The Sculpture Walk in downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of the best things to do in this little city on the Big Sioux River.
Each spring, since 2003, 55 new professionally-crafted sculptures by some of the world’s leading artists line six blocks of downtown, primarily on Phillips Avenue from 8th to 13th streets. Of course, over the years, many of these sculptures have been purchased and remain permanently throughout the city.
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Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk
Bold ancient warriors on horseback and bronze bunnies hiding in flower pots reside peacefully with delicate ballerinas dancing down the same street where little boys play baseball, suspended mid-pitch by the artist’s vision.
Some of the installations defy definition, leaving some folks staring with quizzical looks on their faces and debating their meaning with friends, family and co-workers.
And that’s the best part. People of all ages and interests take to the streets of downtown Sioux Falls. They walk and talk and consider all of the angles. Their brains engage in places they might not have engaged in a very long time.
What to Do in Sioux Falls South Dakota
Everyone from pre-schoolers to Red Hat ladies arrange downtown field trips. Strolling the Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk is the region’s best date night activity. As a result, most downtown businesses and shops are open on weekends. Independent, creative restaurant compete for space.
A map of all of the sculptures along with the name of the artist and the selling price of each is available in boxes installed downtown just for this purpose. The map includes a ballot for admirers to vote for their favorite piece of art. The city then purchases the People’s Choice Award winner and permanently installs it in Falls Park.
The Falls of Sioux Falls South Dakota
Of course, since you are in Sioux Falls walking around, you must seek out the falls from which the city gets its name. Falls Park, at 125 acres, is absolutely beautiful. It’s a great place for a picnic, to go for a walk, get formal portraits made, eat ice cream, sleep in the sun on a warm spring day.
Here, the Big Sioux River tumbles and splashes around massive red quartz boulders creating mini-rainbows and dramatic images against beautiful blue skies. It’s lovely any time of the year, even in winter, when the frozen spray creates more fascinating sculptures. An old mill that dates to the 1880s is another interesting image in all seasons.
There’s an ice cream shop and cafe in the summer, as well as a farmers market. An old horse barn serves as a museum to interpret the agriculture heritage of South Dakota. And a gift shop doubles as a tourist information center. This is where you’ll find some super clean restrooms.
If you’re traveling with children, this is a great place to let them get out and run. But you must supervise them on the rocks surrounding the water falls.
Of course, you’ll find dozens of sculptures in Falls Park as well. The sculptures have been so well received over the years, they have exploded, adding color and energy to the hospital campus, as well as the campuses of Augustana College and the University of Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls South Dakota — put it in your GPS and let it mess with your brain.