Located just over an hour south of Sioux Falls, you can find Sioux City! Sioux City is an excellent option for a day trip from the Sioux Falls Area! It’s a unique spot, with the city being centered in Iowa, but with the great metro area stretching into South Dakota and Nebraska.
Sioux City is a hidden gem in the Midwest, offering plenty of family activities and attractions. From outdoor adventures to educational experiences, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy!
If you want to travel a bit further down south, check out our weekend guide for family fun in Omaha, Nebraska!
So grab some snacks, pile into the car, and enjoy a family day trip to Sioux City!
In our list of things to do, we keep location in mind! If driving from the Sioux Falls Area, we list where you should stop first!
Top Family Fun in Sioux City, Iowa
Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
Before you quite get to Iowa, stop in at a South Dakota Park! Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is a fantastic spot to hike, learn, and enjoy nature. You can check out the restored historical buildings on site and learn what it was like to homestead in South Dakota. They also offer an indoor education building and a great themed playground outside! This South Dakota Park is free to all visitors!
Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center
As you drive into the heart of Sioux City, stop by the welcome center! The Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center is the perfect first stop for your day in Sioux City, Iowa. Not only is it a visitor center (on a boat!), but it’s also a museum. Walk along this historical boat that is seeped in history related to Lewis and Clark, the Missouri River, and Sioux City. This free stop will start your time off in Sioux City perfectly!
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Located just down from the Sergeant Floyd River Museum (you won’t even have to repark!) is the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center! Dive into the rich history of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Located on the scenic Missouri River, this center provides an interactive and educational experience for all ages. Learn about the Corps of Discovery’s journey, explore exhibits, and try your hand at interactive displays.
LaunchPAD Children’s Museum:
If you’re looking for a hands-on and entertaining experience, head to the LaunchPAD Children’s Museum. Designed for children of all ages, this museum encourages learning through play. Interactive exhibits cover various topics, from science and technology to art and culture. It’s a perfect spot for a day of family fun and exploration.
If you have a membership to the Washington Pavillion and show your card, you can get in for free as it’s a member of the same ASTC organization. Make sure to check before you go, as things can change quickly!
Palmer Candy Shoppe
Located near the LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is the Palmer Candy Shoppe! Take a step back in time at this candy store. Filled with delicious homemade treats, your family will find it hard to choose what to bring home. In this candy store, you can also find a small museum telling you all about the history of Palmer Candy.
Sioux City Public Museum
Discover the rich heritage of Sioux City at the Sioux City Public Museum. This family-friendly destination offers engaging exhibits that showcase the city’s history, from its early days to the present. The museum caters to kids and adults with interactive displays and educational programs. As a bonus, it’s free!
On the South side of Sioux City, you can find Cone Park. Cone Park is a winter wonderland for families. With activities like tubing, ice skating, and sledding, it’s the perfect spot for outdoor recreation during the colder months. In the summer, the park transforms with hiking trails, a playground, a picnic area, and a free splash pad. In the winter months, there is a fee for some of the activities.
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
On your way back to Sioux Falls (or make it your first stop on the way in), stop at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. This Nature Center is located in the far north of Sioux City, just over the South Dakota border in Stone State Park. For nature enthusiasts, the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is a must-visit. This center offers hiking trails, wildlife exhibits, and educational programs. It’s a great way to connect with nature and teach your kids about the importance of environmental conservation. They have an amazing outdoor playscape that kids love, and admission is free (Iowa State Parks do not charge an entrance fee).
While not quite a place to visit without reason, we can’t help but mention the Tyson Events Center as well! Make sure to check out all the fantastic performances and events offered throughout the year!
So Many Things to Do!
Sioux City, Iowa, is a fantastic destination for family fun, offering a blend of history, nature, and entertainment. Whether you’re exploring museums, enjoying outdoor activities, or attending events, there’s no shortage of memorable experiences for the whole family. Plan your trip to Sioux City and create lasting memories with your loved ones in this vibrant Midwest city.