Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

Midwest Travel: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Aug 07, 2014 03:30PM, Published by Julie Henning, Categories: Travel




Summer seems to inspire feeling of restlessness and wanderlust, and for many people that means a road trip out West in search of Wide Open Spaces. But if you're on a bit of a vacation crunch, why not consider a trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a taste of the plains without all the tanks of gas? With things do do and see all year round, here are a few family-friendly suggestions that both give you a feel for the area and let you get up close and personal with the people who have made the Sioux Falls community their home.

Falls Park

A "must see" stop on your trip to Sioux Falls is Falls Park just outside of downtown. A place of commerce and trade since the time of the Native Americans and European settlers, a modern-day visit to see the falls of the Big Sioux River features a visitors center, observation tower, cafe, bike trails park shelters, and paved walkways friendly on strollers and wheelchairs.

With 7,400 gallons of water dropping from the falls each second, plan to hear and feel the roar of the water that once powered the Queen Bee Mill (the remains of the seven-story structure made from pink quartzite can be seen from behind a protective iron fence). Falls Park is home to other historic structures, sculptures, and community events (read everything here). Admission is free.

Downtown Sioux Falls Trolley

Sioux Falls TrolleyA designated stop for the Downtown Sioux Falls Trolley, anyone can board the trolley at Falls Park and ride the 30 minute loop from Falls Park into downtown Sioux Falls. The trolley is air conditioned, wheelchair accessible, and only costs $1 for unlimited admission all day long (kids 5 and under are free). Designated trolley stops are located throughout downtown (although if you pull the cable, the trolley will stop and let you off wherever you need to be). Trolleys run Monday-Saturday between 10AM and 8PM.

People on TrolleyA trolley ride is a great way to "get your bearings" without having to drive or look for parking spots (bring your spare change if you do decide to park downtown).

First Friday Downtown Sioux Falls

Participating in the monthly "First Friday" community event, our evening in downtown Sioux Falls was spent surrounded by residents and visitors enjoying local music, art, dining, and entertainment.

1st Friday SignMost of the stores and coffee shops located on S. Phillips Avenue stay open late and many have special deals and "sidewalk sales."

First Friday MusiciansThese "Crazy Kids" are consuming and burning calories at the SAME TIME (this is one new exercise trend I might not actually mind).

Sip-n-CycleHere artist Nancyjane Huehl puts the finishing touches on an oil and acrylic painting of a buffalo while local musicians Dalton Coffey and Clyde Teel fill Coffea Rostarie with upbeat "panhandle swing" and soulful bluegrass songs played on their resophonic and traditional guitars.

Roasterie
Nancyjane HuehlAround the corner at 8th & RR Center, we encountered a block party featuring food vendors, picnic tables, and a main stage complete with MC and DJ.

Block Party Sioux FallsNote: Earlier in the day we happened upon Sanaas restaurant located in the shopping center (this is the brick building pictured in the background in the above photo) and enjoyed quite possibly the most delicious (and affordable) Mediterranean food in the entire Midwest!

Lunch Sioux FallsIf you choose to walk between downtown and 8th & RR Center, keep an eye out for the splash pad located on the Downtown River Greenway that runs along both sides of the Big Sioux River.

Greenway Sioux FallsNo one will think you are crazy if you run through this thing without your children. August is pretty warm in South Dakota, after all!

Other Places to Visit

Other ideas for "places to go and have fun with your kids" include the Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove (building photo below), the Great Plains Zoo, Washington Pavilion, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, and the Terrace Park Family Aquatic Center.

IMG_8332Strawbale Winery

For adults on more of a "getaway trip," drive out to the Strawbale Winery located in the town of Renner (just north of Sioux Falls). As the name implies, the wine is stored among bales of straw that create the optimal conditions for both storage and flavor.

Strawbale WineryOur visit to the winery coincided with the Stawbale Summer Porch Series happening every Thursday night in the summer months. If you go, bring a blanket or lawn chair and come hungry, as you can purchase food from local vendors and sip wine (try the "adult" wine slushies in various fruit flavors), shop from local artisans—all to the backdrop of crowing roosters competing with the musicians on stage.

Chickens at Strawbale WineryLa Quinta Inns & Suites

Like any metropolitan community with nearly 250,000 people, you'll have a wide variety of lodging options during your stay in Sioux Falls. That said, we enjoyed the brand new La Quinta Inn & Suites conveniently located on 41st Street near Interstate 29 and the Empire Mall (and plenty of popular restaurants and places to shop).

La Quinta Sioux Falls LobbyWith a modern decor and all the amenities you might miss on the road (workout room, laundry facility, swimming pool, WiFi/business center), the size of the standard "double queen" room is quite impressive (no tripping over luggage in this space, folks).

La Quinta Room Sioux FallsFor more information on what to do, events, and lodging options in Sioux Falls, visit: http://visitsiouxfalls.com/

The Downtown Sioux Falls Trolley is another unique way to discover all of what downtown has to offer. The trolley, which provides downtown transportation beginning June 6th Monday - Saturday 10am-8pm. Riding the Sioux Falls Trolley is easy - board at any of the trolley stop signs located on nearly every block in downtown Sioux Falls or at Falls Park. It's just $1 per rider, per day. Kids 5 and under ride for free!

The trolley is wheelchair-accessible, and climate controlled for maximum comfort.

- See more at: http://dtsf.com/parking-transportation/transit-transportation/#sthash.U2iQDB7X.dpuf




Travel Guide road trip midwest travel restaurants vacation big sioux river community events sioux falls south dakota


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Fit-A-Thon

    01/21/2017
    08:00AM — 11:00AM

    FREE for Everyone! Invite your friends and family! (Check in begins at 7:45 in the gymnasium...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Music Lab with Julie Mazer

    01/21/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Uncover your little one’s innate musicality with music-making activities using their voice, body ...


  • James and the Giant Peach

    01/21/2017
    02:00PM

    When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic...


  • Hiking by Candlelight

    01/21/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Hiking by candlelight, a roaring bonfire, roasted marshmallows and warm refreshments await everyo...


  • SLP Christmas Party

    01/21/2017
    09:00PM — 10:30PM

    Having our Christmas Party. Excited to have Justin Regner playing for the event. Party is all day...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • Fit-A-Thon

    01/21/2017
    08:00AM — 11:00AM

    FREE for Everyone! Invite your friends and family! (Check in begins at 7:45 in the gymnasium...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Music Lab with Julie Mazer

    01/21/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Uncover your little one’s innate musicality with music-making activities using their voice, body ...


  • James and the Giant Peach

    01/21/2017
    02:00PM

    When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic...


  • Hiking by Candlelight

    01/21/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Hiking by candlelight, a roaring bonfire, roasted marshmallows and warm refreshments await everyo...


  • SLP Christmas Party

    01/21/2017
    09:00PM — 10:30PM

    Having our Christmas Party. Excited to have Justin Regner playing for the event. Party is all day...


  • Waukesha Janboree "Flake Out" Family Concert

    01/22/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    What will your kids tell their friends after they've conducted the Philharmonic? Sing along to "L...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    02:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks

    01/22/2017
    07:30PM

    See country's biggest names come to life! Sweet Dreams and Honky Tonks is a new musical revue tha...


  • Homeschool Community Meet-up

    01/24/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    An opportunity to meet, mingle, play, talk and learn with other homeschooling families and the Yo...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/25/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join the Chamber as they celebrate the Business, Citizen & Non-Profit of the Year for 2016 on Jan...


  • Join us Wednesday, January 25, from 6-7 p.m. to learn about registration process, open enrollment...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00PM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • For the third year ever, the Godfather Daniel Buchner brings you WINTER SUCKS ROCK DOES NOT night...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/27/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Family Nutrition

    01/28/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    What better way to kick start the new year by helping your little one create healthy habits? Join...


  • Fam Jam

    01/28/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Monona Terrace is proud to present Fam Jam - a family-fun-day featuring giant inflatable stations...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    02:00PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • BDACT Annual Celebration

    01/28/2017
    05:00PM

    The public is invited to attend the annual end of season celebration for the Beaver Dam Area Comm...


  • The Wonder Bread Years

    01/28/2017
    07:30PM

    A fresh and funny salute to Americana, The Wonder Bread Years starring John McGivern, is a fast-p...


  • Mr. Pickles Reads to You

    01/29/2017
    03:00PM

    It won't take long for you to be charmed by the infectiously bubbly Mr. Pickles! Listen as he rea...


  • Special Touch Beaver Dam Chapter meeting

    02/03/2017
    06:15PM — 08:00PM

    The meeting will start at 6:15pm with tacos. After singing we will do the " Word Walk" "Mercy -...


  • Flick N' Float

    02/03/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Family Adventure Pool Doors open at 6:45 pm Movie starts at 7:00 pm Members: FREE Non Mem...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/03/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Engineering for Kids

    02/04/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    When it comes to engineering, kids are naturals! Drop into DreamBank and cultivate your child’s...


  • Saturday Science at Discovery

    02/04/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Science and sports collide during this free event held on the first Saturday of every month! Expl...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/04/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    02/09/2017
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids enjoy interactive story time and...


  • Orthopedic & Arthritis Lunch & Learn

    02/09/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Join us for a FREE LUNCH on February 9th and learn about arthritis, joint replacement and the Pra...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/10/2017
    08:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...


  • Winter Day At The Park

    02/11/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    A Winter Day at the Park: Model Horse Show ADS Sleigh Competition Bobsled Rides Skijoring Com...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Valentine’s Day Celebration

    02/11/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Roses are red, violets are blue, DreamBank is excited for Valentine’s Day – how about you? Get in...


  • American Hero & Ice Queen

    02/11/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Calling all Superheros and Princesses - join us for a magical time! Crafts Face Painting Refr...


  • Random Acts of Comicality

    02/11/2017
    02:00PM

    Due to popular demand, the Hartford Players’ smash-hit musical revue is back with all new materia...



Special Thanks to These Relaunch Partners


Woodman's Markets - Employee Owned
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau