Paige Rangel is a motherhood/lifestyle blogger who fell in love with South Dakota after an autumn road trip. Check out her favorite Sioux Falls places below, and learn more about Paige at TheLoveDesignedLife.com.
Are you thinking about taking a road trip this fall? With all that is going on in the world these days, road travel still feels like the safest bet.
I like to think of our family as road trip experts.We travel almost every summer to see family by car, and honestly, we love it! The long hours in the car provide plenty of beautiful scenery, not to mention fun games we can play as a family (hello, bonding!), and the kids' favorite part: endless movies. I also really love the convenience of having our car, car seats, etc. It just makes traveling a little easier with young kids.
As the warm summer temps stretch on, I'm over here dreaming about our fall trip from a couple of years ago to South Dakota. As much as we love living in a warm weather state most of the year, this time of year you can find us all pining for changing leaves, pumpkin spice everything, and sweaters to cozy up in. So a trip to see fall really hit the spot!
Travel South Dakota invited us to come out and explore the area in and around Sioux Falls (South Dakota’s biggest city). I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun stuff there was to do and see! So, I wanted to highlight some great places to visit in that area, with a little itinerary to add to your fall South Dakota road trip.
Explore Falls Park
Right in the middle of the city of Sioux Falls is the beautifully maintained Falls Park. The gorgeous natural pink quartzite is about 1.5 million years old, and it has been the center point of industry and recreation since the city's founding in 1856. Today, you can walk around and explore the 123 acres of the park, have a picnic, or visit the farmer's market on Saturdays.
If you happen to find yourself in Falls Park on a Saturday between 8 a.m.-1 p.m., be sure to check out the Falls Park Farmer's Market. It's walking distance from the famous viewpoint of the falls pictured above, across the street from the Stockyards Ag Experience. They have beautiful seasonal produce, hot coffee, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
*Please note: the Falls Park Farmer's Market is seasonal, and runs May-October each year. So, the best to catch them on your trip is through the early part of the fall season!
After you work up an appetite exploring the park, be sure to check out Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen — we came here after a busy morning exploring. Perfect place to order at the counter and then grab a seat for a satisfying meal. Great for lunch or a quick dinner at this locally owned and operated spot. Think hearty sandwiches, soups, and salads, with fresh ingredients and a yummy comfort-food feel.
Family-Friendly in Downtown Sioux Falls
For another day in and around Downtown Sioux Falls, there are plenty of family-friendly things going on!
Start with breakfast at either one of these two yummy spots:
Josiah’s Coffee House – SO many people recommended this, so I was dying to try it! Unfortunately, we didn't make it on our trip, but we would for sure go back. Josiah’s features a full breakfast and lunch menu, with barista-made coffee drinks. Their local bakery is famous for its cheesecake!
M.B. Haskett – We came here one morning of our visit and ended up catching the Native American Day Parade! It's right downtown on Phillips Avenue. Smaller menu, but perfect lattes, handmade pastries, and everything we had was so tasty.
When you're ready to explore, here are some great options. You could alternatively do one of these activities in the afternoon on Day 1, depending on how you want to break it up.
Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History – A fun spot, on the smaller side as far as zoos go, so totally manageable for a half-day activity with kids. There is a carousel, train ride, and soft play area for kids outside with plenty of animals to see. And the museum part is indoors, with lots of other great educational attractions.
Butterfly House & Aquarium – We went here on our visit to escape the rain, as it is all indoors/covered. Also on the smaller side, but so much fun for the kids to get to see both sea life and butterflies in one place. We especially loved waiting to see if the butterflies would land on us and seeing their chrysalis pods where some butterflies were hatching right before our eyes. The kids could have stayed here for hours!
Washington Pavilion – With more than 100 interactive hands-on experiences, the kids won't be bored at the Kirby Science and Discovery center! Lots of kid-friendly attractions and things to see. Experience art, science, performances, movies in the Wells Fargo CineDome, and more. And the location right downtown makes lots of great dining options walkable. *Note: Be sure to call in advance and check fall hours, as they usually reduce them from the summer hours and may be closed on Mondays.
One of our favorite stops of the trip was apple picking and the pumpkin patch at Country Apple Orchard near Harrisburg. There is plenty of space to spread out and socially distance both in the apple fields and all around the property. On select weekends in the fall, they also have pony rides, children's train rides, and other fun attractions for the kiddos. We sipped on warm apple cider, did all the rides, picked apples, and enjoyed the better part of the day here.
We did find one other fall festival when we were there. Note that some fall festivals can appear one year and not the next, so be sure to check out the full calendar of events to get the latest info, including any changes about what is running and what might not be this year. Don’t forget there are plenty of pumpkin patch and corn maze options for fall fun!
After all that fun, you're going to need something delicious for dinner! Here are a couple of our favorite dinner spots:
Parker’s Bistro – This seasonally driven menu specializes in local ingredients and truly unique, chef-driven dishes. It's not really a family-friendly restaurant, per se. There was no kids’ menu, but I was honestly impressed by how well our kids did there when we went for dinner. The staff was so lovely and accommodating for us!
Mama’s Ladas – A small little enchilada restaurant with a small menu, but so good and so cute!
CH Patisserie – Not a dinner place, but rather a cute little bakery that is a great stop for an after-dinner dessert treat. The cutest little sweets shop in downtown Sioux Falls with the best macarons!
Three days in Sioux Falls is the perfect amount of time to get your fall fix while road-tripping this year. I hope we get to make it back to South Dakota one day soon so we can explore more of the state! Have you been yet?
Thanks so much for reading. You can follow more of our family's adventures in motherhood, design, home, and travel on thelovedesignedlife.com.
This post was sponsored by Travel South Dakota. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.