4. Games of “I spy Sanford” never get old.
South Dakota businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who made his fortune as owner of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard, headquartered in Sioux Falls, likes to share the love. Sanford’s gifts to the city have created the Sanford Children’s Hospital, called the “Castle of Care” for its vibrant, colorful castle architecture designed to lift the spirits of ailing little ones, as well as modern sports centers and schools of medicine.
For a fun family round of I-spy, cruise down 41st Street and see how many times you can spot “Sanford.” Winner gets bacon pancakes at The Original Pancake House.
5. We’ve got no-frills, stiff drinks along with some mighty fine micro ales.
With dozens of down-home, casual clubs, and a burgeoning microbrewery scene, Sioux Falls can produce your poison, you name it. A plethora of wood-paneled VFW lounges and American Legions catering to veterans and retirees serve strong, inexpensive cocktails the way God intended. More bite than bark, the Greyhound (vodka and grapefruit juice) at the VFW on South Minnesota won’t disappoint.
For those who prefer their alcohol hoppy and their décor hip, locales like WoodGrain Brewing Co., Monks House of Ale Repute, and Fernson Brewing Company literally have hundreds of select homebrews to choose from. Sample a Farmhouse Ale from Fernson’s taproom while you munch delicious Dot’s Pretzels imported from “the other Dakota.”
6. We’re full of hot air.
The wide-open skies and prairie breezes in and around Sioux Falls make for ideal conditions for hot air ballooning, which is why enthusiasts gently descend to the city each August for the Great Plains Balloon Race. Pack a blanket, grab some sushi-to-go from nearby Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi, and head to Kenny Anderson Park on East 6th Street for front-row-everywhere seats as dozens of hot air balloonists fill their colorful aircrafts and a rainbow of lofty vessels floats atop the Sioux Falls skyline.
Stick around post-twilight for the “night glow” climax, when crews ignite the propane burners used to produce the hot air and the grounded balloons illuminate the night like giant Christmas lights.