Free Family Activities in Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is a city in South Dakota, America with a population that is currently in excess of 150,000 residents. It is the largest city in South Dakota and as such as many attractions and activities to offer its residents and visitors. There are many great things a family can do in Sioux Falls and many of these are free which means you can have a fun day out without breaking the bank. Some of the best free activities for families in the city include the following.

The Center for Western Studies

The Center for Western Studies is located on the campus of Augustana College at 2121 S. Summit Avenue and is free to enter although donations are accepted. The centre is open weekdays 8.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm to 5.00pm, Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm and it houses a collection of artifacts from the history of the American West. This is intended to preserve the cultures and history of the northern plains and there are many fascinating exhibits and displays to see. The permanent exhibitions include The Frontlands Plains Indian Room with many traditional items from Sioux Indian life, the Jim Savage Art Studio which displays many wood carvings and also a number of display cabinets with many important objects and letters from the history of the American West. Temporary exhibitions are also displayed from time to time and these also feature on aspects of the American West. It is a fascinating place to learn a little history of the Indians and frontiersmen who made the American West what it was.

Falls Park

Falls Park is one of the main parks in Sioux Falls, is free to enter and features the spectacular falls of the Big Sioux River. The falls have been a feature of life in this area throughout history and continue to be so to this day. The park covers around 42 acres of land and, apart from the falls themselves, has many other attractions to offer a visitor. Each day at dusk the Wells Fargo Sound and Light Show is displayed and this includes information about the history of Sioux Falls. A good time to visit the park is when this is showing. Other attractions in the park include the Monarch of the Plains Statue, the remains of the Queen Bee Mill and the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company building which was constructed in 1908 and now houses the Falls Overlook Café. The park is an excellent place to have a relaxing day out and see some of the history of Sioux Falls.

Old Courthouse Museum

This museum is open year round, is located at 200 West 6th Street and is free to enter. It has many temporary and permanent exhibitions which display the fascinating culture and history of the Sioux Falls region. It is housed in a striking building which was constructed of pink quartzite in 1890 and the building itself is worth a view. It is open from 8.00am to 5.00pm during the week although it opens later at the weekend. There are many interesting exhibits to view and if you are looking to learn a little about Sioux Falls and the surrounding area it is an excellent place to visit.

Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk

If you are planning a trip to the downtown area of Sioux Falls then taking in the sculptures that make up sculpture walk is an interesting experience. The sculptures are displayed on the sidewalks and in front of shops in the downtown area and are donated to the exhibition by artists for a one year. Those who view them between May and September are asked to vote for which one is their favorite and at the end of this the most popular sculpture is bought by the city to add to its permanent display. It’s free to see the sculptures although all are for sale, so if you like one of the sculptures you might end up parting with some cash after all.

The Pettigrew Home and Museum

Richard F. Pettigrew was South Dakota’s first full term Senator and he lived in Sioux Falls for much of his life. In 1911 he bought a home in the city and arranged to have it donated to the city on his death. This home is now a museum and tourist attraction and features many items from the life of Pettigrew. He was a prodigious traveler and collected many souvenirs from around America and the rest of the world which are now on display. Pettigrew’s own personal papers and collections of his work are retained in the basement. The house is located at 131 N. Duluth Avenue and entry to it is free. It is a fascinating place to visit to learn a little of Pettigrew himself and some of the history of Sioux falls.

Sioux Falls is an interesting city to visit with many historic sites and landmarks to visit. Many of these can be accessed for free and this is the case with those identified above. For a fun and educational family day out a visit to any of these is a good idea. If you visit any of them have fun.