School isn't the only place to learn in our city. Our educational attractions and libraries offer all kinds of programs for kids - everything from scientific exploration to the true stories of Lewis and Clark's exploration of this area in the 1800s. In the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, has a huge list of classes held in the historic high school-turned museum. They offer classes, camps and workshops that explore visual arts like pottery and classes about Star Wars science in the science center. Theatre and music programs held at "The Pavilion," as locals call it, get kids involved with others their age with similar interests and skills.

Just north of the Pavilion, the Museum of Visual Materials is a community treasure chest of activities and classes for kids. They offer arts and craft classes, summer camps, story times, field trips, after school art programs and other fun events for kids of all ages.

Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation has been providing programs for kids in parks since 1944. Residents receive the Activities Guide in the mail three times a year and it's filled with all kinds of family recreation opportunities like ice skating, swimming, sledding, programs at community centers, play groups, zoo programs and more. There are over 80 parks in the city - so many opportunities to make memories.

Libraries aren't just about books these days. In Sioux Falls, five branch libraries have almost as many fun activities for kids as they do books.

Kids from preschool through high school, can take classes like Music Inspired by Poems to Wii Wednesdays for exercise and fun. Their activity guide, Across Siouxland Libraries, is available at every library and on their website. Sertoma Park is a one-stop place for three kinds of fun. The Outdoor Campus, an outdoor skills learning center sponsored by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, offers year-round classes for kids in fishing, archery, snow shoeing, kayaking and other kinds of outdoor recreation. The Butterfly House & Aquarium is a non-profit aquarium and butterfly conservatory where kids can explore insects, marine life and conservation. The park itself has a science theme and playground equipment teaches kids about planets, sun dials and nature.

The Old Courthouse Museum is home to Pioneer Day Camp every summer, where kids learn all about homesteading the Dakotas. Kids experience what is was like to be a frontier child in Dakota Territory. The museum also offers Victorian Girl Day Camp and Tea Time Camp, in addition to many other programs for history-loving kids.

What it means to me

Circle Your Favorites

by Thea Ryan

Remember running to the mailbox to see if the Christmas catalog arrived yet? I'd spend hours looking at the toys, circling the ones I wanted and making lists for Santa.

That's exactly how I felt when I got the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Activities Guide in the mail. Or I pick up a copy of Across Siouxland Libraries, or one of the Sioux Falls Community Education catalogs. The thrill of reading, studying and picking out my favorites is still possible. Of course Santa doesn't get this list, but if he did, he'd probably sign up for some of the classes, too.

Terrarium building? I could stand to learn how to care for a plant. Composting? I've been wanting to recycle more. Going fishing at Family Park? Jeez, an afternoon on the water sounds pretty good right now.

I've been wanting to spend more time reading. Now I can do it while drinking a beer, and discuss the book I'm reading at the library's Book Buzz at Woodgrain Brewing Company. I've also been driving past those gorgeous historic homes by the Cathedral and I always wonder about their stories. It looks like the Old Courthouse Museum hosts some walking tours of that neighborhood.

I'd encourage you to grab your own pen and circle a few things to do in Sioux Falls. History, sports, outdoors, exercise, arts, tours...there is so much to do! Join me!