Fort Hays Old West Town Square

Fort Hays Old West Town Square has so much to offer! Start with our daily “All-you-can-eat” pancake breakfast for just 99 cents. Then, look out towards Mount Rushmore as you head toward the Dances With Wolves film set for a free visit. You’ll then see much more as you browse along the boardwalk at Fort Hays. Window shop and see our craftsmen work with their hands every day, from making handmade tools, ropes, bricks, plates, and much more.

Fort Hays is more than just a set of buildings; it’s a trip back in time where you can see antiques that actually operate still today. You can find Black Hills Gold from Deadwood, make your own tin plate or brick, and even watch your own hunting knife take shape at the Blacksmith shop. Experience the Old West like never before with our town square – one of the best family-friendly attractions in Rapid City!

Visit the Rope Shop, Tin Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and so much more, including the best gift shops in the Black Hills. At night, be sure to attend our Chuckwagon Supper & Music Variety Show featuring a hearty Chuckwagon menu and the most entertaining show in the Black Hills!


Chuckwagon Supper & Music Variety Show


We serve up the best Chuckwagon menu in the West, from potatoes to BBQ beef, baked beans, and more, served on handmade tin plates with drinks poured into tin cups.

The Fort Hays Wranglers then take the stage to entertain you with the Black Hills’ most popular music variety show. We guarantee a foot stompin’, belly shakin’, good time!


Daily Pancake Breakfast


Daily 7 – 11 a.m. (May – October)

Arrive early every morning for our “All-You-Can-Eat” pancake breakfast for just 99 cents. Follow the boot prints through the door and grab a home-made tin plate from the stack. Then give your request to the cowboys and cowgirls eager to serve you. Our head cook and bottle washer arrives before the sun each morning to start baking the biscuits and sausage for breakfast so it’s fresh and hot. There’s plenty to eat so don’t be shy!

  • Cowboy Breakfast Menu
    • Pancakes
    • Homemade biscuits & gravy
    • Milk
    • Saugsage
    • Biscuits & honey
    • Hot chocolate
    • Cowboy coffee (free refills)
    • Juices
    • Tea
    • Soda
    • Water

Dances with Wolves Film Set


Open daily 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (mid-May to mid-October)

Located at Fort Hays is the Dances with Wolves film set, which you can see for free. Come see first-hand the original buildings used in the Oscar award-winning movie. Released on November 21, 1990, Dances with Wolves won Best Picture and six additional Academy Awards. Box office sales were well over 424 million dollars. In 2007, Dances with Wolves was selected for preservation in the United States by the National Film Registry, and the Library of Congress for being culturally significant.

You can leisurely browse the film set and stand were John D. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) was given his new posting orders for Fort Hays. Feel free to take photos and enjoy the South Dakota Film Museum. Here, you will find over 50 movies on display that were filmed in South Dakota.


Workshops


Open Daily 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

As you browse the boardwalk, you find our craftsmen at work every day, making handmade tools, ropes, bricks, plates, and much more.

Explore the shops that take you back in time, including our tin shop, post office, rope shop, blacksmith shop, sawmill, and old-fashioned penny press.

Kids in Fort Hays Old West Town Square
  • Tin Shop
  • Visit the Tin Shop and see how we make all our tin plates on a 100-year-old lathe. You can help make your own tin plate and even have it engraved by the tinsmith. This is a wonderful experience for visitors young and old, as you learn through hands-on experience how tin plates were made in the Old West.

    Tin plates are available in our gift shop and make great fits!

Post office
  • Post Office
  • Wander into the post office and see how many stamps you can count on the walls. Originally built in Provo, South Dakota, this post office still has the original boxes and walls with stamps dating back to the early 1900s. See it for yourself!

Rope workshop
  • Rope Shop
  • Put your hands on the handle and start turning the twine into rope as our rope maker takes you back to the early days of rope making. If you’re looking for a lasso for the kids, he’ll even show you how to create and spin it.

    The walls are covered with old tools and many different types of rope crafts to purchase. See the gift shop for great rope gift ideas!

Blacksmith in Fort Hays Old West Town Square
  • Blacksmith Shop
  • Meet Greg, our local blacksmith who works year-round pounding, molding, and shaping all kinds of metal into knives and other beautiful tools. Mixed in among the old-style blacksmith tools on the walls are knives at different stages.

    Greg specializes in hunting knives made from horseshoes that fit the palm of your hand and won’t slip. Take a close look at any knife Greg has on display and see his personal touch gleaming right back at you. These make great gifts!

Sawmill
  • Sawmill
  • The original sawmill steam engine from the movie Dances with Wolves powers many belt driven line shafts, driving machines such as the giant saw blade that turns logs into shingles, corn cob grinders, the penny press, and much more. Don’t forget to look for the details and see how many machines were powered by steam in the 1800s.

Penny press
  • Penny Press
  • Powered by the belt driven line shaft from the steam engine, pennies are squeezed thin and imprinted with our Fort Hays Dances With Wolves emblem. All you have to do is provide the penny and a dollar to see it happen right before your eyes.

    Pressed pennies are collectors’ items, and there is no other place in the world you can find ones like these. They make a great souvenir or gift!