Skip to main content

Museums in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Beyond


in background, a small red airplane soars suspended from the ceiling of the Sioux City Public Museum. In foreground, the words "Ultimate Guide to Siouxland Museums in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and beyond"

From prehistoric sea monsters to modern art, from log houses to corn palaces, Siouxland has a wide variety of museums for families to enjoy! I want to visit them all, and share them with you. Here is the most comprehensive list you'll find anywhere of museums in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and our neighboring cities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota (and I'll keep adding to it if I hear of more!) Whatever your family loves, there's probably a Siouxland museum that will pique your interest!


Museums in Sioux City

LaunchPAD Children's Museum

model grain elevator at LaunchPad Children's Museum


623 Pearl Street, Sioux City, Iowa
Admission fees apply

LaunchPad Children's Museum in downtown Sioux City is a hands-on center for fun and learning. LaunchPad has a wide variety of interactive permanent exhibits as well as hosting educational traveling exhibits from other museums around the country, and hosts programming that are tons of fun but also help boost literacy, art, and STEM skills!
You can find out more about LaunchPad Children's Museum by reading my post about LaunchPad Children's Museum or by checking out the LaunchPad Children's Museum website or Facebook page (Disclosure: I received free admission to LaunchPad Children's Museum to write my post about them)


Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center

animatronic figures of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Sioux City Iowa


900 Larsen Park Road, Sioux City, Iowa
Free
The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center explores and celebrates the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Native Americans who were here first with a variety of educational exhibits including impressive animatronic versions of many of the expedition members. The center hosts many educational programs and contests for kids and adults, and often hosts live music as well.  
Find out more by checking out my post about visiting the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, or by going to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center website  and Facebook page.

Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation

2600 Expedition Court, Sioux City, Iowa
Admission fees apply
*Closed due to COVID-19-I'll update when they re-open

The Mid American Museum of Aviation and Transportation celebrates flight with aircraft kids can touch and climb, plus tons of historical artifacts visitors of all ages will be fascinated by.
Find out more by visiting the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation website

Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center

the Sgt. Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center in Sioux City Iowa: a small white steamboat with red trim and black bottom in dry dock sitting in grass, with a wooden walkway leading to the main deck.


1000 Larsen Park Road, Sioux City, Iowa
Free
The Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center is an old steamboat renovated into a unique three story museum that highlights the history of boat travel in this part of the country.
The Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center sits on the shores of the Missouri River, within very easy walking distance of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center.
Find out more by checking out the Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center website

Sioux City Art Center

front entrance of the Sioux City Art Center


225 Nebraska Street, Sioux City, Iowa
Free
The Sioux City Art Center is an art museum that showcases regional art, but also features masterpieces from around the world. One of the highlights is Grant Wood's corn room--be sure not to miss it.
The Sioux City Art Center is also known for its extensive class offerings for all ages and summer camps for kids, and in recent years, the art center built an all new classroom building to hold them in state-of-the art facilities. One of my kids took a class there and had so much fun and made some of his best art ever! The Junior League of Sioux City Hands-On Gallery is also newly renovated and super fun, but unfortunately closed due to COVID-19 as of spring 2021. I'll update when it re-opens!
For more information, check out my post on visiting the Sioux City Art Center, or go to the Sioux City Art Center website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed

Sioux City Public Museum

607 Fourth Street, Sioux City, Iowa
Free

The Sioux City Public Museum is the place to go to immerse yourself in the story of Sioux City, from plesiosaurs swimming through this part of the prehistoric sea to modern days, with plenty of corn palaces, beadwork, farm animals, and flooding along the way. The museum also features temporary exhibits on a variety of topics, and hosts fun and educational programs for all ages, both on-site and as walking tours! A highlight is a local history exhibit each spring full of models created by local 4th grade students! 
For more information on the Sioux City Public Museum, check out the Sioux City Public Museum website or Facebook page

Sioux City Railroad Museum

Ironhorse at Sioux City Railroad Museum


3400 Sioux River Road, Sioux City, Iowa
Admission fees apply
*Closed due to COVID-19, but I'll update as soon as it re-opens. Tentatively April 2021!

Railroads and Sioux City go way back, and the Sioux City Railroad Museum proudly shares that history and the fun of trains with visitors of all ages, through their exhibits and programming like "Reading by the Rails."  The Sioux City Railroad Museum is housed in the former workshops of the Milwaukee Railroad and continues to expand. Highlights for kids include a new grand scale railroad, one of only a few in the country, and Halloween at the Roundhouse, which is attended by tens of thousands of people each year! 
For more information, visit the Sioux City Railroad Museum website.

Museums within 15 minutes of Sioux City

Siouxland Freedom Park

Siouxland Freedom Park interpretive center at sunset


1
101 Foundry Road, South Sioux City, Nebraska
Admission costs TBD

Siouxland Freedom Park is dedicated to the memory of the many brave people from the Siouxland area who have served in the United States Military, especially those who have died in the service of our country. Currently available features include an exact half-scale replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., a dog park dedicate to the brave pups who have served the US Armed Forces, and a playground. The museum building itself is still under construction, but the plans look very exciting. I'll be sure to update when more information is available.
For more information, check out my post about Siouxland Freedom Park, or visit the Siouxland Freedom Park website or Facebook page.

Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum

409 Fourth Street, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
Free
The Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum showcases the history of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, just a few minutes south of Sioux City, with a variety of exhibits and artifacts.
You can find out more information on the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum website.


Sioux Falls Museums

Washington Pavilion

301 South Main Street, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Admission fees apply

Washington Pavilion is actually home to several museums, including the Kirby Science Discovery Center, 8 art galleries known collectively as the Visual Arts Center, the Community Learning Center, and the 60 foot wide Wells Fargo Cine-Dome.
For more information, visit the Washington Pavilion website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram feed, or YouTube channel,

Old Courthouse Museum

6th & Main, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Free

Housed in an old courthouse built of Sioux Quartzite in the 1890's, the Old Courthouse Museum is architecturally significant for its size and construction, as well as 6 large murals painted during the 1910's. Exhibits focus on the history of Sioux Falls and nearby communities and include a restored circuit courtroom. There is also a law library in the Old Courthouse Museum.
For more information, check out the Old Courthouse Museum website or Facebook page

Pettigrew Home & Museum

131 North Duluth, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Free

This historic house from 1889 is named for the first full term US Senator elected in South Dakota and has a variety of exhibits celebrating the history of the area.
To find out more, visit the Pettigrew Home & Museum page on the Siouxland Heritage Museums website.

Center for Western Studies

2121 South Summit Avenue, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on the Augustana University Campus
Free
Augustana University's Center for Western Studies has a variety of exhibits and art from and about America's western and a library of over 36,000 volumes on the subject. The museum is free and open to the public (special permission may be needed to access research materials.)
For more information, visit the Center for Western Studies on the Augustana website, or connect with the Center for Western Studies on Facebook,  or Twitter.

Delbridge Museum of Natural History at the Great Plains Zoo

805 South Kiwanis Avenue, Sioux Falls
Admission fees apply

The Delbridge Museum of Natural History features 150 mounted animals from 6 continents including several species now endangered.
To find out more, visit the Delbridge Museum of Natural History page on the Great Plains Zoo website or connect with the zoo and museum on Facebook or Twitter.

Sioux Empire Medical Museum

1305 West 18th Street, Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the Sanford Health Main Campus
Free

The Sioux Empire Medical Museum is dedicated to showing the historical practice of medicine from the early 1900's through today. Free and open to the public, but large groups should call the hospital to schedule a tour.

Stockyards Ag Experience

a boy in a gray sweater puts together a puzzle shaped like a pig at the Stockyards Ag Experience in Sioux Falls


301 East Falls Park Drive, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Admission fees apply

The Stockyards Ag experience offers a look at the agricultural history of Sioux Falls, especially the stockyards open from 1917 to 2009, including many interactive exhibits.
For more information, visit the Stockyards Ag Experience website or connect with them on Facebook.


More museums within 2 hours of Sioux City

Plymouth County Museum

335 First Avenue, LeMars, Iowa
Free
The Plymouth County Museum fills part of the Old Central" school in Le Mars, which is on the National Register of Historical Places and has exciting plans to expand to another section soon. The Plymouth County Museum has exhibits on the Loess Hills, music, agriculture, religious heritage, and more, plus rooms set up in turn of the century style! A highlight for kids is the new train depot exhibit!
More info on the Plymouth County Museum website or Facebook page

National Music Museum

414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, South Dakota
Admission fees TBD
Re-opening spring 2021!!

The National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota is home to one of the biggest and best collections of musical instruments in the world with over 15,000 instruments including the world's oldest playable harpsichord. The National Music Museum is closed until sometime in spring 2021 for an extensive $9+ million renovation. We can't wait to see it when it's finished and will update as soon as it is! For more information, check out the National Music Museum website, Facebook page, Instagram feed, twitter feed, and Pinterest feed.

Union County Historical Museum

707 West Main Street, Elk Point, South Dakota
Free

The Union County Historical Museum is housed in the Charles Murtha House, built in 1892.
For more information, check out the Union County Historical Museum website.


Dakota Territorial Museum

82 Mickelson Drive, Yankton, South Dakota
Admission fees apply

The Dakota Territorial Museum is part of the Mead Cultural Education Center and includes a wide variety of exhibits relating to the history of the area. A highlight for kids is the Children's Transportation Museum which includes a covered wagon, boat, and Model TT kids can climb in, and an airplane cockpit and steam train engine are planned for 2019! The Mead is also known for its excellent events, including haunted history tours each October. 
For more information, visit the Mead Cultural Education Center website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed.

Sanford Museum and Planetarium

111 East Willow Street, Cherokee, Iowa
Free

The Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee has been open since the early 1950's and features a wide variety of exhibits on history, art, archaeology paleontology, and of course, astronomy!
You can find out more about the Sanford Museum and Planetarium on the Sanford Museum and Planetarium website or by connecting with them on Facebook or Instagram, or by watching their YouTube channel.


Buena Vista County Historical Society Museum and Pioneer Village

214 West 5th Street, Storm Lake, Iowa
Free

The Buena Vista County Historical Society Museum and Pioneer Village in Storm Lake feature many historical exhibits including a log cabin and one room schoolhouse for visitors to explore.


Children's Museum of South Dakota

521 Fourth Street, Brookings, South Dakota
Admission fees apply
Indoor exhibits currently closed due to COVID-19, but I'll update as soon as they re-open!

The Children's Museum of South Dakota is full of hands-on fun for kids of all ages, including indoor and outdoor prairie themed playspaces, KidStreet featuring kid sized storefronts and post office, a water table full of splashy fun, and more. The Children's Museum of South Dakota also has a café, Café Couteau, which serves breakfast and lunch and is open to the public.
For more information, visit the Children's Museum of South Dakota website or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you know of a Siouxland area museum I missed? Please e-mail me or leave a comment so I can add it!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Siouxland Pumpkin Patches

Now updated for 2021! One of the best parts of living right in the middle of some of the world's best farmland is access to amazing pumpkin patches! Here are some of the great pumpkin patches within a 2 hour drive from downtown Sioux City, listed by distance from downtown Sioux City. I definitely recommend checking the website or Facebook page of the patch you plan to visit before heading out this year, as things may change quickly, and some are limiting attendance, requesting mask wearing, or taking other precautions to limit the spread of illness. This roundup has been updated to reflect 2021 pumpkin patch hours, rates, and events, and I will update throughout the season as new details are available. Please e-mail me if you own or operate a pumpkin patch and would like to update your entry or add a patch to our list! Scarecrow Farm Photo used with permission from Scarecrow Farm Location : 1592 Charles Avenue, Lawton, Iowa Distance from downtown Sioux City : 8.7 mile

Summer Day Camps for Kids in Sioux City

Ready to plan your 2021 summer fun? Here are all the summer day camp opportunities I have found in the Sioux City area for this year, in alphabetical order. I'll put the basic info here and link to the host's website or Facebook page where you can find more details. This page will be updated throughout spring and summer 2021 as new day camps in the Sioux City area are announced. If covid-19 related closures are extended, I will try to reach out to as many of the hosting organizations as I can for an update on their plans, but I also encourage you to ask them directly if it is a concern for you as they will have the most up-to-date information. Summer Camps in Sioux City, Iowa Arena Sports Academy The Arena Sports Academy hosts creative and fun dance camps for kids from preschool to intermediate and advanced dance levels. Summer 2021 dance camps at the Arena cost $50-65 depending on the session chosen and all camps include a T-shirt. Prior dance experience is not req

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 2020 are announced. I'm thrilled to share all the festive fun with you! You might also enjoy my posts on Christmas Road Trips (Christmas events in places like Omaha, Sioux Falls, Okoboji, and more!) Christmas Tree Farms in Siouxland , Family Friendly New Year's Eve , Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families (coming soon!), and Last Minute Christmas Gifts You Can Buy in Siouxland ! This post features the best Christmas events in Siouxland, the best places in Siouxland to see Christmas lights , and some of the best places in Siouxland to see Santa !