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 and browse along the boardwalk at Fort Hays. Window shop at the best gift shops in the Black Hills and see our craftsmen work with their hands every day, from making handmade tools, ropes, bricks, plates, knives, and much more; you can even find Black Hills Gold from Deadwood!

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! Experience the Old West like never before with our town square – one of the best family-friendly attractions in Rapid City!

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, grab a home-made tin plate from the stack, and give your request to the cowboys and cowgirls eager to serve you. Our cooks arrive before the sun to start baking biscuits and sausage, so they’re fresh and hot. There’s plenty to eat so don’t be shy!

  • Chevron down 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. View the original buildings used in the Oscar award-winning movie which had box office sales of $424 million. Released on Nov. 21, 1990, Dances with Wolves won Best Picture and six additional Academy Awards. 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 find over 50 movies on display that were filmed in South Dakota.


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
  • Chevron down 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
  • Chevron down 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
  • Chevron down 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
  • Chevron down 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!

  • Chevron down 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
  • Chevron down 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!