I was hosted by the Sioux Falls CVB to learn more about the city, but all opinions are my own.
On our recent visit to Sioux Falls, I was surprised to see so many free attractions for families. We have traveled around the country a lot, and most cities have an attraction or two that are free or really inexpensive, but Sioux Falls is a city full of affordable family fun. From minor league baseball games to trips to the zoo, none of these fun-filled family attractions will cost you more than $15 per person, and many of them won’t set you back a dime!
The Outdoor Campus
The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls was one of my favorite stops in the city. Funded entirely by the proceeds from the sales of fishing and hunting licenses in the state, this incredible resource provides fun for families each day of the week at no cost. From archery to kayaking, fly fishing and more, they offer classes, camps and special events for visiting groups and families.
The Outdoor Campus is a great place to stop, even on a rainy day, they have a whole inside area full of interactive play items revolving around outdoor fun too. The Outdoor Campus is open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm.
USS South Dakota Memorial
This is something I didn’t think the boys would have much interest in, but we ended up spending a good hour touring the small museum found at the USS South Dakota Memorial. When the USS South Dakota Battleship was being scrapped and sold, the city of Sioux Falls banded together to raise funds to purchase as much of it as possible, including the teak wood deck that now forms the ceiling of the museum at this memorial. The memorial itself is an outline of the ships dimensions with a few artifacts and replicas in place, including an authentic anchor chain.
The museum is free and is full of purchased and donated memorabilia on display, including a rather large scale replica of the battleship. Hours for the USS South Dakota Memorial are 10am-6pm daily from Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Old Courthouse Museum
Downtown Sioux Falls is home to a variety of fun family activities. One of these is the Old Courthouse Museum. Located in the gorgeous old courthouse, as the name would imply, this museum is full of Sioux Falls history and facts of days gone by. The displays do change frequently, providing a revolving source of information and fun for visitors. Admission to the Old Courthouse Museum is free, hours vary, so check the website for details.
Canaries Baseball Game
The boys and I had never been to a minor league baseball game before we visited Sioux Falls, but it was a huge hit for the boys, and we can’t wait to go to another one. The Canaries stadium is not far from downtown, and offers a great value for families. Reserved general admission seating is only $8, and there are fun games and giveaways to keep the crowd involved and having fun during the entire game. Check out the Canaries Baseball website for a full schedule of games.
Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum
There are zoos located in almost every city across the nation, but few offer the fun and value that the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum offer. The price of admission allows you entry into the zoo which features over 1,000 animals from around the world, including the new Snow Monkey exhibit. There is also a fun petting farm where you can feed the goats, and you can even ride a camel too! With entry into the zoo, you also gain entry into the Delbridge Museum, which features the largest collection of exotic stuffed animals in the world. Admission is $9.50 for ages 13+ and $6.50 for children. Hours 9AM-6PM during the summer.
A favorite of locals and visitors both, Falls Park is a foundation of the city, and has been since it was founded in 1856. The Falls of the Big Sioux River give the city its name, and at Falls Park, you can admire them up close and personal. The park covers 123 acres, and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Over 7,500 gallons of water drop more than 100 feet every second over the falls. Entry to Falls Park is free and it is open daily until sunset.
Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove
Located just across the street from the Outdoor Campus, you will find the Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove. A wonderful mix of wildlife found under the sea and above, this low cost family attraction provides educational fun for people of all ages. Begin your visit touring the Marine Cove, home to touch tanks and exotic species, as well as the ability to view a coral reef up close and personal.
The Sertoma Butterfly House is an incredible opportunity to see the wonder of the butterfly world up close. Admire a variety of species as they fly through the beautiful gardens, and watch out for the adorable little button quail that help keep the habitat ant free. Admission is $8.50 for adults and $3 for children.
Kirby Science Discovery Center
The Kirby Science Discovery Center is located within the Washington Pavilion, which originally served as a high school. Now, it is home to many performing and visual arts programs, as well as the Science Discovery Center. This center is 3 floors of science and learning fun. Interactive exhibits galore make this a place kids will never want to leave. Plus, they currently have the Hands-On Harley-Davidson exhibit on display. Included with admission to the science center are unlimited viewing of films at the Wells Fargo CineDome. Admission is $12 for adult and $6 for children.
Sioux Falls is an affordable family friendly destination with something for everyone. The activities below can all be done for less than $15 per person, and that is just the tip of the iceberg of what this city has to offer. For a fully list of attractions, go to VisitSiouxFalls.com.