For evenings, the must-do double-header is the pitchfork steak fondue and Medora Musical. At the fondue, steaks are skewered onto pitchforks and plunged into vats of boiling oil. Kids can opt for hot dogs, and everyone can dine on a terrace high above town with sweeping views of the badlands illuminated by the setting sun. The country’s most amazing open-air escalator ride descends seven stories into a 2,800-seat amphitheater for the two-hour Medora Musical that’s been going strong for more than 40 years.
It’s a bit hokey at times, but kids love it — especially with real horses, joke-telling, special effects, guest acts such as comedians or Chinese acrobats, and the chance to go on stage. The patriotic parts inevitably tug adults’ heartstrings.
The outdoor setting, where elk wander up the hills behind the stage, adds to the magic. When it’s done, kids can meet the actors and get autographs. And they’ll leave knowing even more about cowboys, North Dakota and Teddy Roosevelt.
Depending on the time of year, it can be a little chilly at the outdoor amphitheater, so blankets can be a good idea for the whoop-it-up song-and-dance show. The welcome center doubles as a museum with vintage costumes, photos and interpretive panels on how this popular production started and evolved over four decades. Concessions are available during the show.