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Best Places to Play Inside in Sioux City & Siouxland

in background, light blue and gray blend together and a few ice crystals are visible. in the foreground, the words "best places to play inside in Sioux City and Siouxland"

Winter in Siouxland sometimes means frigid temps, arctic winds, and plenty of snow, ice, and slush, and our summers come with thunderstorms and occasional temps over 100. Not to mention storms and rainy days in spring and fall. And don't get me started on Midwest wind... but with rare exceptions when travel is dangerous like ice storms, our exciting weather doesn't mean 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 & Siouxland

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. 
  • 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!
  • 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 playscape and trails are also lots of fun in winter if it's warm enough for outdoor play, so bundle up!
  • For more info, visit the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center website

Best Places in Sioux City & Siouxland to Pay to Play Inside

Pizza Ranch Arcade

3116 Floyd Blvd.
  • Pizza Ranch's brand-new arcade opened in late 2021 and is home to tons of great games for a wide variety of ages, including classics like claw machines, basketball shoots, and skee ball and gamer faves like Halo, Minecraft, Nerf and Big Buck Hunter shootout.
  • No admission charge, but the games and the food/drink cost money. To play the games, you need to use one of the kiosks in the arcade, where you can load money from a debit or credit card or cash onto a Pizza Ranch arcade card, then swipe them at the games you want to play!
  • You earn tokens from the games, but virtual tokens stored on that Pizza Ranch Arcade card, then redeem them at the prize counter. 
  • For more information, visit the Pizza Ranch website

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 a huge climbing area! LaunchPad also hosts educational programming for kids and families almost every day!
  • For more information 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 next to the Tyson Events Center is one of the best rock climbing facilities in the region, and offers basketball courts and other fun!
  • They also host yoga sessions and other special events
  • 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 $25 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

IBP Ice Center

3808 Stadium Drive
  • The IBP Ice Center offers indoor skating and usually has public skating hours on Fridays from 7-9pm.
  • Visit the IBP Ice Center website for more information on hours, prices, and other icy fun.

Tilt Studios

  • Sioux City's newest family fun center, offering arcade games, laser tag, bumper cars, mini golf, and more inside Southern Hills Mall
  • All the attractions cost money, but admission is FREE
  • Check out my TILT Sioux City post or visit the Tilt Studios website for more information.

Best Places to Play Indoors in other Siouxland Communities


1411 Frankfort Place SE, Orange City, IA
  • Indoor playground started by two local moms, Laura and Colby and opened in early 2022
  • Daily admission is $8 per child 1+, and FREE for babies under the age of 1 and for parents and other adult caregivers.
  • Annual memberships also available
  • Full details available on the KinderZone website

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!
Reading in summer? Check out a Siouxland pool (once the rain stops!)


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