Posted on: January 1, 2024 Posted by: Niru Sherman Comments: 0
To Do in Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota, boasts a fascinating blend of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a culture buff, you’ll find something to pique your interest in this vibrant city. Explore the breathtaking parks and trails that offer stunning vistas and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Alternatively, delve into the city’s history and culture by visiting its unique museums and cultural sites. Sioux Falls has something for everyone. This local guide covers the best things to do in Sioux Falls and is split into categories to help you plan the perfect trip.

Table of Contents

Best Sights and Landmarks

Sioux Falls has several iconic landmarks and attractions that shouldn’t be missed. Here are some of the top sights and landmarks to see in sioux falls:

Falls Park

One of Sioux Falls’ most famous sites, Falls Park encompasses 123 acres around the Big Sioux River. Walk along the park’s trails and bridges to see the stunning waterfall and rock formations carved out by the river over thousands of years. Don’t forget your camera!


This unique outdoor exhibit features over 60 sculptures from local, regional, and national artists. The sculptures rotate each year and can be found all over downtown Sioux Falls. Grab a map and take a walk to spot them all!

Cathedral of Saint Joseph

Built in 1919, this beautiful Catholic cathedral is full of ornate design details and features the largest stained glass church window installation in the world. Go inside to see it in all its splendor.

Old Courthouse Museum

One of Sioux Falls’ oldest buildings, the Old Courthouse Museum was built in 1890. Inside, you can learn about the history of the courthouse and see exhibits on the settlement of Sioux Falls and early documents and artifacts.

Pettigrew Museum

Housed in the former home of South Dakota’s first U.S. Senator, Richard Pettigrew, this museum showcases decorative arts, paintings, pioneer artifacts, and Sioux Indian materials. It’s small but worthwhile for history buffs.

Reiter Memorial Pioneer Park

This park preserves some original buildings and artifacts from Sioux Falls’ early history. Wander around the homestead buildings and one-room schoolhouse to get a sense of frontier life.

Top Parks and Outdoor Activities

Top Parks and Outdoor Activities

Beyond its landmarks, Sioux Falls offers abundant green space and ways to enjoy the sunny South Dakota weather. Some top parks and outdoor activities include:

Bike the bike trails

Sioux Falls has over 100 miles of paved bike trails that connect many parks and attractions. Rent a bike and hit The Falls, Sertoma Park, and other trails to see the city from two wheels.

Hike at Palisades State Park

Just south of Sioux Falls, this park has interesting rock formations, cliffs, and trails with great views along Split Rock Creek. Spend a day hiking and exploring the park’s unique geology.

Picnic at Terrace Park

Right downtown, this lovely park with rose gardens and shady trees is a popular picnic spot. Spread out a blanket and get your fill of sun and fresh air.

Paddle down the Big Sioux River

Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard to float along the scenic river that runs right through Sioux Falls. Pack a snack and refreshments to enjoy during your leisurely paddle.

Disc golf at Shindler Park

This top area park has a stellar 18-hole disc golf course. Bring your own discs or rent them on-site for a fun day playing among the park’s big shady oaks.

See the butterflies at Falls Park

From May through September, hundreds of butterfly species flock to Falls Park. Go during the migration season to see monarchs, red admirals, painted ladies, and other winged beauties.

Unique Museums to Visit

Beyond traditional history offerings, Sioux Falls has some really unexpected and interesting museums to explore. Add these unique spots to your itinerary:

Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science

With a science center, art museum, performing arts center, and more, the Washington Pavilion covers lots of interests under one roof. See dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, rock and roll memorabilia, and rotating art exhibits.

Old Courthouse Museum & Galleries

Located downtown in an 1890 courthouse building, this museum includes regional history exhibits, a replica one-room schoolhouse, Native American relics, and rotating art galleries.

Museum of Visual Materials

Operated by the University of Sioux Falls, this museum showcases vintage photography equipment, magic lantern projectors, stereoscopic viewers, and antique images. Fascinating for photographers and history buffs alike.

Museum of Confederate Memorabilia

A fairly odd find in South Dakota, this museum houses Civil War artifacts and memorabilia from the Confederate side. Items were largely donated by prominent 20th century Civil War collectors.

Prairie Aero Museum

Aviation enthusiasts will love this museum’s collection of vintage aircraft, engines, and aviation artifacts. See a Stearman PT-17 biplane trainer and other flight-worthy WWII planes.

Fun Things to Do with Kids

Sioux Falls has lots of family-friendly attractions and activities to please kids of all ages. Some top picks include:

Butterfly House & Aquarium

Butterfly House & Aquarium

Kids can walk among live tropical butterflies in the butterfly house, then check out marine life including sharks and stingrays next door at the aquarium.

Great Plains Zoo

This mid-size zoo hosts animals from around the world. See Amur tigers, African lions, orangutans, a tropical rainforest dome, and more.

Outdoor Campus

With fishing ponds, archery ranges, bike trails, and wildlife exhibits, this outdoor education campus makes learning about nature fun. Free to visit.

Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Designed just for kids under age 8, this museum has interactive hands-on activities focused on science, math, literacy, and health.

Wild Water West

On hot summer days, head to this beloved water park with water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, and kiddie splash areas.

Performing Arts and Cultural Venues

For evenings of music, theater, dance, and other cultural experiences, be sure to take in a show at these top Sioux Falls venues:

Washington Pavilion

The Mary W. Sommervold Hall is home to concerts, touring Broadway shows, ballet, and more. Also check out exhibits at the adjacent visual arts museum.

Orpheum Theater

This elegant 1928 vaudeville theater located downtown hosts all types of performing arts and concerts in a spectacular historic setting.

Sioux Empire Community Theatre

See locally produced plays and musicals performed by community talent at this volunteer theater organization.


In addition to the outdoor sculpture exhibit, the organization’s Arc of Dreams sculpture hosts musical performances and events throughout the summer.

State Theatre

For indie and art films check out The State Theatre, a single screen downtown theater built in 1926. Their concession stand has yummy pizza too!

Off the Beaten Path Finds

Beyond the well-known attractions, Sioux Falls has some quirky hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid visitors. Here are a few offbeat spots to check out:

Take laser tag to the extreme at Zero Latency VR.

With a free-roam virtual reality arena, this immersive laser tag experience takes place in a virtual world. Fun for groups, parties, and anyone seeking a high-tech gaming adventure.

Make your own wine at Strawbale Winery.

This urban winery has a laidback BYOB cafe, but you can also craft your own custom wine in a hands-on class. Take home a bottle of your blend as a unique DIY souvenir.

Spot roadside oddities like the Arc of Dreams and Founder’s Park sculptures.

In addition to the downtown SculptureWalk, Sioux Falls has giant public art installations. The Arc of Dreams spans the Big Sioux River, while Founder’s Park honors city founders with bronze statues.

Get your retro gaming fix at All Day Cafe.

At this hip breakfast and lunch joint, you can chow down on tasty grub while playing classic arcade and pinball games. It’s gaming nostalgia meets fantastic farm-to-table fusion fare.

Browse Takes Booksellers, an iconic indie bookshop since 1978.

One of the last of its kind, Takes Booksellers has books, gifts, music and more. The upstairs cafe serves coffee, pastries, and light fare. Bibliophiles rejoice!

Can’t Miss Annual EventsCan't Miss Annual Events


Throughout the year, Sioux Falls hosts fun annual festivals, fairs, and events. Here are some of the biggest events for your calendar:

Sioux Empire Film Festival

Each February, this 5-day event screens independent films from around the world, featuring Q&As and parties. It’s a must for cinema lovers.

Sioux Falls JazzFest

Every May, jazz performers from near and far converge downtown for free concerts over two days. Bring a picnic and tap your toes to great live jazz.


June brings the unveiling of new sculptures for the summer exhibit downtown. Enjoy artist talks, live music, and get a first look at the new sculptures.

Sioux Falls Pride

Celebrating diversity, this major Pride event in June includes a parade, drag shows, live music, and more.


If you’re into comic books, sci-fi, gaming, and pop culture, attend this two-day comic convention held in Sioux Falls each July.

Sidewalk Arts Festival

Visual artists from across the country sell pottery, paintings, jewelry, and more at this high-caliber juried art show in September.

Christmas at the Falls

Holiday magic comes to Falls Park in December with dazzling light displays, concerts, carriage rides, Santa visits, and seasonal vendors.

Where to Eat and Drink

With a growing local dining scene, foodies have plenty of excellent options for eating and drinking out in Sioux Falls. Here are some local favorites:

Phillips Avenue Diner

This 1950s-style diner downtown dishes out fantastic comfort food like pot roasts, chicken fried steak, and mac and cheese. Save room for homemade pie!

M.B. Haskett Delicatessen

Specializing in house-cured meats, this European-style deli serves stellar sandwiches, salads, and cheeses that pair perfectly with their great wine list.

Monk’s House of Ale Repute

For craft beers and gourmet pub grub, Monk’s can’t be beat. Their menu hits all the classics like fish and chips, burgers, and nachos with unique touches.


Elegant and romantic, Minervas offers upscale dining in a historic building with dishes like pork osso buco, seared scallops, and filet mignon. Definitely a special night out option.

Look’s Marketplace

The deli and cafeteria at this iconic local grocery chain dishes out delicious home-cooked comfort foods, sandwiches, pizza, and more. Very budget-friendly too!

Grille 26 +Spectrum Lounge

Come for the expertly prepared steaks and seafood at Grille 26, then head upstairs to the mod Spectrum Lounge for handcrafted cocktails.

Coffea Roasterie Cafe

For incredible coffee drinks made with direct-trade beans, check out Coffea’s downtown cafe and roasting operation. Their pastries and breakfast wraps are winners too.

Where to Stay

Sioux Falls offers a nice range of accommodations to fit every budget and style. Here are some top lodging options:

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

This modern high-rise hotel has sleek rooms and is extremely well-located by Falls Park and other downtown attractions. Their Garden Grille and Pavilion Pantry restaurants are handy too.

Holiday Inn City Centre

Another nice perk within walking distance of downtown, the Holiday Inn provides clean comfortable rooms and free breakfast. Great value for families.

Candlewood Suites

For the best places to stay, Candlewood Suites has apartment-style suites with full kitchens in a convenient location south of downtown. Outdoor grilling and laundry facilities available.

Hampton Inn Airport

If you’re flying in, the Hampton Inn by the airport has free airport shuttle service. Their pool, free breakfast, and location by Falls Park make it handy for exploring the city.

Hotel on Phillips

This eclectic boutique hotel near Falls Park offers stylish modern rooms, craft beer tastings, free bike rentals, and the trendy Copper Bar.


With scenic nature, intriguing history, fantastic arts, and delicious dining, Sioux Falls packs an impressive variety of things to do in sioux falls. From iconic spots like Falls Park to hidden local gems, there are activities and attractions to appeal to every interest. Use this local’s guide to make the most of your time exploring everything that delightful Sioux Falls has to offer. Let the adventure begin!


What’s the best time of year to visit Sioux Falls?

Summer offers the most festivals and the nicest weather for outdoor recreation like biking and hiking. Fall has beautiful colors, while spring brings baby animals at the Great Plains Zoo and the Butterfly House reopening. Some attractions close in winter – check schedules if planning a winter visit.

How do I get to Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls is served by the Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD), with nonstop flights available to many major U.S. cities on American, Delta, Frontier, and United Airlines. The airport is only 5 miles from downtown. You can also drive to Sioux Falls via interstates 29 or 90.

Do I need a car in Sioux Falls?

While a car makes accessing more attractions easier, Sioux Falls has Uber, Lyft, buses, and bike trails that make it possible to get by without a car. Hotels like Hilton Garden and Holiday Inn Downtown are within walking distance of attractions.

Does Sioux Falls have kid-friendly hotels?

Many hotels like Holiday Inn, Best Western Plus, and Fairfield Inn & Suites have pools and free breakfast that appeal to families. Candlewood Suites has apartment-style rooms with kitchens to help stretch your budget.

Are there vegan and gluten-free dining options?

Yes, you can find vegan and gluten-free options around town. Stensland Family Farms has dairy-free ice cream, M.B. Haskett Delicatessen has gluten-free fare, and Blarney Stone offers vegan Irish dishes. The vegan restaurant Swamp Daddy’s is coming soon too! Check menus and notify your server of dietary needs.