Downtown Sioux Falls is a little delight. Phillips Avenue is so cute. Little hometown shops line the streets. Bars, restaurants, and the State Theatre (which is being renovated and has plans to reopen sometime in 2013). Every year artist have an opportunity to submit a sculpture to the Sculpture Walk which is a collection of 50 sculptures from around the world that are on display downtown. There are maps in the downtown stores so you can see them all and vote on your favorite.
At the North end of downtown lie the falls. The landmark Sioux Falls is named for. All the times I'd been to Sioux Falls before moving here, I can't remember ever actually coming to the falls. I didn't really know they existed. They're actually quite pretty. There's a sidewalk that meanders around the park and a bridge that goes over the falls to the Overlook Cafe. There's even a visitor center and a viewing tower.
There are over 50 parks and greenways in town. One of our favorite is the picture above: McKennan Park. Someday I'd like to live in one of the houses that surround it. A girl can dream. There are parks with playgrounds, baseball diamonds, pools, soccer fields, tennis courts... The parks are amazing. There are also 3 aquatic centers and at least 3 other basic pools in town. They sure come in handy when it's 99º in July.
The Sidewalk Arts Festival is my very favorite event each year. Usually the second weekend in September hundreds of artists and crafts people bring their wares to Sioux Falls. They close down streets surrounding the Washington Pavilion and it becomes a walking market. There is an application process - you have to submit photographs of your work to the Washington Pavilion and they'll decide if the things you make are worth enough to sell. The applications are submitted in May - maybe next year I'll apply. I wouldn't have enough time to make anything wonderful in time to apply this year.
This weekend we are going to the Japanese Gardens. I've never been there since we moved here. Frank just went the other day and insists we go this weekend. The weather here has been fantastic. It's been in the low 70's and as long as it doesn't rain, we are excited to check out a new place.
One of the best things to do in town is go to the Great Plains Zoo. I got a half price family membership last year and it was totally worth it. We are going to get a membership again this year. They have tons of animals and a petting zoo. Ezra totally loves it. The penguins especially. Wonder why.
We love our city. The only thing we don't love is the snow... but that's not Sioux Falls' fault.