If you grew up in an area that gets covered with snow year after year, you doubtless spent winter days sliding down hills on tubes or sleds. There is a sliding hill (unsupervised) at Tuthill Park in Sioux Falls on south Cliff Avenue. The only rules of the sliding hill are that children 6 and under must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old, and only tubes and sliding carpets are allowed on the hill. A quick drive around the city will reveal other hills not specifically set up for sliding, but that will work just as well.
For the biggest hill around, you’ll want to visit Great Bear Recreation Park. Great Bear is equipped with snow machines, so how much snow falls doesn’t get in the way of the fun. Great Bear offers tubing, skiing, and snowboarding. Inside the chalet, you’ll find plenty of room to warm up and lots of selection in the expansive concession stand. You’re welcome to bring your own equipment for skiing or snowboarding to the park, or you can find great rentals waiting for you there. The only tubes allowed on the tubing hill are Great Bear’s. You can even sign up for skiing or snowboarding lessons at the park! Admission to Great Bear varies depending on the activities you wish to participate in while at the park. For specific rates, visit www.greatbearpark.com.
Ice skating on frozen lakes has been a winter tradition in the Midwest for years, and the City of Sioux Falls makes it easy for families to have a safe, fun environment for all ages to participate. The are currently six ice skating rinks throughout the city, each with a warming house, concession stand, and skate rentals – so you won’t have to bring your own or make an expensive purchase. And skate rental won’t be a wallet buster either, with youth rentals (up to age 15) are just $1, adult rentals are $3, and the rinks run a Friday special of $1 for everyone! This means a family of 5 can enjoy an afternoon activity together for less than $10! The rinks are scheduled to be open December 17th this year, and the hours will be Monday through Thursday 4-8, Friday 4-9, Saturday 1-9, and Sunday 1-8. Of course, it’s important to dress warm – you will be skating outdoors – and make sure kids are dressed appropriately for the weather as well. For rink locations, please visit http://www.siouxfallsparks.org/ContactUs/skate_ski/Ice_Rinks.
You may be interested in an indoor ice skating experience…not to worry, Sioux Falls has that too. (You’ll still need to dress warm!) The Ice and Recreation Center on W 51st Street offers open skate Wednesdays and Friday from 7:30 – 9, Saturday from 1:30 – 3:30, Sunday from 1:00 -3:00, and Saturday from 8 – 10. There is skate rental available at the Ice and Rec Center at a little higher rate than the outdoor rinks, adults can rent skates for $3.75, and youth up to 18 can rent skates for $2.75. There is a skate cop on the ice at all times during open skate, and concessions are also available. For more information on the Ice and Recreation Center, please call 605-338-5765.
One of the unique experiences available in downtown Sioux Falls is the Sioux Falls Trolleys. Removed from service in 1929 and then reintroduced to the public in 2001, a free ride on the Trolley is a wonderful experience for the whole family. The Trolley runs from 10am to 8pm on Saturdays only (weekday service is provided during the warmer months) and makes its 30 minute trip through Downtown Sioux Falls, past historical landmarks, to Falls Park. If you take the Trolley at dusk, you’ll arrive at Falls Park just in time for the Park to light up for the yearly Winter Wonderland display. Kids young and old will love to see all the trees light up, along with other special light displays through out the park. Winter Wonderland will continue every night from dusk until 10pm through January 9th.