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What are Some Things to do in Bismarck, North Dakota?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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There are many fun culturally-based things to do in Bismarck. The city was founded in 1872 and features the state capitol building. Other excellent cultural attractions in Bismarck include the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum, the Five Nations Art Museum and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The North Dakota State Capitol building was finished in 1934 and was constructed to replace the original capitol that was destroyed by fire on 28 December 1930. The Capitol's grounds include trails, parks, statues and memorials. Guided tours are often available.

The North Dakota Heritage Center Museum shows collections belonging to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The exhibits relate to the history of North Dakota and include the contact and conflict between Native Americans and white settlers and the life of pioneers and homesteaders. The Museum has photographs and artifacts as well as interactive displays such as a Model T car you can crank and music from different decades you can listen to. Visiting the Museum's research facilities is one of the best things to do in Bismarck for history buffs as you can search through political policies and old newspapers. Films of life in North Dakota from 1916 to 1921 are also available for viewing at the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum.

The Five Nations Art Museum has Native American art that includes paintings, baskets, jewelry and sculptures. All pieces are made by local artists. The Art Museum is located in downtown Mandan and the building is a refurbished former train depot. Browsing the artwork at the Five Nations Art Museum is one of the best things to do in Bismarck for those interested in Native American Art as the Museum is known for some of the most beautiful First Nations artwork in the United States including its beadwork collection.

Visiting the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is a "must" on the list of things to do in Bismarck for fans of the Old West. The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is located at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and covers the history of the Great American West. The Hall includes information about Native Americans, rodeo and ranching. You'll also find a theater, library and an outdoor patio with a view of the Badlands. The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame salutes rodeo stars from North Dakota as well as achievers in ranching and horse handling.

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