Sioux City Christmas

Christmas is coming! The Sioux City area has so many fun and festive events to celebrate the Christmas season, and this post will be updated throughout the coming weeks as new events and details  for 2019 are announced. I'm thrilled to share all the festive fun with you!

in the background, green holly leaves and red holly berries are visible. in foreground, the words "Christmas in Sioux City"

Sioux City Christmas Events

Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
Saturday, 11/9
  • from noon to 4pm at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota
  • Historical buildings will be festively decorated
  • In past years, has featured free crafts, Christmas carolers, and Santa, plus festive treats and gifts available from vendors. I'll try to confirm whether all those things will be back again this year and update this once I hear! 

Deck the Center at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive center
Saturday, 11/16


  • 1-3pm: Kids are invited to make a pair of wooden ornaments, then hang one on the museum's Christmas tree and take the other home to keep or gift!
  • Free event with all supplies provided

Sioux City's Downtown for the Holidays
Monday, 11/25
  • 6:15pm: parade on 4th street beginning at 4th & Iowa, ending with Santa leading the lighting of the big tree in front of the Sioux City Public Museum
  • 6:30pm: Festival of Trees opening with live music and festive dancing in Ho-Chunk Center 
  • FREE admission to LaunchPad Children's Museum before the parade, from 2:30-4:30pm, with donation of hand warmers, socks, or travel sized toiletries for The Warming Shelter

Santa's House
by Unity Point St. Luke's
Open select dates, between Monday 11/25 and Thursday, 12/19
  • Inside the Ho-Chunk Center, suite #109
  • Free admission which includes visits with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, and holiday crafts
  • Also features seasonal activities for small fee, including face painting, treats from Mrs. Claus's kitchen, and photos with Santa
  • Gift shop features gifts under $10 kids can choose for their loved ones
  • Open:
    • 11/25, 6-8pm
    • 12/7, 10am-4pm
    • 12/8, 1-4pm
    • 12/10, 6-8pm
    • 12/12, 6-8pm
    • 12/14, 10am-4pm
    • 12/15, 1-4pm
    • 12/17, 6-8pm
    • 12/19, 6-8pm

Festival of Trees
auction in Ho-Chunk Center
  • Community groups and organizations from around Siouxland decorate artificial Christmas trees to be auctioned, often with creative and elaborate themes, and proceeds go to charity. 


Santa's Helpers Black Friday Camp at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Friday, 11/29
  • 9am-4pm at LaunchPad Children's Museum in downtown Sioux City
  • Kids will make homemade gifts, participate in fun seasonal activities, and play at LaunchPad!
  • Groups for kids 4-7 and kids 8-12
  • $65 for LaunchPad Members and $77 for non-members
  • For more information or to register, visit the LaunchPad website


Sioux City Parks and Rec Breakfast with Santa
Saturday 11/30
  • 9-11am at the Long Lines Family Rec Center
  • free for babies and toddlers under 2
  • $8/person ages 2+
  • Includes breakfast, served from 9-9:30am
  • Attendees can make a snowflake craft, decorate cookies, enjoy Christmas music, and take pictures with Santa!
  • Register by calling (712)279-6126 or online using the Parks & Rec registration website (It didn't show up in search for me, but I found it at the very bottom of the in the "Recreation Event Tickets" section!)
Christmas at Morningside: Arise All Nations 
Friday, 12/6
  • Held at Morningside College's Eppley Auditorium
  • Featuring performances from Morningside College vocal and instrumental music groups
  • Free admission

Holiday Cookie Decorating
Sunday, 12/8


  • 1-3pm at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Betty Strong Encounter Center
  • Kids are invited to decorate cookies to celebrate the season
  • Free event with all supplies provided

A Very Merry Y-Mas at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA
Friday, 12/13
  • From 5-7pm at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, Nebraska
  • Features cookie decorating, bounce houses, ugly sweater contest, ornament craft, and more!
  • $10 per household
  • For more info or to sign up, visit the South Sioux City Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA website

A Swingin' Christmas With the Symphony
Saturday, 12/14
  • 7:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre
  • Presented by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and featuring visiting musician Vince DiMartino on trumpet
  • Includes a reading of  'Twas the Night Before Christmas by a surprise celebrity guest!
  • For tickets or for more information, visit the Sioux City Symphony website.
A Magical Cirque Christmas
Thursday, 12/19
  • 7:30pm at Orpheum Theatre 
  • This "Holiday Spectacular" variety show features festive music, dancing, acrobatics and much more!
  • Tickets start at $28.50
  • For tickets or for more information, visit the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre website.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas party at LaunchPad Children's Museum
Thursday, 12/19
  • 5-7pm
  • Kids can participate in a variety of Grinch themed activities to celebrate the season!


Anticipated events not yet announced


These events have been local favorites in years past and are probably happening again, but details have not yet been released. As more info is shared, I'll delete them if they're definitely not happening, or move them up to the main Christmas events section with all their details!

  • Kids Holiday Make & Take crafts at the Sioux City Public Museum
  • Santa's Whistle Stop at the Sioux City Railroad Museum
  • Christmas Bingo at Chick-fil-A

Best Christmas Light Displays in Siouxland

Siouxland is full of houses with beautiful and festive light displays, but here are a few of the best places in Sioux City and Siouxland to go if you're out driving specifically to see Christmas lights. If you know houses or neighborhoods I should add, please let me know!
  • Cherrywood Lane/Applewood Ave neighborhood in Morningside
  • Christmas Acres, 18481 Impala Ave, LeMars, IA *NOW OPEN FOR 2019*
  • Watchorn home at 58960 882nd Road in Ponca, Nebraska as seen on ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight

Santa in Sioux City

Santa is coming to Siouxland! Santa will be at many of the festive events this season, including:

  • The Sioux City Holiday Lights Parade
  • Santa Breakfast hosted by the Sioux City Parks & Rec Department.
  • Santa will also be at the Southern Hills Mall to take pictures with kids and to enjoy several special events.

Merry Christmas, Siouxland!

November 2019 Kids Events in Siouxland



Each month we will bring you info on family friendly events and activities in the Siouxland Area. If you know of one we have missed, please leave us a comment or send us an email. We will update our lists throughout the month as we hear of new things to do in Sioux City and our surrounding communities, so check back often for the latest scoop! We also recommend checking out our Event Lists tab to find our lists for other months.


Free Events in Sioux City & Siouxland


  • Fri 11/1
  • Sat 11/2
    • 9am-noon: Home Depot Kids Building Workshop: American Bald Eagles, online registration recommended
    • 11am: First Saturday Family Storytime at the Wilbur Aalfs (downtown) branch of the Sioux City Public Library 
    • 11am: The Crayons' Christmas storytime at Barnes & Noble

  • Sun 11/3
    • Baby & Me storytime featuring Elmo at Barnes & Noble for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Mon 11/4
  • Tues 11/5
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 11/6
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 11/7
    • 10am: Pat-a-Cake Pals at the South Sioux City Library, for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Fri 11/8
    • 10am: Toddler Time at the South Sioux City Library, for kids 3-5 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Sat 11/9
    • 11am: The Monster at the End of This Book and The People in your Neighborhood storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • noon-4pm: Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, more details announced soon. In past years, admission and most activities were free, with food and other vendor items available for sale. 

  • Sun 11/10
  • Mon 11/11
  • Tues 11/12
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 11/13
    • 9:30am: Mommy & Me Morning at Chick-Fil-A Sergeant Road (mall parking lot)
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 11/14
    • 10am: Pat-a-Cake Pals at the South Sioux City Library, for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
    • 7pm: Young Adult Book Club at Barnes & Noble
  • Fri 11/15
    • 10am: Toddler Time at the South Sioux City Library, for kids 3-5 with a parent or other adult caregiver
    • 6:30pm: The Great Game Plan and The Treasure of Castle Siekfurst presented by the Homeschool Theatre of Siouxland, at First Evangelical Free Church. Free to attend, but with a suggested donation of $5/person or $20/family for those able to do so. 
  • Sat 11/16
    • 11am: Jack Frost vs. the Abominable Snowman storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • 1:30pm: The Great Game Plan and The Treasure of Castle Siekfurst presented by the Homeschool Theatre of Siouxland, at First Evangelical Free Church. Free to attend, but with a suggested donation of $5/person or $20/family for those able to do so. 

  • Sun 11/17
    • 11am: Baby & Me storytime featuring Abby Cadaby at Barnes & Noble for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Mon 11/18
  • Tues 11/19
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 11/20
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 11/21
    • 10am: Pat-a-Cake Pals at the South Sioux City Library, for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Fri 11/22
    • 10am: Toddler Time at the South Sioux City Library, for kids 3-5 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Sat 11/23
    • 11am: Frozen 2 Little Golden Book themed storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • 2pm: Frozen 2 Lego Build event for ages 8-12, sign-up required

  • Sun 11/24
    • 11am: Baby & Me storytime featuring Big Bird at Barnes & Noble for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
  • Mon 11/25
    • 6:15pm: Holiday Lights Parade on 4th Street, beginning at 4th & Iowa Streets
    • 6:30-8pm: Festival of Trees opening night at the Ho-Chunk Centre featuring live music and dancing!
  • Tues 11/26
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 11/27
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 11/28
    • Happy Thanksgiving!
    • Most local attractions closed, so please call ahead or check Facebook before going to any if you're not sure!
  • Fri 11/29
  • Sat 11/30
    • 9am-noon: Home Depot Kids Building Workshop: Stocking Ornament photo frame
    • 11am: Dear Santa storytime and activities at Barnes & Noble

Paid Events in Sioux City & Siouxland

  • Fri 11/1
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarts at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Sat 11/2
    • 10:30am: Mixed-Media Class: Clay Turkeys at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 8-12 (children under 8 may attend but must have a parent or other adult helper with them), $7
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)

  • Sun 11/3
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Mon 11/4
  • Tues 11/5
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Time at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Weds 11/6
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Thurs 11/7
    • 5:30pm: Farm-Tastic Learning at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Fri 11/8
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Sat 11/9
    • 10:30am: Mixed-Media Class: Cartoon Name Plaques at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 8-12 (children under 8 may attend but must have a parent or other adult helper with them), $7
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 1pm: Saturdays in the Studio: Northern Lights at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 9+ (children 8 & under may come, but must be accompanied by a parent or other adult helper), $10
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center

  • Sun 11/10
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 3:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center
  • Mon 11/11
  • Tues 11/12
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Weds 11/13
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Thurs 11/14
    • 5:30pm: Family Fun Night at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Fri 11/15
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults
  • Sat 11/16
    • 10:30am: Mixed-Media Class: Mosaic Self-Portraits at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 8-12 (children under 8 may attend but must have a parent or other adult helper with them), $7
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults

  • Sun 11/17
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 3:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center
  • Mon 11/18
  • Tues 11/19
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Weds 11/20
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Thurs 11/21
    • 5:30pm: Smart Art at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults
  • Fri 11/22
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults
  • Sat 11/23
    • 10:30am: Mixed-Media Class: Grant Wood style Landscapes at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 8-12 (children under 8 may attend but must have a parent or other adult helper with them), $7
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 1pm: Saturdays in the Studio: Birch Trees at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 9+ (children 8 & under may come, but must be accompanied by a parent or other adult helper), $10
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults

  • Sun 11/24
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 1:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults
  • Mon 11/25
  • Tues 11/26
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
  • Weds 11/27
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers Hockey at the Tyson Events Center
  • Thurs 11/28
  • Fri 11/29
    • 7:30pm: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical presented by Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, tickets $13 for students and $25 for adults
  • Sat 11/30
    • 10:30am: Mixed-Media Class: Tessellations at the Sioux City Art Center, ages 8-12 (children under 8 may attend but must have a parent or other adult helper with them), $7
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with membership or daily admission)




We do not run any of these events and encourage you to call or visit the websites of the hosting locations, organizations, or stores with any questions and to confirm details. Many paid events and some free events require tickets or registration in advance and some may sell out or fill up quickly or very far in advance. Age and other recommendations are general guidelines provided by the event or activity organizer and should not be considered legal or medical advice and may not apply well to all children.

Fall Books from Midwest Authors & Illustrators

in the foreground, the words " Fall 2019 Books From Midwest Authors", in background a collage of book covers


Welcome to my new Midwest authors & illustrators series on my blog! Seasonally, I'll highlight books from Midwest authors and illustrators that your family might enjoy, both new books and books you might have missed or forgotten. Some of the books featured are books I've received free from publishers or authors for review purposes, and links may be affiliate links.


Fall in the Midwest wouldn't be complete without some time spent curling up on the couch to read a great book, and I'm excited to share some wonderful books with you from Midwest authors that you'll want to check out. This edition features authors from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, and Iowa, including Sioux City's own Cory Kruse, with books for every age group about apples, horses, pumpkin patches, friendship, love, death, bravery, and freedom. I hope it inspires you to find a great fall read!


Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom by Rachel Campos-Duffy


front cover of picture book Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom by Rachel Campos-Duffy, featuring an illustration of a hispanic girl dressed as lady freedom and standing on top of the US Capitol Dome

About the Author: Rachel Campos-Duffy is a Wisconsin mom of 9, but you may recognize her from Real World and Road Rules, or as a FoxNews analyst, and/or as the wife of Wisconsin congressman Sean Duffy (who recently resigned to help her care for their 9th baby, who was just born with Down syndrome and serious heart abnormalities that will require heart surgery within the next few months). You can find out more about Rachel Campos-Duffy on her website.
About the Illustrator: Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom is illustrated by UK based artist Richard Johnson.
Publisher: Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom was published by Regnery Kids in Sept. 2019.
What's it about? Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom is about a little girl named Paloma who is inspired by the sights and symbols of the American capitol, especially the statue of Lady Freedom atop the Capitol Dome. Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom is inspired by Rachel Campos-Duffy's childhood with a first generation immigrant parent, and by her daughter Paloma's first visit to D.C. when she was 5 years old.
Our favorite part:
an illustration from Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom by Rachel Campos-Duffy. Illustration depicts Paloma, a young hispanic girl, and an african-american security guard who is gesturing to Lady Freedom, who is facing the ocean

My kids all loved seeing the pictures of monuments from Washington D.C. and my oldest enjoyed the factual section as a back. My favorite part was just learning more about Lady Freedom. I didn't actually realize there was a statue of Lady Freedom on the U.S. Capitol Dome and didn't really know anything about her. I think this book would be especially great to read when planning a trip to D.C. or learning about the U.S. Capitol because of its unique focus. It definitely makes me want to plan a trip to D.C.!
Who's it best for? I'd recommend it for kids 3-10, especially early elementary age.
How to get a copy: You can buy Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom from national retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon:


An Apple for Dapple by Leah Peterson

cover of the book "An Apple for Dapple" shows a light gray dappled horse standing in grass next to a white fence and a tree with red apples on it

*I received a free digital copy of An Apple for Dapple for review purposes*
About the Author: An Apple for Dapple was written by Leah Peterson.  Leah is a 5th generation farmer/rancher along Clear Creek in Custer County, Nebraska. She and her husband Matt work along side other members of her family and raise cattle and row crops. When not working on the place, Leah keeps busy with raising three girls, blogging at Clear Creek Ranch Mom and cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 
She has been writing professionally for over 10 years and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska. Check out her work on FB, Instagram or ClearCreekRanchMom.com
About the Illustrator: An Apple for Dapple was illustrated by Swapan Debnath.
Publisher: An Apple for Dapple was published by Mirror Publishing in 2011.
What's it About: An Apple for Dapple is about a horse named Dapple, a girl named Maggie, and the delicious apples--and fun--they share. It's inspired by Leah's daughter Maggie and their horse Dapple!
Our favorite parts:
The real Maggie and Dapple! Picture used with permission from Leah Peterson.

My kids loved the whole book, but especially the parts where Dapple was enjoying apples! My 2 and 6 year-olds loved Dapple and his interactions with Maggie. We recently went to the apple orchard and I think they found it especially relatable because of that! 
Who's it best for: An Apple for Dapple will be most enjoyed by toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary age students. I'd recommend it most for 2-6 year olds. It would be especially perfect for before or after a visit to an apple orchard, or during an apple themed unit study. 
How to get a copy: You can buy a copy of An Apple for Dapple on Amazon. When Leah has time, she also offers signed copies directly through her Clear Creek Ranch Mom Facebook page.


The Many Colors of Harpeet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

Cover of The Many Colors of Harpeet Singh, shows a picture of a boy with brown skin wearing red pajamas with white polka dots and a red patka, while sitting on a blue bed surrounded by many other colors of patkas

*I received a free copy of this book from Sterling Books*
About the author: Screenwriter and author Supriya Kelkar is Midwest born and raised and now lives in Michigan. She's well known for her screenplays and books sharing her Hindi culture with her audiences and readers. You can find out more about Supriya Kelkar and her works by visiting her website.
About the Illustrator: Alea Marley is a UK based illustrator who is known for her brightly colored, simple illustrations. You can find out more about Alea Marley and her illustrations on her website.
Publisher: The Many Colors of Harpeet Singh is published by Sterling Books.
What's it about? The Many Colors of Harpeet Singh is a picture book about a boy named Harpeet Singh who shows his emotions through the colors he wears. As a Sikh, he chooses to share these colors with his special head coverings called a patka.  And when Harpeet and his family move to a new city and adjust to their new life there, he has lots of emotions to show!
a boy in a red patka looks down sadly, standing in front of his parents. his father is wearing a white turban and his mother is wearing a pink sweater. browning grass  and falling leaves are visible behind them.

Our favorite part: My kids loved the brightly colored illustrations and seeing Harpeet make a new friend. As a mom, I loved the message about finding joy in new situations, and I liked introducing my kids to a culture they didn't know about--there aren't a lot of children's books about Sikhs! I also really appreciated that the author included some information at the end about patkas so I could be sure I was answering my kids' questions about them correctly and respectfully.
Who's it best for? Preschoolers and early elementary students.
How to get a copy: You can buy The Many Colors of Harpeet Singh from Barnes & Noble at the Southern Hills Mall, or from online retailers like Amazon:



Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer K. Schmitt

Cover of Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever, with an illustration depicting two girls on a light brown horse. Both girls have brown hair, one very curly and one straight and in a ponytail.

Author: Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever is written by Jennifer K. Schmitt from Rockford, Iowa (near Mason City!) Schmitt works as a special education consultant and lives on a small family-owned farm with her husband and two daughters.
Illustrator: Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever is illustrated by Maryland based graphic artist C.J. Love
Publisher: Self-Published in March 2019
What's it about? Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever is about a girl named Tawanda, her best friend Tate, and the horse they love to ride together, Honey!
Our favorite parts:
an illustration from Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever depicts two girls laughing on the ground. One girl has short curly hair and yellow shirt and cowboy boots, while the other has straight hair in a ponytail and pink shirt and cowboy boots.

My kids loved seeing the girls riding Honey around the fields, and the girls laughing together.  I liked the portrayal of modern rural life, and the cute details like that the parents' date was to a fictionalized version of Mason City's Birdsall's ice cream! And we all learned a new expression--apparently "horse buttin' around" is just another fun way of saying "horsin' around!"
Who's it best for? Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever is best for elementary age students. I'd most recommend it for 5-9 year olds.
How to get a copy: You can get a copy of Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever from Amazon!


PumpkinHeads by Rainbow Rowell

The cover of PumpkinHeads by Rainbow Rowel shows a black girl and a blonde boy wearing matching denim overalls and plaid shirts, and laying on their backs in a pumpkin patch as if gazing at stars

About the Author: Rainbow Rowell is a prolific author from Omaha (I have some guesses about which pumpkin patch she may have been inspired by!)
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks is an illustrator from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her first published book was about zombies, so it seems fitting that she did a (albeit much cheerier) Halloween book!
Publisher: PumpkinHeads was published by First Second Books in August 2019.
What's it about? PumpkinHeads is a graphic novel about two teen best friends who work together at a pumpkin patch and decide to make their last night working there the best night ever. The two navigate work, friendship, and teen romance with a sense of humor that will captivate readers, and the illustrations from Hicks exude the coziness of fall pumpkin season!
a page from Rainbow Rowell's PumpkinHeads shows two teens and a goat in a corn maze

My favorite part: My favorite part was the artwork and a very satisfying romantic end. I won't spoil it by saying who it was between!
Who's it for? Teens who like romantic stories--it's basically like a graphic novel version of a fun Hallmark holiday movie, in all the best ways. There is nothing more explicit than a kiss. One character is portrayed as having dated both women and men. There is no foul language.
How to get a copy: You can buy PumpkinHeads from Book People or from Barnes & Noble at the Southern Hills Mall. PumpkinHeads is not yet available at the Sioux City Public Library. PumpkinHeads is also available from online retailers like Amazon:


A Dream of Darkness by Cory Kruse

Cover of the Book A Dream of Darkness by Cory Kruse, with title in white and author name in yellow, both in an all- caps serif font, and black tree branches reaching towards a starry blue sky in the background
Cover Art used with permission from Cory Kruse

*I received a free copy of A Dream of Darkness from Cory Kruse*
About the author: Cory Kruse from Sioux City, Iowa! Kruse grew up in Sioux City and went to the University of Nebraska. He's worked at several jobs since graduation, including as a language arts teacher, and now works in institutional advancement at his alma mater, Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools, and this is his debut novel. Kruse has hinted that a football themed novel and a sequel to A Dream of Darkness may be coming in the years to come.
Publisher: A Dream of Darkness is published by Fire's Edge Publishing and will release on October 22nd, 2019
What's it about? A Dream of Darkness is a suspenseful, supernatural horror thriller. It's set in a world that seems not so different from our own a few centuries ago, at least not at first. But as the darkness falls on the frontier colony of Norick's 100th birthday celebration, the townspeople find their worst nightmares coming true. The book has a similar point-of-view structure to the Game of Thrones series--each chapter focuses on a different character, with some characters only featured in one or two chapters, and a few characters featured many times, which is occasionally confusing.
My favorite part: I should start by confessing that horror isn't really my favorite genre--I'm more of a fantasy & sci-fi kind of girl. So it's not super surprising that my favorite parts were the character development, world-building, and action.
My favorite individual moments were probably when one character I liked finally stepped up, and another where a character I initially didn't like heroically tried to do what she could to make up for her previous actions. The book is well written and I thought the tone was good--mostly very suspenseful, but with an appropriate self-awareness and some humor as well.
Who's it for? This book is recommended for horror fans ages 16+ due to violence, both actual and threatened (including against children), a few instances of foul language, and brief sexuality.
How to get a copy: You can buy A Dream of Darkness directly from Cory at his book signing and launch party at P's Pizza on Sat. 10/20 from 2-4pm, or from his author website (coming soon!) Copies of A Dream of Darkness are also available for pre-order from Amazon:






The Midwest is full of talented writers and illustrators, and I can't wait to share more of them with you. I'll be back with a winter & Christmas book guide from Midwest authors by early December! If you know of a book I should include, please e-mail me!

Explore the Sioux City Art Center


If you're looking for fine art in Sioux City, the Sioux City Art Center is the place to go! The Sioux City Art Center is Siouxland's home for art in a variety of mediums, primarily from modern local and regional artists, as well as pieces from historical masters like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Here's a super-quick look of the Sioux City Art Center:



Can you tell we always have a blast visiting the Sioux City Art Center? We always see old favorites and something new! Want to know more? Here are all the details:

What is the Sioux City Art Center?

front entrance of the Sioux City Art Center, showing many rectangular glass panels set in stainless steel, with the round glass and steel atrium visible.
Front entrance of the Sioux City Art Center

The Sioux City Art Center is an art museum and art education center, which includes:
  • The main building, which houses the permanent and travelling exhibit halls, the Hands On! gallery for children, the information desk, the main administrative office, and the atrium
  • The Gilchrist Learning Center, where classroom space is located, along with some offices
  • The grounds, which feature many large sculptures and free parking

Where is the Sioux City Art Center?

The Sioux City Art Center is located at 225 Nebraska Street in downtown Sioux City.


When is the Sioux City Art Center Open?

As of Fall 2019, the Sioux City Art Center is open from 10am to 4pm from Tuesday through Saturday each week, plus open late on Thursday nights until 8pm, and is open on Sundays from 1-4pm.

How much does it cost to visit the Sioux City Art Center?

Admission to the Sioux City Art Center is free and open to the public. Classes, camps, workshops, and special events may have a fee and require registration.

Permanent Collection of the Sioux City Art Center

black sculpture of a horse visible in foreground, with various paintings visible in the background at the Sioux City Art Center

The Sioux City Art Center's permanent collection, is housed primarily in 3 galleries on the ground floor of the art center as of September 2019. Pieces in the permanent collection range from abstract to classical in style, from local artists to renaissance European artists, and include photography, digital art, paintings, sculpture, and more. Here are a few of my family's favorite pieces from the Sioux City Art Center Permanent Collection:


a painting of a peasant woman and various small farm animals like chickens and rabbits from the Sioux City Art Center

blonde boys in a navy blue sweater and a gray sweatshirt are seen from the side admiring a painting of an old woman at the Sioux City Art Center

a boy in a great sweatershirt is seen from the back looking at a painting of a ship on a stormy sea at the Sioux City Art Center

Grant Wood's Corn Room at the Sioux City Art Center

part of Grant Wood's "corn room" mural at the Sioux City Art Center depicts a field of corn, rolling hills, and a sign that says "no shootin aloud"
A panel from Grant Wood's Corn Room

A highlight of the Sioux City Art Center is the Corn Room by Grant Wood. Grant Wood was born near Anamosa, Iowa in the late 1800's and is best known for his painting "American Gothic," currently housed at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Corn Room is a series of murals designed for the Martin hotel in Sioux City, which were wallpapered and painted over in the 1950's, but rediscovered and restored in the 1980's. The restoration was not able to restore the full brightness of the painting, but it still constitutes a large and work by the master of American regionalism.
The Grant Wood Corn Room is now located on the third floor of the Sioux City Art Center.

Rotating Exhibits at the Sioux City Art Center

a digitally printed canvas art piece at the Sioux City Art Center depicts golden fields and green trees typical of an Iowa landscape
Artwork from the "Best of the Sioux City Art Center" historical exhibits in Fall 2019

The third floor gallery of the Sioux City Art Center features temporary exhibits, with past exhibits varying from functional mini golf courses to the Art of the Brick. For fall 2019 Exhibits celebrated the Sioux City Art Center's 80th anniversary with two exhibits--one showcasing some of the best and most memorable pieces of the Sioux City Art Center's collection acquired and displayed from its opening in 1938 through 1988, and one with pieces from 1989-2019.
a 13th century stone griffin that was one of the Sioux City Art Center's first pieces
This medieval griffin was one of the Sioux City Art Center's first pieces!

Junior League Hands On! Gallery




The Sioux City Art Center's Hands On! Gallery underwent renovation and re-opened in late September 2019, to the delight of its young visitors! The Junior League Hands On! Gallery is on the main floor of the Sioux City Art Center and includes a variety of interactive features for kids including:

  • Playhouse built of Duplo-compatible base plate, with literally buckets of brick kids can decorate the house with!
  • Light Peg table where kids can make shapes and patterns with oversized translucent pegs for a bright and colorful effect.
  • Spinning color wheels that are beautiful even when stationary, but when spun, help kids learn what colors result when two colors are combined
  • Feelings Finder, where kids can use colorful yarn to express their emotions
  • Kadinsky Felt Wall Shapes allow kids to mimic the modern art master by arranging concentric felt circles and other shapes on the walls of the play gallery.
  • Magnet Wall allows kids to arrange geometric magnet shapes to make imaginative designs
  • Kinetic Ball Wall never stops moving, to the delight of young viewers
  • Zoetrope spinner lets kids create their own simple moving animations

Here's a peek at our recent visit to the Sioux City Art Center's Junior League Hands On! Gallery:

Classes and Workshops at the Sioux City Art Center

smooth white pillars and a gray wall display brightly colored children's artwork and the words "Art Camp 2019"
Creations from summer 2019 Art Camp on display in  the Sioux City Art Center's Gilchrist Learning Center

In addition to the galleries and the play space, the Sioux City Art Center is also Sioux City's hub for art education, with classes and workshops for all ages, from sensory classes for toddlers to stained glass instruction for adults, with lots of technique and creativity. The new Gilchrist Learning Center building is now home to the Sioux City Art Center's classes, and includes several classrooms, including a clay studio with kilns. For more info on classes and workshops, you can visit the education page on the Sioux City Art Center website.

Sioux City artist Brenda Thelen holds a craft knife as she prepares a stencil for students to use in a painting class she will be teaching at the Sioux City Art Center. Paintings on a black tablecloth show each step of the project.
Sioux City artist Brenda Thelen preparing to teach a class at the Sioux City Art Center

a long hallway in the Gilchrist Learning Center features a wall of windows framed by stainless steel on the left and white walls with large black murals on them to the right.
The well-lit white hallway of the Gilchrist Learning Center provides an ideal canvas!


For more information on the Sioux City Art Center

Photo of the front entrance of the Sioux City Art Center, a 3 story building including a rectangular brick section attached to a round glass and steel atrium

To find out more about the Sioux City Art Center, visit the Sioux City Art Center website or connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Sioux City Fall Festival 2019


Grab your coziest boots and sweaters, 'cause it's time to celebrate fall! Every year, businesses and attractions around Sioux City join in the same weekend in October to have autumnal fun, and from the sounds of things, 2019 might be the best year yet! This year, Sioux City Fall Festival will be primarily Friday through Sunday, October 11th-13th, and here are some of the fun fall and Halloween themed events happening in Sioux City that weekend:

Sioux City Fall Festival downtown


  • Mask Making Workshop
    • Sat 10/12 from 10:30am-noon at the Sioux City Art Center
    • The perennial favorite event allows kids to decorate paper masks with a variety of markers, gems, glitter, and more!
  • Captain-o-Lanterns
    • Sat. 10/12 from 1-3pm at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
    • Decorate pumpkins in honor of Siouxland's favorite explorers and snack on a frontier inspired pumpkin treat.
    • *FREE*
  • Fall Fest at the Sioux City Farmers Market
    • Sat. 10/12 from 8am to 1pm, with lots of farm fresh fun planned including:
    • Kids Costume Contest at 10am
    • Pets Costume Contest at 10:30am
    • Farm animal petting zoo
    • Trick-or-treating
    • Kids Activity Zone
    • Live Music
    • And more!
  • Postcard Decorating
    • All 3 branches of the Sioux City Public Library (Downtown, Morningside, and Perry Creek) are open for their normal weekend hours the weekend of Fall Fest
    • All 3 branches will have postcards available for free that kids can decorate and keep to mail to a friend or relative.
  • Corn Palace Coloring Contest
    • The Sioux City Public Museum is holding a corn palace themed coloring contest with two $25 museum gift shop certificates as prizes! To enter, kids can stop by the museum during Fall Festival to color their sheet, or download the printable coloring sheet online ahead of time. All entries must be in by 5pm on Sun. 10/13 to be considered for the prize. 
  • The Great Halloween Festival hosted by Girls Inc.
    • Sat. 10/12 from 11am-2pm at Cook Park
    • Will include tons of free fun like bounce houses, pumpkin races, axe throwing, and more!
    • Event is free to attend, with food available for purchase
  • Drive-In Movie: Aladdin (2019)
    • Sat. 10/12, parking allowed at 6:30; movie begins at dusk, at Knoepfler Chevrolet
    • Donations of money or non-perishable food for the Food Bank of Siouxland encouraged
    • Concessions will be available to buy from local Boy Scouts

Sioux City Fall Festival in Morningside

  • Boo n' Brew at the Mall 
    • Sat. 10/12 from 3-8pm at the Southern Hills Mall. Some of the fun planned includes:
    • Costume contest
    • Hay rides
    • Pumpkin patch
    • Games
    • Entertainment
    • Vendors
    • Food trucks
    • Beer for sale
  • Lakeport Commons Fall Festival
    • Sat. 10/12 from 11am-2pm at the Lakeport Commons shopping center
    • Tons of free fun, including bounce houses, a ninja course, face painting, and much more
    • Each family can take home 1 free pumpkin!
  • Cone-acopia 
    • Sun. 10/13 from 9am to 3pm at Cone Park
    • Costumes encouraged for the Monster Dash 5k and 1k runs
    • Lots of fun planned throughout the day including pumpkin decorating, bounce houses, crafts, games, and more!
    • Food and other vendor items will be available for purchase

Sioux City Fall Festival in other parts of Sioux City


  • Nature's Fall Fest
    • Fri. October 11th from 3-7pm at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
    • This event is *FREE* and will include:
    • Pumpkin decorating while supplies last
    • Creepy critters you can meet
    • Jack-o-Lantern scavenger hunt on the nature center trails
  • Wildlife Photography Workshop
    • Sat. 10/12 from 1:30 to 3:30pm at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
    • This workshop on wildlife photography for ages 10+  is hosted by members of the Sioux City camera club.
    • The event is free, but registration is requested by calling (712)258-0838.
  • Half Price Museum Admission 
    • The Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation is offering half price admission all weekend to celebrate Fall Fest
  • FREE Museum Admission
    • On Sat. 10/12 the Sioux City Railroad Museum is offering free admission (free will donations accepted) which will also include a free motorcar ride! Grand Scale train ride tickets, food, and the gift shop will also be available but not free. 
Fall Fest is sure to be fun for all! If you're looking for more family-friendly fun in and around Sioux City this October, be sure to check out my posts on Halloween Events in Sioux City, October Kids Events in Siouxland, and Pumpkin Patches in Siouxland.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Halloween 2019 in Sioux Falls

a trio of candlelit orange jack-o-lanterns grin against a black background. in the foreground, the words "Sioux Falls Halloween 2019"

There's tons of spooky fun scheduled this fall in the Sioux Falls area! Here are some ways you can score candy, paint pumpkins, scream with delight, and otherwise enjoy the season. Want to find Halloween events in Sioux City or other parts of Siouxland? Check out my Halloween in Siouxland 2019 post. For Halloween events in Sioux Falls, read on!

Trick-or-Treat in Sioux Falls

Halloween 2019 is on Thursday, October 31st and Sioux Falls trick-or-treat hours typically begin at 6pm.

Halloween Events in Sioux Falls

  • Pumpkin Jar & Candy Corn Craft at the Museum of Visual Materials
  • Spooky Science at Washington Pavilion
    • Sat 10/19 at 10am
    • Regular admission fees apply
    • Features hands-on art and science projects like Boo Bubbles, Origami black cats, slime-making and much more!
    • Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; this is not a drop-off event.
    • For more info, visit the Spooky Science page of the Washington Pavilion website
  • Kids Day at the W.H.Lyons Fairground
    • Sun 10/20 from 2-4pm
    • Features face painting, balloon animals, hula hooping, and trick-or-treating in the Jaycees Fearground haunted house, which will be well-lit and full of non-spooky characters like princesses and superheroes handing out candy!
    • For more information, visit the Jaycees Fearground website.
  • ZooBoo at the Great Plains Zoo
    • 10/25-10/27 at 5:30pm each night
    • FREE!
    • Features more than 300 decorated and lit pumpkins, an Extinct Species Graveyard, and lots of candy and costumed characters!  
    • More information should be available soon on the Great Plains Zoo website.
  • Trick-or-Treat 5k/10k Trail Run and .5 mile Candy Dash at Pasley Park
  • Sioux Falls Zombie Walk

Trunk-or-Treat & Trick-or-Treat in Sioux Falls

  • Sun 10/27
    • Trick-or-Treat in downtown Sioux Falls, more details coming soon!

Haunted Fun in Sioux Falls

  • The Jaycees Fearground
    • Haunted house at the W.H.Lyons Fairgrounds
    • Open weekends plus some weekdays beginning 10/11
    • $15 per person or $20 for a fast pass
    • Recommended for ages 12+, except on Kids Day (see above in the events section)
    • For more info, visit the Sioux Falls Jaycees Fearground website.
  • Haunted Farm
    • In Worthing, SD
    • Open Fri-Sun from 7-10pm from 10/12 to 10/28
    • $9.39 for non-scary version, $18.79 for the full experience
    • Visit the Haunted Farm website for more info.
  • Haunted Corn Maze
    • Heartland Country Corn Maze in Harrisburg, SD
    • Open 10/25 & 10/26 from 6-9:30pm
    • $7 for kids 10 & under, $10 for ages 11+
    • Visit the Heartland Country Corn Maze website for more info. 


Thank you to Matt from Visit Sioux Falls for helping me find out about many of these great Halloween events in Sioux Falls! This post will be updated throughout October as more events and details are available.

Happy Halloween, Sioux Falls!

Halloween in Siouxland 2019

against a background of candy corn, the words "Halloween in Siouxland 2019"

Siouxland rocks at Halloween. We've got everything from kid-friendly trunk-or-treat events and craft projects to a possibly-haunted former asylum that will terrify even teens. And as dates and details are released for more Halloween events in Sioux City and our neighboring communities, I'll try to include them all here! So bookmark this page and check back anytime you want to know where to celebrate this season, whether you're looking for spooky or sweet!

Trick-or-Treat in Siouxland 2019

There are no ordinances setting trick-or-treat hours in Sioux City, Iowa, South Sioux City, Nebraska, or North Sioux City, South Dakota. Customarily trick-or-treat hours in Sioux City happen between 6-8pm on October 31st, which is a Thursday this year.

Pumpkin Patches near Sioux City

The closest pumpkin patch to Sioux City is Scarecrow Farm in Lawton, Iowa, and I definitely recommend it. You can read more about my family's visit to Scarecrow Farm. Or check out my full list of pumpkin patches within 2 hours of Sioux City.

Halloween events in Sioux City

  • Fri 10/11-Sun 10/13:
    • Sioux City Fall Fest includes family friendly fun at a variety of attractions and businesses throughout the city, including the Sioux City Art Center downtown, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center on the riverfront, Stone Park's Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, and the Lakeport Commons. You can find more info about Sioux City Fall Fest here
  • Thurs 10/17
    • 5:30-7pm: The Great Pumpkin Float at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA, featuring a floating pumpkin patch! $8 per child includes admission, a pumpkin, and decorating supplies. Kids under 5 must be accompanied by an adult, and registration is required by 10/14.
  • Fri 10/18
    • 10pm-midnight: Ready to scream with fright? Check out the Haunted Orpheum. This year's Haunted Orpheum features a Nightmare before Christmas Halloweentown theme, with villains from classic Halloween horror movies thrown in! $15, or $10 for those with a ticket for The Nightmare Before Christmas presented by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. 
  • Sat 10/19
    • 4:30-6pm and 10pm-midnight: The Haunted Orpheum will be back again, both before and after The Nightmare Before Christmas by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra
    • 7:30pm: The Nightmare Before Christmas presented by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. The beloved Disney movie will be displayed on the big screen at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Sioux City with the original vocal tracks and sound effects, while the instrumental music is replaced with live music from the Sioux City Symphony! This is a family-friendly Halloween event and costumes are welcome!
  • Sun 10/20
    • noon-4pm: The Sioux City Orpheum is hosting a Kids Spooktacular Carnival that sounds so cute! Kids will enjoy the "instrument petting zoo", carnival games, the Tumblebus, and cookies from the Sugar Shack while supplies last! The event is free to attend, and the Orpheum said that "most" of the activities are free.
  • Fri 10/25
    • 6-7:30pm: Ghost Stories Around the Campfire at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center will feature kid-friendly ghost stories and yummy s'mores around a cozy campfire. Pre-registration to this free event is requested, by calling (712)258-0838 or by e-mailing OParks@WoodburyParks.org, and attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite kid-friendly ghost stories with them!
  • Sat 10/26
    • 10-11:30am: A Floyd Cemetery Walking Tour hosted by the Sioux City Historical Society will offer a look at some of Sioux City's most notable former residents.
    • 10am-4pm: Halloween at the Roundhouse at the Sioux City Railroad Museum is one of Siouxland's favorite Halloween celebrations. Will include a haunted train car, boxcar tales, hayrack rides, and much more! $2 for non-members and free for members. 
    • noon-4pm: Acme Comic is again hosting Halloween ComicFest, which will feature free comic books for those who stop by, plus a free comic book drawing workshop at 3:30!
    • 6-11pm: The Camp High Hopes Haunted Lodge Party at the Delta Hotel (former Marina) in South Sioux City bills itself as "Siouxland's premier adult costume party" and raises funds to offer outdoor recreation activities to kids with special needs. Will include dinner, an open bar before dinner, live entertainment from the New Stage Players, and much more. $100 per person. 
  • Sun 10/27
    • noon-4pm: Halloween at the Roundhouse at the Sioux City Railroad Museum is one of Siouxland's favorite Halloween celebrations. Will include a haunted train car, boxcar tales, hayrack rides, and much more! $2 for non-members and free for members.
    • 1-3pm: Dia De Los Muertos celebration at the Sioux City Public Museum will celebrate the Day of the Dead and Hispanic culture with face painting, live dance performance from Irving Elementary's La Perla Tapatia group, and other activities for kids.

Trunk-or-Treat & Trick-or-Treat in Sioux City

Addresses are in Sioux City, Iowa unless otherwise noted:
  • Sun 10/20
    • 1-3pm: Trick-or-Treat Village at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, NE
  • Thurs 10/24
    • 5pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Heartland Counseling in South Sioux City, NE
    • 5:30-7pm: Trunk-or-Treat in front of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center presented by Keller Willams of Siouxland
    • 6-7pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Opportunities Unlimited
    • 6pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Siouxland Mental Health
  • Sat 10/26
    • 1-3pm: Trick-or-Treat at Hy-Vee stores, with Halloween bags available while supplies last. Activities may vary slightly by store, but may include coloring, pumpkin decorating, and more!
  • Sun 10/27
    • 5-6:30pm: Trunk-or-Treat at First Lutheran Church, 3939 Cheyenne Blvd.
  • Tues 10/29
    • 5-6:30pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Siouxland Community Health, 10th & Pierce
    • 6-7:30pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Dakota City Elementary School in Dakota City, NE
    • 6:30-7:30pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Kruse Chiropractic in Dakota Dunes, SD
  • Weds 10/30
    • 6-7:30pm: Trunk-or-Treat at Morningside Lutheran Church, 600 S. Martha 
  • Thurs 10/31
    • 6-9pm: Trunk or Treat at ARK Methodist Church in North Sioux City
    • 6-8pm: Candy Crawl at the Southern Hills Mall

Halloween events in Sioux Falls


For Halloween fun in Sioux Falls, check out my post about Halloween 2019 in Sioux Falls.

Other Halloween events in Siouxland

  • Zombie Hunt at True North Paintball
    • Jackson, Nebraska
    • Fri 10/4 at 7pm
    • Zombie themed paintball event, all ages can participate as a zombie for $10 (includes eye protection and a vest) or ages 8+ can participate as a zombie hunter for $20 (includes eye protection, paintball gun, a vest, and 100 rounds of paint)
    • For more info, check out the True North Paintball Zombie Hunt event post on Facebook
  • Friends Fall Festival at Hillview Recreation Area
    • Hinton, Iowa
    • Sat. 10/2 from 4-8pm
    • Will include vendors and kids activities starting at 4pm, trick-or-treating starting at 6pm, and a haunted hike at 8pm! 
  • 21st annual Hallowfest at Ponca State Park
    • Ponca, Nebraska
    • Sat 10/12 & Sat 10/19 all day
    • Features hayrack rides, pumpkin decorating contests, campsite decorating contest, and more!
    • Reservations open 10/7.
    • For more info, visit the Nebraska Games & Parks website
  • Yankton's Harvest Halloween
  • Haunted History at the Dakota Territorial Museum
    • Yankton, SD
    • Mon 10/28, Tues 10/29, Weds 10/30, and Fri 11/1 at 6:30 and 7:45pm
    • Learn more about the tragic history of the museum, which served as the Dakota Hospital for the Insane beginning in the 1880's, including a fire that killed many patients, Restview Cemetary where hundreds of patients were buried, and hear about some unusual phenomenon museum staff and visitors report experiencing to this day...
    • Primarily a history learning event, but may be upsetting for young or easily frightened visitors due to the inherently sad and scary subject matter (the old asylum system, the fire, etc) and discussion of paranormal activity.
    • $10 for museum members or $20 for non-members
    • For more information, visit the Dakota Territorial Museum website
  • Grand Meadows Heritage Center is hosting their 14th annual Haunted House
    • Washta, IA
    • Sat 10/12, Sat 10/19, Fri 10/25, & Sat 10/26 from 7-11pm
    • Two haunted tours available, one of a two story house and one of the school basement. each tour is $5
    • Besides the haunted house tours, visitors can also choose a family friendly carnival for $3, featuring hay rides, train rides, crafts, and games
    • Concessions will also be for sale in the barn
    • For more information, visit the Grand Meadow Heritage Center website.

Halloween Road Trip Ideas

If you love Halloween enough to drive a bit, there are some really fun events planned in places like Omaha, Brookings, Des Moines, Kansas City, and more. You can find all my top suggestions for Halloween roadtrips for Siouxland families in a special post coming soon!

October 2019 Siouxland Kids Events



Each month we will bring you info on family friendly events and activities in the Siouxland Area. If you know of one we have missed, please leave us a comment or send us an email. We will update our lists throughout the month as we hear of new things to do in Sioux City and our surrounding communities, so check back often for the latest scoop! We also recommend checking out our Event Lists tab to find our lists for other months.

Free Events


  • Tues 10/1
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 10/2
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 10/3
  • Fri 10/4
  • Sat 10/5
    • 7-9am: Zen in Nature at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. No age restrictions, but will include extensive quiet time in nature. 
    • 9am-noon: Kids Building Workshop: Fire Planes at Home Depot, ages 5-12, online registration requested to make sure enough kits are ordered for everyone interested
    • 10am-2pm: Old Town Fall Festival at the Woodbury County Fairgrounds in Moville, IA. Free admission, but food will be for sale, and some games and activities have a cost (starting at 25c)
    • 11am: A Night at the Bookstore Storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • 11am: First Family Storytime at the downtown branch of the Sioux City Public Library

  • Sun 10/6
    • 11am: Baby & Me Storytime at Barnes & Noble
  • Mon 10/7
  • Tues 10/8
    • 10am: Nature Tales at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center for pre-schoolers with an adult caregiver, registration required by e-mailing TKruid@WoodburyParks.org or by calling (712)258-0838
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 10/9
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 10/10
    • 7pm: Young Adult Book Club discussing Serpent & Dove at Barnes & Noble
  • Fri 10/11
    • 4-7pm: Nature's Fall Fest at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
  • Sat 10/12
    • ALL DAY: Sioux City Fall Festival 
    • 11am: Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla Storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • 6:30pm: Drive-in Movie at Knoepfler Chevrolet: Aladdin, parking begins at 6:30 and movie begins at dusk. Free will donations of cash or non-perishable food collected for the Food Bank of Siouxland and concessions will be available for purchase from the Boy Scouts. 

  • Sun 10/13
    • 9am-3pm: Cone-a-Copia at Cone Park including rock painting and other crafts, pumpkin rolling, games, and much more! The event is free, but there will also be some activities you can pay to do, including a Monster Dask 1k/5k and pumpkin painting with Pickled Palette, and food will be available for purchase from the concession stand. 
    • 11am: Baby & Me Storytime at Barnes & Noble
  • Mon 10/14
  • Tues 10/15
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 10/16
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 10/17
    • 6pm: Night Hike at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, bring a flashlight or headlamp and please register ahead of time by callin g(712)258-0838 or by e-mailing TFlammang@WoodburyParks.org
  • Fri 10/18
    • 7pm: Pajama Storytime featuring Good Night, Little Blue Truck at Barnes & Noble
  • Sat 10/19
    • 11am: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mr. Rogers Storytime at Barnes & Noble
    • 1:30-2:30pm: FREE pumpkin painting workshop at the Sioux City Art Center! Registration required as space is limited; call (712)279-6272 to register

  • Sun 10/20
    • 11am: Baby & Me Storytime at Barnes & Noble
  • Mon 10/21
  • Tues 10/22
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Weds 10/23
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Morningside Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 10/24
    • 10am: Pat-a-Cake Pals at the South Sioux City Library, for babies and toddlers under 2 with a parent or other adult caregiver
    • 6pm: Night Hike at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, bring a flashlight or headlamp and please register ahead of time by calling(712)258-0838 or by e-mailing TFlammang@WoodburyParks.org
  • Fri 10/25
    • 10am: Toddler Time at the South Sioux City Public Library for kids 3-5 with a parent or other adult caregiver
    • 6-7:30pm: Ghost Stories Around the Campfire at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center will feature kid-friendly ghost stories and yummy s'mores around a cozy campfire. Pre-registration to this free event is requested, by calling (712)258-0838 or by e-mailing OParks@WoodburyParks.org, and attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite kid-friendly ghost stories with them!
    • 7pm: Star Wars IncrediBuilds Event at Barnes & Noble, sign-up required
  • Sat 10/26
    • 7-9am: Zen in Nature at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. No age limit, but will include extensive quiet time in nature. 
    • 9-11am: Making Natural Cordage at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, for ages 10+ with an adult or 16+ without an adult, register ahead of time by calling(712)258-0838 or by e-mailing TFlammang@WoodburyParks.org 
    • 1-2:30pm: Painting in the Studio: Pumpkins at the Sioux City Art Center, $10 per person
    • 1-2:30pm: Pumpkin Bird Feeder making at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. Pre-registration requested, by calling (712)258-0838 or e-mailing OParks@WoodburyParks.org
    • 1-3pm: Pumpkin Slime making event at Michael's Crafts

  • Sun 10/27
    • 1-3pm: Dia de Los Muertos celebration at the Sioux City Public Museum will celebrate with face painting, live dance performance from Irving Elementary's La Perla Tapatia group, and other activities for kids.
  • Mon 10/28
  • Tues 10/29
    • 11am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
    • 6-8pm: Spooky Things with Wings animal program at the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
  • Weds 10/30
    • 10:30am: Storytime at the Perry Creek Branch of the Sioux City Public Library
  • Thurs 10/31
    • Happy Halloween!  Halloween events post coming soon!


Events with a Cost

  • Tues 10/1
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Weds 10/2
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Thurs 10/3
    • 5:30pm: Farm-Tastic Learning at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Fri 10/4
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Sat 10/5
    • 10:30am-noon: Mixed-Media Art Lesson: Pointillism Pet Portraits at the Sioux City Art Center, $7 per child
    • 1-3pm: MAKEbreak: The Great Pumpkin Event at Michael's Crafts (more details will be announced soon, but usually involves free decorating supplies with purchase of a craft pumpkin.)
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey home opener vs Omaha at the Tyson Events Center

  • Sun 10/6
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Mon 10/7
  • Tues 10/8
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Weds 10/9
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Thurs 10/10
    • 5:30pm: Family Fun Night at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Fri 10/11
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Sat 10/12
    • 10:30am: Reading by the Rails at the Sioux City Railroad Museum (free with daily admission or membership)
    • 1-3pm: MAKEbreak: Halloween T-shirts at Michael's Crafts
    • 1-2:30pm: Painting in the Studio: Harvest Moon at the Sioux City Art Center, $10 per person
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey vs. Madison at the Tyson Events Center

  • Sun 10/13
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Mon 10/14
  • Tues 10/15
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Weds 10/16
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Thurs 10/17
    • 5:30pm: Smart Art at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Fri 10/18
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey vs. Tri-City at the Tyson Events Center
  • Sat 10/19
    • 10:30am-noon: Mixed-Media Art Lesson: Charcoal Drawings at the Sioux City Art Center, $7 per child
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey vs Dubuque at the Tyson Events Center
    • 7:30pm: The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Sioux City Orpheum--movie will appear on the screen with its original dialogue, singing, and sound effects, while the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra plays the instrumental music live! Get more info or buy tickets here.

  • Sun 10/20
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Mon 10/21
  • Tues 10/22
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Weds 10/23
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Thurs 10/24
    • 5-7pm: Night at the Museum party at LaunchPad Children's Museum. Candy, prizes, and a costume contest are included with daily admission or membership, but there will also be a Haunted Laboratory with spooky projects available for an additional cost. 
    • 7pm: The Wizard of Oz presented by the Sioux City Community Theatre Youth Theatre
    • 7:30pm: Champions of Magic live at the Sioux City Orpheum, recommended for ages 5+, get more info or buy tickets here.
  • Fri 10/25
    • 3:30pm: Kinder Kickstarters at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 7pm: The Wizard of Oz presented by the Sioux City Community Theatre Youth Theatre
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey vs Lincoln at the Tyson Events Center
  • Sat 10/26
    • 10:30am-noon: Mixed-Media Art Lesson: Scratch Art at the Sioux City Art Center, $7 per child
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 1-3pm: MAKEbreak: Halloween Slime at Michael's Crafts
    • 7pm: The Wizard of Oz presented by the Sioux City Community Theatre Youth Theatre
    • 7:05pm: Sioux City Musketeers hockey vs Lincoln at the Tyson Events Center

  • Sun 10/27
    • 1pm: STEAM Explorers at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
    • 2pm: The Wizard of Oz presented by the Sioux City Community Theatre Youth Theatre
  • Mon 10/28
  • Tues 10/29
    • 10 & 10:30am: Toddler Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Weds 10/30
    • 9:30am: Baby Braniacs at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)
  • Thurs 10/31
    • 5:30pm: Storybook Adventures at LaunchPad Children's Museum (included with daily admission or membership)

We do not run any of these events and encourage you to call or visit the websites of the hosting locations, organizations, or stores with any questions and to confirm details. Many paid events and some free events require tickets or registration in advance and some may sell out or fill up quickly or very far in advance. Age and other recommendations are general guidelines provided by the event or activity organizer and should not be considered legal or medical advice and may not apply well to all children.