The best summer awaits! Use our ABC’s of Summer list for endless fun.

ABC’s of Summer

Arboretums and Garden Tour

Visit one of the many gardens in the Sioux Falls area. Bring a pad of paper and colors to draw what you see. Mary Joe Wegner Arboretum, McKennan Park, or the Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park are great places to see nature in full bloom.

Arcade Adventures

Your kids will love playing skeeball, laser tag, and press your luck games at the local arcades. Whether you hit up Electric Rainbow, The Fun Zone at Pizza Ranch, Dave & Busters, The Country Fair in Brandon, Thunder Road, or Galaxy Gaming, there are lots of options to play the day away!

Bowling, Movies, and More!

We all love to enjoy the outdoors in the summer, but sometimes it rains. Thankfully, there are many indoor activity places to visit to keep your family busy, like 605 Ninja, Bowling, Butterfly House & Aquarium, Frontier Climbing, Midco Aquatic Center, Scheels, Sky Zone, West Mall 7, or Wings Gymnastics… to name a few.

Chalk the Sidewalk

When families are out for walks, it’s hard to NOT participate in a course or hopscotch activity! Make a walk fun for your neighbors by drawing one out on your sidewalk.

Chill Off with a Sweet Treat

Ice cream is a great way to end a long day of fun. For a special treat, check out Stensland’s Ice Cream, Parlour, B&G Milky Way, Sweet Cheeks, or Dakota Snow/Sub Zero Desserts.

Dig in the Sand

The beach isn’t the only place you’ll find sand these days. You can also head down to Harrisburg and check out The Sandlot.

Downtown Stroll

There are so many things to do downtown! Check out the Sculpture Walk. Grab a bite to eat. Go shopping. Visit the River Greenway and Arc of Dreams. Learn at a museum. It’s a great place to get out and explore.

Experiment Outdoors

Science can get messy! Find a fun experiment your kids want to do and let them explore away outside.

Falls Park Adventure

Start your Saturday morning with a visit to the Falls Park Farmer’s Market, venture across the street to the Stockyards Ag Experience, and end it with lunch or ice cream from Falls Overlook Café while enjoying the Falls.

Frisbee Golf

Grab your frisbees and friends to visit the disc golf courses in Sioux Falls: Spencer Park, Tomar Park, and Tuthill Park.

First Friday and Eastbank Block Parties

Head to Downtown Sioux Falls for entertainment and deals at local shops for First Friday each month. Some places, like the Washington Pavilion, have Free First Fridays.


Hit the Courts

The parks have courts and fields for many sports, including basketball, tennis, soccer, and more! Grab your equipment and get active with these free activities.

‘hood Calendar

Looking for events for the family? The ‘hood calendar is full of great things happening around the community. From town celebration days and 4th of July parades and fireworks to concerts and camps, something fun is happening in the Sioux Empire for everyone! 

Ice Cream Bar

After an afternoon of outdoor play, set up an ice cream bar with various toppings – syrups, sprinkles, candy – and cool down with your tasty creation.

Jump on in!

Sioux Falls has several outdoor public pools that are perfect for a summer swim. Some feature fast slides for the big kids and shallow wading pools and zero-depth entrances for the little ones. There’s a pool for all age groups for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day. 

Kick Back with a Good Book

Grab a good book and settle under a tree for outdoor learning. Visit REACH Literacy, where kids can choose free books each visit. Check out the Siouxland Libraries summer reading programs to earn prizes.

Kayak and Paddleboard

Grab your kayak or paddleboard (or rent from a local shop) and get out on the water. You can find classes and experiences to learn or if you are experienced, float down at the Big Sioux Recreational Area or a local lake.

Learn about History

With many museums and historical sites in the area, take a trip to learn about the history and people of the Sioux Empire.

Make and Take It

Find fun craft activities and classes like Sanford fit or the Museum of Visual Materials.


Mud Kitchen

A kid-favorite activity is an outdoor kitchen set up for them to pretend to prepare and cook using any combination of mud, sand, and water. You can buy cheap utensils and bowls at a dollar store for this play. Just be sure to have a hose nearby for clean-up!


Nature Walk

There are beautiful areas and camping spots in our area. Pack a picnic and make a day of it. Local parks include Great Bear Recreation Park, Good Earth State Park, LazyH Campground, Palisades State Park, and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park.


Obstacle Course

Use all sorts of things around your house to allow kids to climb, crawl, or jump around in the yard. Chairs, hula hoops, pool noodles, laundry baskets…the possibilities are endless. Get creative!


Park Parade

There are over 80 parks in Sioux Falls. Create a bucket list of ones your family wants to visit over the summer.


Popsicle Creation

Blend up fruits, add some water, pour into a cup with a stick, and freeze. Try mixing different fruits together to find your family’s favorite concoction.


Quarters for Strangers

Grab a roll of quarters, tape, and some paper and head downtown. Help your kids decorate little cards of encouragement with quarters attached and then tape them to the meters.


Ready, Set, Get Wet

Pioneer Spray Park is a fun way to cool off with the little ones! This dinosaur-designed spray park also features an open picnic shelter, children’s play area, basketball court, soccer field, and tennis courts.


Reel in a Big One

Hit up one of the local fishing holes and try your hand at reeling in fish. The Outdoor Campus is a great resource to learn more about this and other ways to connect with nature. Or check out Family Park’s ponds, where you can also bring your dog to enjoy the nearby dog park.


Sidewalk Paint

Looking to take your sidewalk chalk to a new level? Head over to The ‘hood Magazine and search sidewalk chalk for an easy recipe including corn starch, baking soda, water, and washable paint. The kids will have a blast painting the sidewalk or driveway.

State Park Scavenger Hunt

Do some internet searching to find the state and local parks your family would like to visit this summer and make an adventure of it! These are great hiking spots, too! Some great ones include Lake Herman, Lake Vermillion, Palisades, Beaver Creek, Lake Alvin, Newton Hills, Union Grove, Spirit Mound, and Black Elk Peak.


Take Out the Recycling

Allow your child’s imagination to run wild by allowing them to play with things from your recycling. Build castles with cardboard boxes or use milk jugs to make a bird house (or a dozen other ways to get creative with them!).


Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Visit the Birdcage to enjoy a Canaries game or head out to one of the local ball fields for your own game. Grab a few neighbors and friends to field a team!

Under the Stars

Upgrade your movie nights by setting up an outdoor projector and bedsheet and enjoy a movie outside after dusk. Check out the outdoor family movie nights offered by DTSF as well.


Vacation in the Black Hills

Whether you camp or stay in a hotel, the Black Hills is a great quick vacation spot. Travel through the Badlands on your way out. Make a pit stop at Wall Drug. Visit the faces at Mount Rushmore. And take in all the hills have to offer. But don’t pet the buffalo in Custer State Park!

Walk, Run, or Bike the Loop

Sioux Falls has an extensive network of bike trails that are perfect for a family bike ride, casual walk, or vigorous run. The trails are completely free to use, and they offer a great way to explore the city’s parks and neighborhoods.

Water Your Plants

Plant a garden this year to enjoy some fresh produce and help your kids learn how plants grow. You can plant in pots, build a garden in your backyard, or reserve a spot in the community gardens around town.

X Marks the Spot

Create a map of fun landmarks around your neighborhood for your kids to find while you’re on walks. It’ll keep them entertained and help burn off some energy! You can do this indoors by hiding treasures in a room and creating a map.


Yard Games

Visit Game Chest, Kidtopia, or Child’s Play Toy stores and pick up a fun game to play outdoors. Frisbee, Ladder Ball, and Lawn Dart are all fun activities. Or get even more creative and create your own Yard Yahtzee or Farkle set with a few blocks of wood and some dots of paint. Find the tutorial on The ‘hood Magazine by searching Yard Yahtzee.


Zzzzz’s Outdoors

If you’re not able to enjoy a getaway at a campground this summer, you can still make use of your tent by setting it up in the backyard! The bonus is you’ll have the comfort of your own bathroom nearby and no need for shower shoes.