One day we went to the Sertoma Butterfly House & Marine Cove, where the main attraction is the tropical butterfly house where more than 800 beautifully patterned and delicate butterflies circle above, around, on and in between verdant plants, flowers, bridges and waterfalls, while visitors are free to stroll among them, marveling at their beauty and graceful flight . The Marine Cove portion of the attraction here encompasses over 5,000 gallons of aquarium exhibits boasting an amazing array of marine fish, live coral, exotic fish and reportedly the only shark and stingray touch pool in the Midwest.
On the same acreage you will find The Outdoor Campus featuring indoor and outdoor trails, exhibits and demonstration spaces dedicated to the region’s native plants and wildlife, including a solar display, echo tube, and gigantic climbing dome.
To talk to the animals, be sure to visit the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum.
Featuring 1,000-plus animals from all over the world including exotic birds, alpacas, brown bears, lemurs, flamingos and the like. The zoo is a very fun and intimate attraction that family members of all ages can enjoy by foot, or by taking the mini train that circles the property. It even offered enough diversity that it held my teenage boys attention and they were excited about exploring each part of the diverse areas.
Your zoo ticket also includes entrance to the Delbridge Museum of Natural History, described as “a local treasure that houses a rare, one-in-the-world collection of 150 mounted animals, including 36 ‘vanishing species’ legally hunted during the 1940 to 1960s.” The exhibits and displays were fascinating as well, and lent a different aspect to a visit here.
If you’d like to hit the trails in town, you’ll find more than 20 miles of them on which you can walk, run, cycle, and so forth as they loop around the city, beginning at Falls Park and winding its way along the River Greenway, the Big Sioux River and through many picturesque areas of the city.
Last but certainly not least, was our exciting adventure at Wild Water West Waterpark, billed as South Dakota’s largest waterpark and only wave pool, featuring 500,000 gallons of water. Wild West is similar to many water parks located around the country, offering tubes slides, a zero entry pool with rope bridges and floating animals, a children’s playground, bumper boats, a lazy river and a variety of other water play features.
But here your ticket price also includes miniature golf, full throttle go karts, batting cages, paintball, sand volleyball, and an adults-only swim up bar. Another nice aspect was that the park offered plenty to do and enjoy, but it was also small enough that if the kids were in one area and you were in another, they were still close enough to keep tabs on them. And, the parking lot is literally right outside “of the front door,” which made it easy to go back and forth to the car for forgotten items, etc.
Whew! Sioux Falls was definitely a great family vacation, one that for its size really offered a great deal from historic entities to dining, family attractions, arts and culture, and a great deal more.
To start at Part 1 click here.