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Best Places to Play Inside in Sioux City

in background, frost and snowflakes. in foreground the words "best places to play inside in Sioux City"

Winter in Siouxland sometimes means frigid temps, arctic winds, and plenty of snow, ice, and slush, but that doesn't we have to stay cooped up! Here are some of my top suggestions for where Sioux City area kids can play indoors when the weather outside is frightful:


Best Free Places to Play Inside in Sioux City

The Sioux City Art Center

225 Nebraska Street
two small blonde children play with two giant color wheels at the Sioux City Art Center's Junior League Hands On Gallery

  • The Sioux City Art Center consists of 2 buildings, housing permanent galleries, travelling special exhibits, and classroom space. But the best part of the Sioux City Art Center if you're looking for a way to entertain kids on a winter day, is indisputably the Junior League Hands On Gallery. Freshly renovated in 2019, the Junior League Hands On Gallery offers a wide variety of interactive artsy fun for kids, like lightboards a duplo house, foam building blocks, magnet shapes, zoetrope drawing, and much more.
  • The Hands On Gallery has been closed for most of 2020 and remains closed at the start of 2021. The rest of the museum is still lovely to visit with masks on, and visiting it continues to be a great way to get out of the house! It is rarely crowded, and sometimes when we are there we only see a couple other visitors in the entire museum, which makes social distancing easy.
  • For more information, check out my Sioux City Art Center post, or visit the Sioux City Art Center website.  


The Sioux City Public Museum

607 4th Street
  • The Sioux City Public Museum has a wide variety of exhibits showcasing Siouxland's history from prehistoric days to the present, including focuses on the Native Americans, early settlers, the Sioux City Stockyards, local disasters like floods and the Flight 232 crash. But some of the most fun for kids are the giant sandbox (actually rubber pellets) where they can excavate fossils with paintbrushes, and a cabin with a woodstove where kids can pretend to be pioneers!
  • The fossil zone at the Sioux City Public Museum was closed for most of 2020 and continues to be closed at the start of 2021. The rest of the museum is open for visitors with masks, and is a great place to explore with kids! 
  • For more information on the Sioux City Public Museum, visit the Sioux City Public Museum website


The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

4500 Sioux River Road
raptor house behind the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center


  • The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center has interactive fun and live animals on display year round. Kid favorites include a duplo table with lots of animals, and a huge badger den that little ones can climb inside and use a badger cam to peek at what's happening in the rest of the center!
  • The nature center is open to guests, with masks required. The nature playscape and trails are also lots of fun in winter if it's warm enough for outdoor play!
  • For more info, visit the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center website


Best Places in Sioux City to Play Inside with an Admission Charge


LaunchPad Children's Museum

623 Pearl Street
toy grain elevator at LaunchPad Children's Museum in Sioux City


  • LaunchPad Children's Museum is home to dozens of fun exhibits and activities that foster learning, creativity, and fun. Some of my kids' favorites include the mini grocery store area, a super long water table, and thing climbing area! They also have education programming for kids and families almost every day!
  • Reservations are required as 2021 starts to ensure social distance is possible during play sessions and adequate cleaning is possible between sessions. 
  • For more information or to reserve a time, check out my  post about playing at LaunchPad Children's Museum or visit the LaunchPad Children's Museum website.


The Long Lines Family Rec Center

401 Gordon Drive
  • The Long Lines Family Rec Center adjacent to the Tyson Events Center is probably best known for its climbing wall, and with good cause--it's arguably the best rock climbing wall between Chicago and Denver! But Long Lines also rents out basketball courts, volleyball courts and batting cages, plus hosts Open Gym for Tiny Tots every weekday morning (M-F 8am-noon) free for kids under 7!
  • Check out their website for more info on hours, options, and admission and membership rates. 


Drop Zone Family Fun Center

3840 Stadium Drive
  • Drop Zone Family Fun Center features a trampoline ninja course, laser tag, and more! Prices vary, but a popular option is the $20 deal which includes an hour of jump time, a game of laser tag, and a $5 game card. 
  • Visit the DropZone FFC website for more info on prices and activities!

The Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA

601 Riverview Drive, South Sioux City, Nebraska
  • The Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City provides Siouxland families with facilities and opportunities for indoor swimming, yoga, basketball and more.
  • For more information on facilities, hours, and admission, visit the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA website


Plaza Bowl

3091 Hamilton Boulevard
  • Plaza Bowl is Sioux City's only bowling alley on the north and west sides of town, and offers a classic bowling experience!
  • For more information, visit the Plaza Bowl Facebook page

Rush Werks

3828 Stadium Drive
  • Rush Werks is Sioux City's bowling alley for the Morningside neighborhood, and offers fun options like glow bowling and birthday parties!
  • To find out more about hours, admission, and other details, visit the Rush Werks Facebook page


IBP Ice Center

3808 Stadium Drive
  • The IBP Ice Center offers indoor skating and usually has public skating hours on Fridays and Saturdays evenings.
  • IBP Ice Center is open to the public for a small number of time slots each weekend as of March 2021!
  • Visit the IBP Ice Center website for more information on hours, prices, and other icy fun.


Looking for more ideas for winter fun in Siouxland? You might also enjoy my posts on Sioux City Snowday Fun and Snow Sports in Siouxland!


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