Skip to main content

Best Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families

UNDER CONSTRUCTION! I'm actively updating this post on 10/31/22 so please excuse my digital mess as I reorganize and hopefully make this much more useful to you!
red and white packages tied with ribbons surround an open, empty gift box in the background. In the foreground, the words "Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families"


Christmas gifts that create joyful, lasting memories--that's what we are all looking for, right? While the right toy, game, or book can definitely be a treasure that leads to making happy memories, an increasing number of families are also finding the value in "experience" gifts. We are lucky to have a plethora of options here in Sioux City and in our neighboring communities like Omaha and Sioux Falls. From museum memberships to concert tickets, here are some of my top recommendations for experience gifts for Siouxland Families for Christmas 2022 or any gift-giving occasion, along with a few suggestions of physical items to pair with them if you'd like your kids or other loved ones to have something to physically open and enjoy on Christmas morning in anticipation of the experience gift:



Arcades

Consider arcade gift cards or gift certificates for the gamers in your life, along with keychains, t-shirts or other fan gear from their favorite games.

skeeball at Tilt Studio in Sioux City


  • Pizza Ranch Fun Zone
    • Large arcade area adjacent to the Sioux City and Vermillion Pizza Ranch restaurants
    • For more information, visit the Pizza Ranch FunZone website
  • Tilt Studios
    • Arcade with a variety of games and snack bar food at the Southern Hills Mall
    • Play Card points work for arcade games, mini golf, mini bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, and all other attractions at Tilt Studio at the Southern Hills Mallr
    • For more information, check out my guide to Tilt Studio's Sioux City location, or visit the Tilt Studio website.

Bowling

Bowling is classic fun that's perfect for Siouxland winter weather! Consider pairing bowling alley gift certificates with novelty socks or bowling shirts for extra fun. 

Arts & Crafts Classes & Workshops

Gift certificates to craft or fine art classes and workshops make a great gift for creative kids and adults! Pair them with art supplies, smocks, or frames!

a strawberry blonde toddler peeks out of a large red cube with many holes in it at the Sioux City Art Center's Junior League Hands-On Gallery
Fun in the Sioux City Art Center's Junior League Hands-On Gallery

  • Blue Cat Gallery
    • Art gallery in Wayne, Nebraska with drop-in classes creating home decor, jewelry, and more starting at $12 per project
    • For more information, visit the Blue Cat Gallery website.
  • Le Mars Art Center
    • Gallery and classroom space in Le Mars, IA with workshops and classes in many different mediums
    • For more information, visit the Le Mars Art center website.
  • Pickled Palette
    • Paint your own pottery studio with workshops on a variety of pottery painting techniques and themes, glass fusing, and more
    • For more information, visit the Pickled Palette website.
  • Sioux City Art Center
    • Weekend workshops start under $10 per person
    • Children's classes at the Sioux City Art Center cost $50-120 per session (usually 8 weeks) and teen/adult classes can cost over $200
    • Gift certificates available, so your loved one can apply it towards whichever class they'd like.
    • For more information, visit the Sioux City Art Center website or check out my post about the Sioux City Art Center.

Indoor Play passes or memberships

a toddler with curly strawberry blonde hair pushes buttons on a toy cash register at LaunchPad Children's Museum in Sioux City, Iowa


Movie Theaters


Sports to Do


a snowy hill for sledding is visible behind a snow covered ice skating rink at Cone Park in Sioux City, Iowa
Tubing hill at Cone Park

  • Cone Park
    • Gift certificates available that can be used for ice skating or the tubing hill
    • Pairs well with: hats, gloves, and other cold weather gear, glow sticks for Glow Tubing!
    • For more information, visit the Cone Park website.
  • DropZone
    • GiftCards, 10 Session passes, and Tykes Passes available
    • Pairs well with: DropZone socks (they're required for jumping in the trampoline area and are a fun thing to wrap up with a gift card!), sweatbands, athletic apparel
    • For more information, visit the DropZone website.
  • IBP Ice Center
  • NFAA Easton Archery Center
  • Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA
  • North 40 Mini Golf
  • Siouxland Tennis Center
  • Siouxnami Water Park

Sports to Watch

a hockey player in a Sioux City Musketeers uniform glides across the ice next to a Sioux City Musketeers logo
Photo used with permission from the Tyson Events Center
  • Auto racing at Jefferson Speedway
  • Sioux City Bandits Football
  • Sioux City Explorers Baseball
  • Sioux City Musketeers Hockey
    • Individual game tickets and season passes available 
    • Pairs well with: Sioux City Musketeers hockey fan apparel, mini air hockey game, ice skates
    • For more information, visit the Sioux City Musketeers website



Unique Fun

Little Princess Makeover at the Iowa School of Beauty
  • For kids 10 & Under
  • $13 per child
  • Includes updo, nail polish, and makeup
  • GiftCards also available for various services for all ages
  • Pairs well with: dress up play clothes, a tea set, kids makeup
  • For more info, visit the Iowa School of Beauty's Sioux City guest services page


Experience Gifts Outside Sioux City:


Great Bear Ski Valley
Sioux Falls, SD
a ski instructor helps a young child gain their balance on skis at Great Bear Ski Valley in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Photo by Kyle Vanderberg and used with permission from Great Bear Ski Valley


Great Plains Zoo
Sioux Falls, SD

Butterfly House & Aquarium
Sioux Falls, SD
  • One day admission passes and annual memberships available *Note: the Butterfly House & Aquarium is merging with the Great Plains Zoo! I'm not sure how/if memberships will be affected, so be sure to read on their website what the terms of that might be.
  • Pairs well with: Butterfly wings, plush butterflies or sea creatures, books about butterflies or sea creatures.
  • For more information, visit the Butterfly House & Aquarium website.

Sioux Falls Skyforce Basketball
Sioux Falls, SD
  • Individual game tickets, ticket bundles, or season passes available online.
  • Part of the NBA G-League
  • Pairs well with: A new basketball, Skyforce jersey or fan apparel

Arnold's Park
Okoboji, IA
  • 2020 season membership or day passes available for either the amusement park or the Queen II ship! 
  • Pairs well with: Arnold's Park or Okoboji fan gear

Children's Museum of South Dakota
Brookings, SD
  • Memberships starting at $120 
  • Pairs well with: Children's Museum of South Dakota apparel, dinosaur toys from the museum gift shop

Henry Doorly Zoo
Omaha, NE
a trio of giraffe heads at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska
Giraffes at the Henry Doorly Zoo

  • Membership or Passes for daily admission both available
  • Tickets to a special event like a "Penguins & Pajamas" overnight enrichment safari in the aquarium on New Years Eve, or cold weather camping near the Snow Leopard exhibit also available!
  • Pairs well with: plush animals, books about zoo animals, or Henry Doorly Zoo apparel

Durham Museum
Omaha, NE
a blonde boy in a blue polo shirt sits next to a statue of a WWII soldier about to board a train to head to training, while looking up at another statue, also a WWII soldier shipping out, at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska
Statues pay tribute to the Durham's past as Omaha's Union Station

Omaha Children's Museum
Omaha, NE
children play with a water table and other features at the Omaha Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of the Omaha Children's Museum

  • Memberships, passes, and tickets to special events like the OCM Bubbly New Year's Eve Party available
  • Pairs well with: OCM apparel

Top picks:


Under $10/kid: Day passes to LaunchPad Children's Museum, or Children's Museum of South Dakota
Splurge (over $100 for family): Family membership to LaunchPad or the Henry Doorly Zoo, ski experience at Great Bear

Animal lovers: Henry Doorly Zoo or Great Plains Zoo passes or membership
Sports fans: Sioux City Musketeers hockey tickets or Sioux Falls Skyforce Basketball tickets
Creative kids: Sioux City Art Center gift certificate, Iowa School of Beauty Princess Makeover

Preschoolers: LaunchPad membership
Elementary age: Zoo passes, Drop Zone gift certificate, or a Princess Makeover
Tweens: Drop Zone or Cone Park passes, Sioux City Art Center gift certificate
Teens: Great Bear Passes, Hockey tickets


For any budget and any age, there are fun options for experience in Siouxland. I hope this helps you find some that are right for your family! 

Merry Christmas!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sioux City & Siouxland 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 announced. I'm thrilled to share all the festive fun with you! You might also enjoy my posts on Christmas Road Trips (Christmas fun in Omaha, Sioux Falls, Okoboji, and more!) Christmas Tree Farms in Siouxland , Family Friendly New Year's Eve , Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families , 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 ! 

the story of Sioux City Sarsaparilla

One of the most widely known "Sioux City" things actually isn't a Sioux City thing! If you've seen the movie The Big Lebowski, you may have caught this scene: And Sioux City Sarsaparilla is real (and it really is a good one!) Here's the full story on Sioux City Sarsaparilla: What is Sioux City Sarsaparilla? Sioux City Sarsaparilla is the signature drink from White Rock's Sioux City line . In 1973, White Rock president Albert Morgan wanted to start a western inspired line of classic American soft drinks, with a frontier feel. He chose Sioux City as his inspiration! Sioux City Sarsaparilla is known as "the Grandaddy of all root beers" and has a creamy taste somewhere between root beer and cream soda. And it's the most bought sarsaparilla in the US! Is Sioux City Sarsaparilla made in Sioux City? Nope. Sioux City Sarsaparilla is actually made in New York by White Rock Beverages ! The company actually started not too f

The Story of Loose Meat Sandwiches

There's nothing better in winter than some cozy comfort food. So, I'm excited to tell you all about Sioux City's signature dish, loose meat sandwiches, along with where to buy them and how to make your own! What is a loose meat sandwich? A loose meat sandwich is, at its core, a loose pile of flavorful ground beef, served on a hamburger bun. Many people refer to it as a tavern or tavern sandwich.  Exact seasoning blend varies by maker, but onion, horseradish, mustard powder, ketchup, pepper, and garlic are common, as is a pickle to top, and it should be loose, not in a patty, and fairly dry rather than saucy like a sloppy joe. History of the Loosemeat Sandwich The loose meat sandwich was created in Sioux City in about 1924, although there doesn't seem to be a clear historical record of who made it first. Miles Inn and Ye Olde Tavern were certainly selling it very early on accordingly to local legend, and it's likely the dish was invented at one or the other. Cho