Sioux Falls in Summer Looks Brighter Than Ever

One characteristic that initially drew my wife Jill and me to establish roots in Sioux Falls was the community’s excellent amenities and quality of life. Twenty-two years later, that love of our parks and outdoor spaces is even greater, as Sioux Falls continues to earn national recognition as one of the best places to live in America.

A key ingredient that makes our city so great is the plethora of entertainment and outdoor recreation options. From our bike trails to our parks and green spaces, these amenities enhance the quality of life in our community. With new projects like Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park and upgrades to Hayward Park on the horizon, the list of amenities only stands to get better.

Whether you just moved to Sioux Falls or your family has lived here for generations, summer is the perfect time to explore our community and try something new. There’s something for all ages—from free concerts at Levitt at the Falls in downtown Sioux Falls to activities at neighborhood parks.

During the summer months, I spend a lot of time on the bike trails, and it’s fantastic to see so many people taking advantage of the trails and prioritizing their health and wellness. If you need some added motivation, there’s still time to join the third annual Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. Learn more at

Pool Season Begins, Planning for the Future of Aquatics

Sioux Falls residents love aquatics, and the start of the pool season on June 3 has been highly anticipated. All City pools will be open this year for the first time since 2019. Compared to last year’s hiring shortages, we’re thankful to be in the position to open all of our pools. Information about the City’s aquatic centers and swim passes is available here.

During what is a nationwide lifeguard shortage, our Parks and Recreation team has been hard at work to secure staffing for our outdoor pools and aquatic centers. According to the American Lifeguard Association, the lifeguard shortage could prevent about a third of the 309,000 pools across the U.S. from opening. It’s no small feat to train, onboard, and schedule lifeguards to safely staff our pools.

We’re also planning for the future of aquatics in our community and looking at opportunities to replace the pools at McKennan, Kuehn, and Frank Olson parks, as well as refresh several other aging pools in the community. Watch for details about how you can provide input during our community engagement process.

I hope you have a great summer in our wonderful community!

Here are a few highlights of upcoming Sioux Falls events this summer:

  • Special events this summer in downtown Sioux Falls include the Ninth Annual Downtown Riverfest, the 605 Summer Classic (June 25), Innoskate Sioux Falls (July 7–9), and more. Visit for a full list.
  • Popular neighborhood events like the City’s hydrant block parties—held in six neighborhoods—provide the opportunity to not only have fun outside but also get to know your neighbor. Be sure to check out the City’s Mobile Recreation Unit, which will be at 27 neighborhood parks, and offers family activities during the evenings and weekends.
  • Concerts at Levitt: The Levitt kicked off their season of live outdoor music on June 3. You can check out free concerts every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening now through September 10. The season will also feature five shows at 10 a.m. on Fridays for youth and families. 
  • The Washington Pavilion and Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and Arena are hosting many upcoming events, including local and national events and concerts.
    • Washington Pavilion events include:
    • PREMIER Center events include: the Cattlemen’s Gala and Hank Williams Jr. concert (June 18); Elevation Worship concert (August 9); I love the 90s concert (September 9); and Backstreet Boys (September 11).
  • Siouxland Libraries: Children and adults are invited to participate in “Oceans of Possibilities,” our free summer reading program. In addition to earning prizes for reading, the library system has fun events planned throughout the summer.
  • The Great Plains Zoo has several special events lined up for the summer—including Flutterfest on June 11, which will include a butterfly presentation, and Zippity Zoo Day on June 25.
  • Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation: Summer programming includes 18 land and aquatic fitness programs. Free Family Fridays will take place at all five outdoor pools/aquatic centers this summer.
  • Independence Day Celebration: Join us for the city’s Independence Day Celebration, which includes a 5K Fun Run/Walk, parade, picnic, and entertainment.


Share This