Just because a town is small, it doesn’t mean that it has nothing or little to offer in the way of fun activities for families or thrill-seekers. One nice thing about smaller towns is there is less traffic, meaning more time to spend enjoying the fun things that the town has to offer. Sioux Falls South Dakota has tons of activities if you just know where to look!
Falls Park, where over 7,400 gallons of water fall 100 feet over its many falls every second, according to the park’s website (2010) is a series of falls along the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Falls Park is a place of beautiful scenery, weddings, and where amazing photographs can be taken. It also has an observation deck with great views of the falls and downtown, and a visitor center with a gift shop. According to the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, it is located at 900 N Phillips Avenue, and open daily, except holidays, from April 1st – Dec 31st and on weekends only between January 3rd and March 31st.
The Outdoor Campus
The Outdoor Campus is another great place of natural beauty, full of walking trails, a butterfly garden, and a 3,000 gallon aquarium. A really cool feature of the museum is that many of the exhibits are motion activated, meaning that as you approach, according to The Outdoor Campus’s website, sounds related to that exhibit are activated (2010). You’ll hear turkeys, owls, deer, etc! Amazingly enough, the Outdoor Campus is free. There are also classes, according to their website, and some classes cost. All in all the Outdoor Campus is a great place to spend a weekend day or a nice afternoon. Look for it at 4500 S. Oxbow Avenue.
Great Plains Zoo
The Great Plains Zoo, according to its website, features over 1000 animals in “simulated natural habitats” spread out over 45 acres (2010). Open year round, zoo admission is $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for children and offers annual memberships that allow unlimited free access year round for $72 for families (2010). Zoos, like the Great Plains Zoo, which house their animals in simulated natural environments rather than in cages, in addition to being better overall for the animals, can provide children with a unique look at what environments animals come from. The Great Plains Zoo offers Sioux Falls locals a nice alternative to driving to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, which while world class, is a good couple hours’ drive from Sioux Falls.
Catfish Bay Water Ski Park
For more fun things to do in Sioux Falls, definitely check out Catfish Bay Water Ski Park in the summer. Advertised as the “Greatest Show on H2O” on their website, Catfish Bay Water Ski Park offers attendees a fun, action packed water ski show (2010). Shows usually run Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, as well as Fridays in between at 7pm, and cost $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for kids (2010). They also offer water ski training and have trained many people who have went on to perform in world renowned shows at Sea World and Cypress Gardens (2010). For water filled entertainment, Catfish Bay Water Ski Park serves up a unique experience in the northern plains.
Wild Water West Waterpark
What list of Sioux Falls things to do would be complete without mention of an amusement park, or more specifically a waterpark? Complete with waterslides, a wave pool, go karts, bumper boats, and a lazy river, the Wild Water West Waterpark is fun for all ages. According to its website, Wild Water West has free parking and in 2011 will cost $24.95 for those over 48 inches, or $14.95 for children under 48 inches (2010). Many options are available for season passes which can make your purchase price as low as $54.95 if purchased prior to the end of 2010 and only good on weekdays, to as much as $129.95 for a transferrable season pass, purchased after May 1st of 2011, that other people can use. So for slightly more than the cost of two days’ admission, you could enjoy an entire season of riding waterslides and sitting poolside! However you choose, fear not, there is plenty of fun things to do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Forward Sioux Falls 2010. (2010). Falls Park on the Big Sioux River.
Sioux Falls Convention and Vistors Bureau. (2010). Falls Park Visitor Information Center and Observation Tower. The Outdoor Campus East. (2010). Our Museum.
Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. (2010). General Information.
Catfish Bay Water Ski Park. (2010).
Wild Water West Waterpark. (2010). Park Information.