Work hard, play hard

Sports and Recreation opportunities abound in Black Hills

Are you ready to play? It doesn’t matter what time of year you move to the Black Hills, or how long you plan to stay, local organizers say there’s a way to get plugged into local sports and recreation activities.

The Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department posts the department’s program guides for summer, fall and winter and maintain a schedule of upcoming events at

The Department hosts a number of camps and activities each year, but the most popular sign-ups each year include flag football, summer camps, swim lessons, hockey and tennis.

Local public school districts and private schools offer a number of competitive team sports. Call the school directly to ask about getting involved, even if it’s in the middle of the season.

The YMCA is also a great option for military families looking to try something new or continue an activity they already love, according to Chris Russo, director of Operations at the YMCA.

The YMCA has two locations in the Rapid City area, including downtown at 815 Kansas City Street and at the Liberty Center in Box Elder.

“We really cater to beginner athletes and provide options for children to be introduced to new sports and activities,” Russo said. “We teach kids new skills, values of teamwork and sportsmanship, and create new friendships. We’re happy to see kids move on as they specialize in a competitive sport, and we hope to use the expertise and leadership they gain as future volunteers or staff.”

The YMCA does offer discounted rates at both locations.

“We are all about community at the YMCA, and the military is a major component of our community,” Russo added. “We are here to support military families through our programs and facilities and assist in developing a healthier spirit, mind, and body for all.”

The YMCA runs a full slate of youth and adult programming all year long. Basketball is the most popular youth sport currently offered, while soccer and volleyball have increased.

Pickleball is a booming sport for adults, and the YMCA offers multiple classes.

“We would love if everyone who is interested would come to one of our locations for a tour,” Russo added. “Otherwise, our website lists our membership information and options for program registration.”

If it’s not sports, there are plenty of options for families. Visit a local dance studio where students can participate in one-day or two-day a week programs, including general dance classes, yoga, tumbling, ballet, aerial silks, clogging, boxing, and art.

Other activities in the Black Hills include Civil Air Patrol, Scouts, Code Ninjas, Tae Kwando, local 4-H clubs, and Bricks Bots & Beakers.