cross swimming lessons, girls’ softball, and boys’ pee wee & midget baseball.
- Kingsbury County Country Club
611 7th Street SW, De Smet, SD 57231, (605) 854-3134. Enjoy some time on the links at our fabulous golf course. Green fees: 9 holes-$10, 18 holes-$15, All Day-$20. League nights: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – 5pm start. Soft spikes required. Golf cart rentals available.
The Prairie House Manor Bed & Breakfast
209 Hwy 25 South
De Smet, SD 57231
Andy & Jenny Todd, Innkeepers