5 Ways Empty Nesters Spend Summer in Sioux Falls

Now is the time to do what you want. Summer in Sioux Falls brings many opportunities to seize the moment and make new memories with close friends or your significant other.

We thought we’d share a few of our own favorite summertime activities to give you ideas for ways to spend your hard-earned vacation days and weekends.

#1 Attending Outdoor Social Events

We cannot get enough of outdoor concerts and events. One of our top picks, Levitt at the Falls, provides free concerts every summer. Durign the summer months guests can enjoy 50 free outdoor concerts on the lawn. Bring your own chairs or rent some onsite and listen to a variety of genres. Feel free to grab some food to-go from one of the many restaurants in the area and bring it with you to eat while enjoying the music. Adult beverage services are also available onsite, so they really do have the complete package when it comes to entertainment.

Folk-Off & Rib Challenge is another great Sioux Falls festival. Hours can be spent here sampling different flavors of succulent ribs. You’ll get a great variety of flavor as meat masterminds cook up mouthwatering meals just for you. The entertainment, featuring great local music, is just as good as the ribs.

Finally, Hot Harley Nights, which benefits Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, is something we mark our calendar for every year. The city becomes a Harley-lover’s heaven as thousands of motorcycles are on display. You can watch or ride but, either way, the party lasts all night!

#2 Sitting on the Patio

Enjoying a meal or cold beverage along Phillips Avenue in Downtown Sioux Falls is a highlight of summer in this city. When you're craving a tender, juicy steak but don’t feel like firing up the grill, head straight to the patio at Minerva's Restaurant & Bar. Afterwards, walk next door to CH Patisserie and indulge in every bite of their gourmet lemon tart or choose from a variety of macarons.

On a beautiful week night, we recommend a table outside at CRAVE, the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown’s restaurant. Their river view is spectacular!

For brunch, our top picks are All Day Cafe and M.B. Haskett. In addition to their beautiful outdoor seating, you can’t go wrong with a single menu item from either eatery. Be sure to check out the Bloody Mary bar on Saturdays at Ode to Food and Drinks.

#3 Biking the Trails

Biking all 29 miles of our paved trails may seem daunting, but we love making a day of looping around the entire city. The Big Sioux River Greenway goes directly through downtown along the Big Sioux River and weaves through wooded area and plains. If you’re biking the whole trail, we recommend parking and starting at Falls Park and heading southeast. This will give you easy access to a rest stop before you head out and when you return. You’ll also have the option to grab a scoop of amazing ice cream at the Falls Overlook Café.

If you need to rent a bike for the day or a few hours, Spoke-N-Sport has both road and mountain bikes. The staff over there will even help you find the bike trail from the store.

#4 Picnicking

In the summer, our picnic basket is ready to go at all times. Countless afternoons can be spent under the open sky on a blanket reading and savoring epicurean deli sandwiches from the Pickle Barrel. When you want to spread out in a large grassy area, head to McKennan Park. It’s wonderful to stretch your legs after lunch with a walk through the park to see the Mediterranean Sunken Gardens and sculptures throughout the park. However, numerous other parks have great picnic spots as well, including the Japanese Gardens in Terrace Park and Tuthill Park.

On Sunday afternoon, grab a couple lawn chairs and head to Strawbale Winery for their Sangria Sundays. They have live music and two delicious types of sangria slush. Best of all, you’re welcome to bring your own picnic basket.

#5 SculptureWalk

Explore the streets of Downtown Sioux Falls and admire the beautiful pieces of art on the SculptureWalk. This year-round public art display features more than 50 sculptures that are replaced every year. Vote for your favorite; the most popular sculpture will placed on permanent display in the city.