Spring break season is once again upon us. While the lucky few are enjoying week-long sun pilgrimages near the equator, the great majority of Minnesotans are left behind. However, March has been shockingly warm. It’s no substitute for Panama, but maybe a weekend trip is all you need to cure your cabin fever. Minneapolis is an obvious option, but there are also hidden gems within reasonable driving distance of Mankato for a weekend getaway. Sioux Falls is a great place to start.
The Washington Pavilion, located in downtown Sioux Falls, is a center for all things good, featuring a theater, a community center, an interactive science museum, and many other entertainment options. March 31 & April 1, the center will host the South Dakota Symphony, April 6 is the Science Center’s “First Free Friday”, meaning free admission for everyone, and on April 9 is the first of three Shrek the Musical performances. Spectacular Saturdays bring workshops at the pavilion on a wide variety of topics—each workshop only costing $8. Wine tasting, comedy shows, tribute concerts–the Pavilion really has it all. A full event calendar can be found here.
If the weather cooperates, Sioux Falls has a number of public parks; some of the best are listed here.
April 6-14 is Restaurant Week, with many Sioux Falls restaurants offering discounted dishes throughout the week. The city’s varied dining landscape includes Indian, Greek, Japanese, Brazilian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Irish and countless more cuisines. Restaurant Week is the ideal opportunity to get a taste of everything Sioux Falls has to offer.
As for somewhere to go after your meal, Sioux Falls has a vibrant nightlife. There’s Monk’s for the beer lovers, Fat Daddy’s for comedy shows, and Phil’s Pub for cheap drinks and local talent on weekends (beware: no hard liquor served here). Poppadox is a college bar, and for a chic, upscale bar try Crawford’s.
While Sioux Falls has its fair share of traditional entertainment, it has uniquely SF attractions as well. The Sioux Falls Roller Dollz offer some good old roller derby action–girls on roller skates tackling each other while doing laps on a track. Zandbroz is a quirky bookstore meets coffeeshop meets old-fashioned soda fountain. Falls Park is a must-see: a waterfall near the middle of the city from which Sioux Falls derives its name.
As for staying overnight, check TripAdvisor or Priceline for hotel deals, or try camping at a state campground—only $8 a night! Or find a nice CouchSurfer to host you. You already know Midwesterners are notoriously friendly, so ask a local for their favorite hangout and get to know the city of Sioux Falls.