20 Things to Do in Sioux City, Iowa

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Sioux City is a great location for those visiting Iowa who are interested in history and culture. Sioux City was known for hosting Lewis and Clark as part of the expedition. There are plenty of activities for the whole family to take part in. There are museums, art centres and many parks. Check out these best 20 things to do in Sioux City the next time you are in Iowa.

Sioux City, Iowa

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Looking for things to do in Sioux City?

20 Things To Do In Sioux City

1- Explore Stone State Park

Stone State Park is a wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Sioux City.

The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and there’s plenty to do.

If you like hiking and bike riding, then checkout the 15 miles (24.1 km) of trails that the park has to offer.

The Carolyn Benne Nature Trail is a wonderful trail if you are interested in local history as there are interpretive signs along the walk and there are also six miles (9.6 km) of equestrian trails.

You can stay overnight at their camping cabins or at the tented campground.

Stone State Park is at 5001 Talbot Rd, Sioux City, IA 51103.

2- Have Fun In The Snow At Cone Park

Man Snow Tubing From Hill
Winter fun at Cone Park best things to do in Sioux City.

Though Cone Park offers years of activities it’s even more fun in winter.

There’s a 700-foot (213 m) tubing hill, ice skating rink, and an outdoor fire pit to keep warm around.

You can also explore the trail loop which has excellent views.

Whether you are visiting for a fun weekend, a birthday celebration or just with friends and family there’s so much fun to be had at Cone Park.

After hours of fun in the snow head to the lodge for a warm beverage and a bite to eat.

Cone Park is at 3800 Line Dr, Sioux City, IA 51106.

3- Let The Kids Play At LaunchPAD Children’s Museum

If you are visiting Sioux City with kids, be sure to check out LaunchPAD Children’s Museum.

It’s a wonderful indoor educational center with a ton of fun activities to get stuck into.

The center is usually open from 9am to 5pm every day except Tuesday when it’s closed. So, there’s fun to be had almost every day.

So, what can you do at LaunchPAD?

Some of the exhibits include the barn, café, ice cream parlour, and an agriculture area.

At all these stations your kids can get to grips with these topics by playing and making things themselves.

There’s also a large infant and toddler area which is perfect for scrambling around and working the little one’s minds and bodies.

LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is at 623 Pearl St, Sioux City, IA 51101.

4- Indulge At Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe

Chocolates Shop
Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe things to do in Sioux City.

Everyone loves candy but is there anything better than a traditional candy store?

Palmer’s Old Tyme Candy Shoppe allows you to step back in time while devouring your favourite sugar-coated treats.

From chocolate truffles to peppermint twists, Swedish fish to homemade brittle, there’s so much to lick your lips over at Palmers.

It’s much more than just a candy store, visiting is an experience.

There is even a small museum, where you can see how candy used to be made before large industrial factories took over.

Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe is at 405 Wesley Pkwy, Sioux City, IA 51103.

5- Check Out Anderson Dance Pavilion

Anderson Dance Pavilion is in a beautiful location along the Missouri River.

The buildings’ architectures take inspiration from the Greek and Roman eras.

The outside area and formal gardens make for a beautiful riverfront walk.

There are many regional events held at Anderson Dance Pavilion including summer parades, and themed charity walks.

There is also a children’s play area at the end of the manicured lawn and garden.

Anderson Dance Pavilion is at Larsen Park Rd, Sioux City, IA 51103.

6- Visit Sioux City Public Museum

If you are looking for a place where you can learn more about Sioux City then the public museum is the place to be.

This museum is an excellent place to view an impressive collection of Native American artifacts.

There are also items on loan from the University of Iowa, many of which date back to 11000 A.D.

This is a wonderful museum for kids with a role play area where children can imagine living in different dwellings and even design quilts!

There’s also a transportation section where you can see a 1901 Oldsmobile, a 1919 Hawkeye Truck, and a 1957 Diamond T Dump Truck.

The Sioux City Public Museum also owns the Sergeant Floyd River Museum & Welcome Center.

Sioux City Public Museum is at 607 4th St, Sioux City, IA 51101.

7- Learn About U.S. History At The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

As the museum’s name suggests this place is dedicated to showcasing the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The museum shows visitors the Siouxland leg of the expedition with videos, stamping stations and speaking figures that help to bring to life the stories of the Great Expedition of 1804.

In addition to the historical element of the museum, they also offer 135 classes and activities and 65 programs for adults.

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is at 900 Larsen Park Rd, Sioux City, IA 51103.

8- Feel Inspired At The Sioux City Art Center

The contemporary Sioux City Art Center has a striking glass atrium that makes it instantly intriguing.

There are five galleries at the Sioux City Art Center two of which are dedicated to the permanent collection which features more than 900 pieces.

One of the most popular pieces is a Grant Wood mural.

The art center also features Upper Midwestern artists and local Sioux City artists.

There are also several temporary exhibits which have included water colour, the Vietnamese peace project, and sculptures.

Sioux City Art Center is at 225 Nebraska St, Sioux City, IA 51101.

9- Learn About Local History At Chief War Eagle Monument

The Chief War Eagle Monument can be found in War Eagle Park along the banks of the Big Sioux River.

Wambdi Okicize was also known as War Eagle and although his name implies conflict he was an Indian man known more for his peaceful nature.

He even left his tribe the Isanti to avoid a dispute of who was going to become chief.

Okicize was a riverboat guide on the Upper Mississippi and during the War of 1812 he was a government messenger.

He received a silver medal from the President, Martin Van Buren in 1837 for dedicating his life towards peace and helping others.

From the monument you can see views of the Big Sioux River and the Missouri River and their confluence.

Chief War Eagle Monument is at Sioux City, IA 51103.

10- Wander Around Fourth Street Historic District

sioux city iowa buildings
Wandering around is one of the things to do in Sioux City to get your bearings.

The areas between Virginia and Iowa Streets make up Sioux City’s historic downtown area.

This area has 13 buildings that date from 1889 to 1915.

The area’s architecture makes it a charming place to walk around.

Visit the area to enjoy the local restaurants, bars and cafes while appreciating the history on your way.

Fourth Street Historic District is at Sioux City, IA 51104.

11- Step Into Nature At Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is within the Stone State Park in the heart of the Loess Hills.

It is just off Interstate 29 along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail.

The nature center is a wonderful place to discover a variety of interactive exhibits that detail the cultural and natural beauty of the Loess Hills.

Learn about everything from the native fauna to the river fish species and even the raptors that can be found in the Nature Center.

If you are traveling with kids, then they will love the Discovery Forest Nature Playscape which is a quick walk from the nature center.

There are 3 miles (4.8 km) of hiking trails at the center that allow you to walk through forest and over prairies.

The nature center trails connect with 10 miles (16 km) of Stone State Park trails.

Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is at 4500 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109.

12- Learn About Locomotive History At The Sioux City Railroad Museum

Another of the best things to do in Sioux City is to visit the railroad museum.

Sioux City was formerly a railroad town and this museum acts in preserving its railroad history.

At the museum you can see the roundhouse which was used to operate and maintain steam engines. In its heyday more than 70 trains passed through this site in Sioux City.

The museum also features large model trails and four running trains.

Sioux City Railroad Museum is at 3400 Sioux River Rd, Sioux City, IA 51109.

13- Pay Tribute To United Flight 232 Crash Victims at the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation

United Airlines Flight 232 crash-landed at Sioux Gateway Airport on July 19th, 1989, killed 111 people (184 survived).

There is a special exhibition at the Mid American Museum of Aviation and Transportation that honours those who perished in the crash.

The museum also features information and displays on the area’s transportation history.

There’s a specific section of antique vehicles, trucks and airplanes.

You can also take a tour of the FedEx plane in the grounds of the museum.

It’s the perfect place for aviation enthusiasts, those wishing to pay their respects and families with children.

Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation is at 2600 Expedition Ct, Sioux City, IA 51102.

14- Play At Riverside Park

If you are traveling to Sioux City with kids, then visiting Riverside Park is a good idea.

This 100-acre facility has picnic areas, shelters, restrooms, and a ton of sports facilities.

There are volleyball courts, ball diamonds, pickleball courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool and soccer fields.

Bring a picnic, grab your sporting equipment, and spend the day at Riverside Park.

Riverside Park is at 1301 Riverside Blvd, Sioux City, IA 51109.

15- Hop Aboard Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center

The Sergeant Floyd River Museum is within the M.V. Sergeant Floyd, a boat formerly used by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The boat gets its name from Sergeant Charles Floyd of Kentucky, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

This is an excellent free thing to do in Sioux City and once aboard you can check out the various exhibits that detail the transportation of history on the Missouri River and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

From the boat museum you can look out over the Missouri River.

Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center is at 1000 Larsen Park Rd, Sioux City, IA 51103

16- Appreciate History At The Sergeant Floyd Monument

This monument commemorates Sergeant Charles Floyd, Jr who was the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die on the expedition.

The Sergeant Floyd Monument is a 100 foot (30 m) obelisk made of sandstone and it was built in 1901.

Back in 1857 Floyd’s grave was exposed due to the erosion of the Missouri River.

The remains were eventually moved and reburied at the base of the monument.

Sergeant Floyd Monument is at 2601 S Lewis Blvd, Sioux City, IA 51103.

17- Admire The Queen of Peace Shrine at Trinity Heights

The Queen of Peace Shrine is within the former grounds of Trinity College.

This striking shrine of the diocese is found among 16 acres.

There are a number of other shrines, statues, several flower gardens and life-size wood carvings to look at too.

The Queen of Peace Shrine is a 30 foot (9 m) statue that depicts the heart of Mary.

Trinity Heights is at 2509 33rd St, Sioux City, IA 51108.

18- Head Out on the Water at Bacon Creek Park

Another fantastic park in Sioux City is Bacon Creek Park, which is a 239-acre park has picnic areas, shelters, picnic tables and restrooms.

Whether you visit during the warmer months or during the snowy season Bacon Creek Park is an ideal place for family fun.

You can also access the water and are welcome to use kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorised boats.

There is also a small playground for kids.

Bacon Creek Park is at 5015 Correctionville Rd, Sioux City, IA 51106.

19- Relish the Outdoors at Chris Larsen City Park

Chris Larsen City Park is on the banks of the Missouri River.

This park is home to some other things to do in Sioux City like the Flight 232 Memorial, the Sergeant Floyd Welcome Center, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and the Anderson Dance Pavilion.

The 110 acre park is a picturesque place that offers peace and tranquillity to its visitors.

Wander along the pathways, through the memorial garden and even launch your boats on the river. It is a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.

Chris Larsen City Park is at 1280 Larsen Park Rd, Sioux City, IA 51103.

20- Enjoy a Retail Therapy Day at Southern Hills Mall

Sometimes all that is needed is a relaxing day of retail therapy.

Southern Hills Mall has all the shops, eateries, and entertainment facilities you will need for a fun day out with the family.

Whether you go for a bite to eat, catch one of the latest blockbuster movies, or escape the rain and window shop, hitting Southern Hills Mall is a good idea.

Southern Hills Mall is at 4400 Sergeant Rd, Sioux City, IA 51106.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!