Sioux City, Iowa keeps the charms on all year long, with indoor museums to cozy up in during the cold winter, and a wealth of trails and hills and riverfront to explore the rest of the year. Sioux City also has one of the best indoor trampoline parks and laser tag arenas in the state. If you’re looking for the top things to do in Sioux City, you won’t be disappointed by this list.
If you have a group or family to entertain, it doesn’t get any more crowd-pleasing than Drop Zone. From a trampoline park to laser tag to arcade games to a “Ninja Course” (yes, really!), Drop Zone has it all. With an onsite snack bar and unique, joy-inducing entertainment for all ages, Drop Zone is an easy pick for top things to do in Sioux City. If you have kids in tow, consider visiting on a Thursday evening for “Family Fun Night.”
2. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Venture on the 8,000-mile expedition once taken by the famous 19th century explorers Lewis and Clark, all within the comfortable confines of this single Sioux City attraction. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, you will navigate through riverfront trails, sculptures, exhibits, and even wildlife that tell the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in both a scenic and educational way.
3. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
If you’re looking for a little nightlife, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, consisting of 100,000 square feet of slot machines, arcade games, outdoor concerts, and dining, is a great bet. It’s no roll of the dice when you choose the Hard Rock Hotel for your next outing; you are in fact guaranteed a great time, and may even go home a little richer.
4. Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum
The Great Plains Zoo in nearby Sioux Falls hosts an impressive collection of 1,000+ animals, including giraffes, monkeys, rhinos, and big cats, as well as a kids’ petting zoo called the Hy-Vee Face-to-Face Farm, and the Delbridge Museum. The Delbridge Museum showcases 100+ mounted animals, including endangered or so-called “vanishing” species.
5. Chief War Eagle
Despite his name, Indian Chief War Eagle was actually known for his commitment to peace, serving as both a riverboat guide and messenger for the American government during the early 1800s. Chief War Eagle and his family are currently buried at the top of a bluff overlooking the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. The War Eagle Monument is located nearby and can be reached with an easy hike.
6. Wild Water West Waterpark
South Dakota’s largest water park includes a giant wave pool, swim-up bar, bumper boats, water slides (including the 55-foot Tornado Alley tube chute), as well as mini golf, go karts, and even sand volleyball! With average summertime highs in the 80s, the Wild Water West Waterpark is a no-brainer if you’re visiting during a warm-weather month. The water park is located in nearby Sioux Falls.
7. Stone State Park
For beautiful views and fun things to do, head to Stone State Park, a woodsy, hilly retreat located along the Big Sioux River, where you can hike, fish, and boat. While exploring, make sure to stop by the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, where you will find a delightful butterfly garden. Stone State Park makes for a great day or overnight camping trip!
8. Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation
If you’re an aviation buff, the Mid America Museum is a must see. No matter what, though, it’s easy to kill a few hours at this museum, which features 30,000 square feet of aircraft, ranging from military to private to commercial. Admission is very affordable, but if you’re visiting during the winter, make sure to check hours ahead of time, as the park closes on select days.
9. Trinity Heights
For a quiet break from the city, head to Trinity Heights, where you can sit back and relax on any number of scenic park benches, or stroll along a dreamy nature trail. But what makes this park so special is not necessarily Mother Nature, but the magnificent man-made steel statues that are sprawled throughout the premises, including a 30-foot-high Virgin Mary and a 33-foot-high Jesus, as well as a towering scene of the Last Supper.
10. Sioux City Public Museum
Find out what exhibit is currently on display at this local history museum. While you are here, be sure to check out the Sergeant Floyd towboat, originally built in 1932 for the United States Army Corps and later bestowed to the people of Sioux City as a “museum boat.” The museum’s downtown location and free admission make it one of Sioux City’s more convenient attractions.
As you can see, Sioux City has many surprises for both history and nature lovers, and plenty of fun up its sleeves for families, too. Hopefully this list will get you pointed in the right direction so you can start uncovering all the area has to offer.