Event Details

Learning Forum: Snakes in the Museum

January 12, 2020  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Learning Forums
 are thought-provoking presentations on a wide variety of topics. Each program features a 45-minute presentation, followed by an open forum with questions and discussion about the topic.

This week, Terry Phillip presents, "Snakes in the Museum." Guests will see a python, a bullsnake, a rattlesnake and an alligator up close during the Learning Forum. They’ll even get to touch some of the animals.

The presentation will focus on rattlesnake safety in the Black Hills.

As the head curator of reptiles at Reptile Gardens, Terry Phillip manages the entire animal collection and is widely known for his work with venomous reptiles.

So how did he become a deadly snake handler? Ever since childhood, he’s been infatuated with reptiles. He began his career at Reptile Gardens as an alligator wrestler. His passion for working with venomous snakes developed while studying under two of the world’s most experienced dangerous reptile curators, his predecessor Don Middaugh and Head Curator Ken Earnest.

Phillip says the risks of the job aren’t as great as they seem. “People think it’s dangerous because it’s exotic, but it’s actually less dangerous than working construction.”

Phillip is also responsible for the seasonal Crocodilian and Snake Shows, as well as year-round outreach programs.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, half-off for members. Call 605-394-6923 to reserve tickets.

For more Learning Forums, click here.

Theater map below. Seats marked ADA indicate wheelchair accessibility. Blue seats indicate space for foldout chairs, but those with ADA requirements take first priority.

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The Journey Museum & Learning Center regularly adds new events, exhibits, and features to the expansive museum, covering American history, Black Hills history, and Native American culture.

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The Journey Museum and Learning Center functions as a nonprofit thanks to the generous donations of our supporters and sponsors.

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The Journey Museum is currently in Winter Hours:

Winter Hours

(October 1st – April 30th)
10 AM – 5 PM Monday through Saturday
1 PM – 5 PM Sundays

Summer Hours

(May 1st – September 30th)
9 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday
11 AM – 5 PM Sundays


All individual admissions are good for two days with receipt.

Museum General Admission:

Adults (ages 18+) $10
Seniors (ages 62+) $8
Students (ages 6 – 17) $7
Children 5 & under FREE with family

Groups (10+ people):

$7 per person

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.

Education Groups (12+ students):

$3 per student (all students 18 and under)
$5 College Students

Chaperones are requested. Special pricing will be extended to adult chaperones.

Tour guides available. Please call (605) 394-6923 one week prior to visit to schedule.