What is your favorite nursery rhyme or story from childhood? Maybe you dreamed of being a knight or princess in a magical castle. Or did you dream of having a farm like Old MacDonald? Maybe you just wanted to click a pair of shiny red shoes together and be transported like Dorothy?
You can step into these, and many other tales, at Storybook Land in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Filled with scenes from favorite nursery rhymes, Storybook Land is like stepping into a four dimensional version of Mother Goose.
The best feature of the park, for parents, is that Storybook Land is free to enter. With only three attractions that require a paid ticket – the Storybook Land Express (train), carousel, and Land of Oz Wizard's Balloon- it is possible to spend a day here for under $10 per person.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Storybook Land
Driving into Wylie Park we passed Storybook Land and the girls were ready to visit the minute I parked the camper. Unfortunately (for them), we had to get things set up and the park was near to closing by the time we finished. They made do with the playground directly behind our camper, but their excitement when we entered Storybook Land the next day was contagious.
Following the Yellow Brick Road led us to the visitor's center, where we picked up tickets for the few attractions that required them.
We began our visit with a ride on the Storybook Land Express. The circular route takes you through Storybook Land, past the Land of Oz, and even offers glimpses of the wildlife exhibits in the park's farthest reaches. With the layout in mind, we set out on our explorations.
It's difficult to decide which way to go first. A large play structure behind the visitor's center drew my girls attention, it being an easier choice than the multiple pathways stretching from it.
Sighting a castle in the distance, we set off to explore, passing Mother Goose and Jack and the Beanstalk on the way.
Each twist and turn in the path leads to new adventures. Twisting mazes and fun house mirrors, stories to climb up and slide down.
And then we entered The Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz, lived in Aberdeen from 1888-1891, so it's natural for the Wizard of Oz to make an appearance at Storybook Land.
Enter Dorothy's house and be swept to Oz by the tornado. Following the Yellow Brick Road you'll meet all the characters from the movie.
The only thing missing was the Flying Monkeys, for which I was thankful- they still give me the creeps!
Exiting the forest, you arrive at the Wizard's Balloon ride, taking you safely back to Aberdeen.
Storybook Land may be a simple park, but it's one the kids will enjoy tremendously. They might even be inspired to read The Real Mother Goose, so take it along on your visit!
Quick Tips for Visiting Storybook Land
Stop at the Visit Aberdeen offices to pick up a visitor fun book with coupons for Storybook Land & Wylie Park
Wylie Park campground offers RV, tent, and cabin camping.
You don't have to stay at Wylie park to visit Storybook Land. Find a hotel in Aberdeen.
Other activities at Wylie Park
- Beach, paddleboarding, and canoeing on Lake Minne-eho
- Extensive pathways for walking, biking, and skating
- Mini-golf, go-karts, and bumper boats at Thunder Mountain
Before you leave Aberdeen you must try Strawberry Butter! A treat unique to the Twist Cone in Aberdeen, my girls still talk about its rich, creaminess. And the eyes.
Our many thanks to Visit Aberdeen for the invitation to visit, and to Casey for introducing us to Strawberry Butter!