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Snow Sports in Siouxland



It's officially snowy fun season in Sioux City!

While we don't have huge mountains, we do have plentiful snow, and some great places to enjoy snow sports. I researched the best places to enjoy snow sports in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and our surrounding communities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota like Hinton, Ponca, and Yankton, and I was inspired by the beautiful scenery, and by the pictures shared with me of families having so much fun out in the cold. I hope you will be too!

Here's where to go sledding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and ice skating in or near Sioux City. I'm updating for the 2020/2021 winter season as details become available--please let me know if you know of something I should add!



Sledding

Sledding at Ponca State Park, photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland magazine

  • Grandview Park Sioux City, IA
    • Sledding at Grandview Park is free and open to the public in the designated sledding zone (near the playground off Stone Park Blvd)
  • Sertoma Park Sioux City, IA
    • Sledding at Sertoma Park is free and open to the public in designated sledding zone
  • Sledding not allowed in Sioux City public parks other than those two
  • Hillview Recreation Area Hinton, IA
    • Sledding at Hillview Recreation Area is free and open to the public except during tubing hours (see next section for more details)
  • Ponca State Park Ponca, NE
    • Find great sledding within Ponca State Park on "Scout's Hill" 
    • Nebraska State Parks Permit required
  • Gavin's Point Dam Yankton, SD
    • The Gavin's Point Dam sledding hill near the Pierson Ranch Recreation Area has been a favorite of Yankton area families for many years!
a blonde woman and a young boy lean back together on a sled in Yankton, South Dakota
Sledding at Gavin's Point Dam. Photo used with permission from the Yankton CVB

Tubing

Lazer tubing at Great Bear Ski Valley, photo used with permission from Great Bear Ski Valley

  • Cone Park Sioux City, IA
    • Cone Park's tubing hill opened on 12/23/2020
    • Open Tuesday-Thursday, $7 per session (includes tube rental), 6-9pm
    • Open Saturday & Sunday, $10 per session, 11-2pm and 2:30-5:30pm
    • Open for Glow Tubing on select Friday & Saturday nights (exact dates TBA) for for $10 per session, 6-9pm and 9-11pm
    • Open Sunday nights, $7 per session, 6-9pm
    • More info and reservations available on the Cone Park website
  • Hillview Recreation Area Hinton, IA
    • Hillview Recreation Area is open for public sledding and tubing during most hours, but will be staffed and offer a tow rope, tube rental, and supervision from 1-5pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and New Years Day
    • $5 per person during these dates, which includes the tube rental and tow rope
    • Hillview is free and open to the public during other times but tube rentals and tow rope will not be available
    • You can check the Hillview Facebook page for information, but they suggested that families call (712)947-4270 to find the most up to date information about hill closures
  • Great Bear Ski Valley Sioux Falls, SD
    • Great Bear Ski Valley 2021 season dates TBA
    • $9-20 per session depending on options chosen
    • 12 lanes of tubing!
    • 2021 Lazer tubing sessions will be held on Friday nights from 9-11pm with tickets available online for $22, on Jan. 9th & 30th, and Feb. 13th & 27th

Skiing

Ski race at Great Bear Ski Valley, photo used with permission of Great Bear Ski Valley

  • Adams Nature Preserve North Sioux City, SD
  • Ponca State Park Ponca, NE
    • Ponca State Park features many miles of groomed cross-country ski trails
  • Great Bear Valley Sioux Falls, SD
    • Great Bear Ski Valley offers trails for cross country and our area's only downhill skiing slopes
    • 2020/2021 opening date TBA!
    • Kids 5 & under free with paid adult
    • Lift tickets $23-26
    • Ski gear rental $23, helmets $9
    • Adaptive ski equipment also available, which I love to hear as a parent of a child with special needs. When he is a tween or teen, I love knowing that the option even exists, which I didn't until I heard about it from Great Bear!
    • Lessons available, including fun group programs for kids 4-14
    • Special $5 deals for 5th graders available--if you have a 5th grader, make sure to read about their 5th grade deals on their website!
    • For more info on their skiing options, check out the Great Bear Ski Valley skiing page.
  • Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, Yankton, SD
    • Trails are open in snowy weather for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
    • Snowshoes available for rental at the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area Welcome Center!


Ice Fishing & Winter Animal Encounters

Ice fishing at Ponca State Park, photo courtesy of NEBRASKAland Magazine

  • Ponca State Park Ponca, NE
    • The pond at Ponca State Park is stocked with rainbow trout
    • Nebraska Parks Permit and Fishing License required
  • West Lake Okoboji, Okoboji, IA
    • Okoboji ice fishermen have been to known to find perch, bluegills, walleye and more
    • Iowa fishing license required
    • More info in this great post 
  • Lewis & Clark Lake & Lake Yankton, Yankton, SD
  • Lewis & Clark Visitors Center, Yankton, SD
    • Watch Bald Eagles, who nest along the Missouri River
    • Join in on the annual Bald Eagle Days, scheduled for Jan. 24th-26th, 2020
  • Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Sioux City, IA
    • Snowshoe hikes for all and animal learning events for kids held regularly throughout winter.
    • Special events over winter break include:
      • Owl Pellet investigation on 12/29/20
      • Animal Adaptations Hike on 12/30/20
      • Fire Building workshop on 12/31/20
    • Visit the Woodbury County Conservation website or follow the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center on Facebook to get the most up-to-date information on events this winter.
A bald eagle perches in a tree in Yankton, South Dakota, along the banks of the Missouri River
Bald eagle in Yankton, South Dakota. Photo used with permission from the Yankton CVB

Snowboarding

  • Great Bear Ski Valley Sioux Falls, SD
    • Snowboarding at Great Bear Ski Valley is open as of Christmas 2020
    • Lift tickets $23-26
    • Snowboard rental $23, helmets $9
    • Lessons available, including fun group programs for kids 4-14

Ice Skating

Ice skating at Cone Park, photo used with permission from Sioux City Parks & Rec Department

  • Cone Park Sioux City, IA
    • The huge outdoor ice skating rink at Cone Park is open for winter 2020/2021 as of 12/23/20
    • open Tuesdays-Fridays 6-9pm and Saturdays & Sundays 11am-4pm
    • $5 per person
    • ice skate rental available for $3
    • More information available on the Cone Park website
  • Leif Erickson Park Sioux City, IA
    • Sioux City Parks maintenance staff basically flood the upper part of the park along 31st street, where almost a century ago a pool sat
    • 2020/2021 opening date TBA
    • Free and open to the public, no equipment rentals available
  • IBP Ice Center Sioux City, IA
    • Sioux City's only public indoor ice skating
    • 2020/2021 hours TBA
    • More information available on the IBP Ice Center website
  • Campus Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/21 to 1/2.
    • Outdoor skating rink just off the campus of the University of Sioux Falls
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
    • On 1/16/2020 from 6:30-8pm, all ages welcome at a free Intro to Skating learning event
  • Frank Olson Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/1 to 1/2.
    • Outdoor skating rink
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
  • McKennan Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/1 to 1/2.
    • Outdoor skating rink
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
  • Memorial Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/21 to 1/2.
    • Outdoor skating rink
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
    • On 1/23/2020 from 6:30-8pm, enjoy milk jug bowling at the Memorial Park hockey pen. Registration required to participate. 
  • Sherman Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/20 to 2/1. 
    • Outdoor skating rink
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
    • On 1/28/2020 from 6:30-8pm, enjoy milk jug bowling at the Sherman Park hockey pen. Registration required to participate.
    • On 2/9/2020 from 1-3pm, join in the fun at the Superhero skate party, dressed as your favorite superhero or local hero, and maybe meet a few local heroes while you're there! No registration required. 
  • Tuthill Park, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Tentatively open from 12/20/19 to 2/17/2020, depending on weather.
    • Open Mondays through Fridays from 4-8pm and weekends from 1-8pm. Check the Sioux Falls Parks & Rec website for special holiday hours from 12/21 to 1/2.
    • Outdoor skating rink
    • Part of the Sioux Falls Skating Passport program--get punches from 3 participating Sioux Falls ice rinks and you can turn it in to be entered in a gift card drawing!
  • Scheel's Ice Plex, Sioux Falls, SD
    • Open to the public for ice skating, with skate rental also available. Non-Skating parents receive free admission!
    • Check the Scheel's IcePlex website for public skate hours--usually open to the public on Wednesdays and from Friday-Monday 
  • Kiwanis 4-H Arena, Yankton, SD
    • 2020/2021 dates and hours TBA
    • Skating and skate rental for $5, with punch cards available
    • Find more information on Open Skate dates and time on the Kiwanis 4-H arena website
  • Tripp Park, Yankton, SD
  • Yankton Sertoma Park, Yankton SD


One of my last memories of my great-grandma was a snowy day when we were visiting and we kept peering outside. She eventually asked us what we were looking at, and we told her, she exclaimed 

"Well what are you doing in here fer?!? 
Grab yer fella and yer sled and get out there!"

And that's what I want you to do too: grab your loved ones and get out there! I know some of you naturally love winter sports and the fresh cold air and don't need much encouragement, and some of you are cold weather wimps like me, who prefer cocoa and quilts to snowy boots. But if you too are hesitant to get out, we have to fight through that, go beyond our comfort zones, and get active outdoors in the winter weather. This winter, I want all of you to your winter bucket list, and grab your friends and family and play in the snow together! 

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