Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city near the border of Iowa and Minnesota. Sioux Falls sits along the Big Sioux River, a tributary of the Missouri River. It is situated on the junction of Interstates 90 and 29, making it easily accessible to travelers and passersby. Because the city was built on a busy waterway, plenty of outdoor fun can be found near and on the Big Sioux River. Whether you want to catch a water ski show, take a scenic walk or just soak up some sun, Sioux Falls has plenty of activities for you and your little one.
Parks and Recreation
Sioux Falls was named for the Big Sioux River, so a trip to see the city's namesake at Falls Park should be on the top of any visitors to-do list. Your child will enjoy walking the Big Sioux River Recreational Greenway (visitsiouxfalls.com) that runs along the river. You'll find ample room to run, play and soak up the sounds of nature. In the summer, Falls Park (travelsd.com/Attractions/Falls-Park) has a free laser and light show, weather permitting. The show runs from Labor Day to Memorial Day and is sure to amaze your little one. From mid-November through the first week in January, Falls Park is turned into a magical Winter Wonderland. While you're in Sioux Falls, check out Great Bear Recreation Park, (greatbearpark.com) which offers hiking and outdoor fun in the summer and snowboarding, tubing and downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter.
If your child loves animals, don't miss a trip to the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History (greatzoo.org). Open year-round, your kids can see animals from across the globe. Check the zoo calendar of events for family friendly special activities and Zoo Cub classes for your child to participate in. While you are there, head to the adjoining Delbridge Museum of Natural History (greatzoo.org/amazinganimals/delbridgemuseumofnaturalhistory) to check out a collection of 150 mounted animals. Your child can dance with digital animals in the ZooVie Theatre and play on the play pad that will send their imaginations soaring. Visit the Sertoma Butterfly House & Purdy Marine Cove (sertomabutterflyhouse.org) where you and your family can escape to a tropical paradise that houses 1,000 butterflies year-round. While you are there, you can’t miss the shark and stingray touch pools for some hands on wildlife fun.
Enjoy outdoor family fun at Wild Water West, (wildwaterwest.com) where your kids can enjoy the excitement and adventure of a full scale water park. From the baby pool and lazy river to the waterslide complex and wavepool, a watery adventure is in store for the whole family. You can also enjoy other activities such as bumper boats, go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, paintball and sand volleyball. Why not head over to Catfish Bay (catfishbay.com) where you can catch a thrilling ski show every Friday night all summer long. Also, check in at Thunder Road (thunderroad.info) where you and the kids can enjoy go-karts, mini golf, batting cages, laser tag, water wars and a one-of-a-kind human foosball game.
Whether you are looking for an escape from the heat of the summer, the dead of winter or just want some indoor fun, Sioux Falls can accommodate your interest. Xcite Family Fun center (xcitefamilyfun.com) boasts 17,000 square feet of indoor activities, including inflatables, an arcade and a 3,000-square-foot enclosed toddler-only zone. Check out the Kirby Science Discovery (washingtonpavilion.org) center where your kids can engage with more than 100 hands-on exhibits. Explore South Dakota history by stopping by the African American History Museum at the Washington Pavilion, (no website; 301 S. Main Ave., 605-367-6000) which highlights the struggles and journey of the black community in South Dakota.