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Best Experience Gifts for Siouxland Families

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 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 2020 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:

Experience gifts in Sioux City

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

  • Memberships start at $14 per month, which includes unlimited admission for a whole year for 2 adults and their kids, up to 6 kids, with several options with even more fun features also available..
  • Pairs well with: LaunchPad t-shirt; toys from LaunchPad's Odyssey gift shop
  • For more information, visit the LaunchPad Children's Museum website or check out my post about LaunchPad Children's Museum

MidAmerica Museum of Aviation and Transportation 

Sioux City Railroad Museum
  • Family memberships available for $50, which includes unlimited admission for a whole year
  • Pairs well with: toy trains, Thomas the Train or Chuggington DVD
  • For more information, visit the Sioux City Railroad Museum website.

  • GiftCards available for $10-150. Trampoline zone prices start at $8 for 1/2 hour, laser tag starts at $7, and the toddler zone starts at $5 for 1/2 hour, so even a smaller gift card could really mean lots of fun at DropZone!
  • 10 Session Passes available: $90 for a Jump Pass for 10 x 60 min sessions in the trampoline zone, or $50 for a Tykes Pass for 10 x 60 min sessions in the toddler zone
  • Pairs well with: DropZone socks,  available for $2 (they're required for jumping in the trampoline area, and are a fun thing to wrap up with a gift card!)
  • For more information, visit the DropZone website

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

  • Gift certificates available that can be used for ice skating or the tubing hill
  • Pairs well with: hats, gloves, and other cold weather gear
  • For more information, visit the Cone Park website.

Sioux City Art Center
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

  • While some classes are free thanks to generous grants, other 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.
  • Pairs well with: art supplies, artists smock
  • For more information, visit the Sioux City Art Center website or check out my post about the Sioux City Art Center.

Little Princess Makeover at the Iowa School of Beauty

Sioux City Musketeers hockey tickets
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

  • Individual game tickets available starting at $7 for kids and $10 for adults
  • Season passes available starting at $295 per seat for kids 
  • Pairs well with: Sioux City Musketeers hockey fan apparel, mini air hockey game
  • For more information, visit the Sioux City Musketeers website
Tilt Studio Play Card
skeeball at Tilt Studio in Sioux City

  • Great gift for gamers of all ages
  • 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 Mall
  • Pairs well with: glow sticks, neon clothes to wear while black light golfing
  • For more information, check out my guide to Tilt Studio's Sioux City location, or visit the Tilt Studio website.

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 starting at $9 for kids/$12 adults, with gift certificates and annual memberships available (build-your-membership pricing varies, but would be $80 for 2 adults and 2 kids)
  • Pairs well with: Butterfly wings, plush 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 in March!
  • Pairs well with: plush 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: Dr

op 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!


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