About six years ago, we took the kids on a day trip adventure to Sioux City, Iowa. Only a short 90-mile-drive north from Omaha, it's a good place to spend a day. On that trip, we went to the Sergeant Floyd Monument
, the Sergeant Floyd River Museum
(which is housed in an old steamboat), and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center/Betty Strong Encounter Center
. While we had a good time, we haven't been back to Sioux City since then. That changed when I was thinking about a day trip adventure for Mother's Day. I didn't want to do the same things and go to the same places that we tend to frequent often, so I do what I usually do in these instances and pull up a map.
I looked at Sioux City and thought, "I wonder what we could do there?" I did a quick search for activities in Sioux City and found a handful of free things to do that I hadn't done before.
|Nature Girl made me a plate of tiny pancakes for Mother's Day. So sweet.|
So, after eating a proper Mother's Day breakfast made for me by Nature Girl and packing up a picnic lunch, we hit the road.
|A key sculpture outside the main entrance of the Sioux City Arts Center.|
Our first stop was at the Sioux City Art Center
. I wasn't expecting much, honestly, when we walked into the Arts Center, but it wasn't long before I found myself impressed.
|A gallery inside the Sioux City Arts Center.|
Small, but mighty, it houses many great displays over three floors, a fun & interactive kids area, and even has instruction rooms. It was Sunday when we were there but a painting class was happening in one of those rooms.
|Amy Thompson, "Alpas" 2017|
|The Grant Wood mural has it's own gallery.|
One of the neatest things there, besides a Kaneko
sculpture, was this salvaged mural made by Grant Wood
, an Iowa artist most famous for "American Gothic". Commissioned by Omaha businessman Eugene Eppley, it was papered over then later saved. It's on permanent display now at the Art Center.
|An old Bekin's Furniture delivery truck from way back when.|
After the Arts Center, we walked a little over a block to reach the Sioux City Public Museum
. This museum used to be in an old mansion but was moved to a modern, new site built in 2011. What a treasure! This place is really cool, expansive, and houses all kinds of things to see and do. Color me impressed again!
|Fossilized trees were just one of the many pieces in the fossils/gems collection at the Sioux City Public Museum.|
One of the rooms in the museum houses a large collection of fossils, including ammonite, geodes of all sizes, and these petrified trees. It was really neat.
|Nature Girl digs for fossils.|
The museum even has a fossil "digging" room for the kids, which Nature Girl thought was the best. The whole museum is a walk through Sioux City's history from the beginning of time, basically, until modern day. It is also free to get in the museum and I would recommend spending a few hours here if you're ever in Sioux City.
|One of the many sets of stairs that are located throughout the trails at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.|
The third place we made it to was the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
. Located on the edge of Stone State Park, and nestled in the Loess Hills (yay, Iowa Mountains), this place has hiking trails, a kid's area, and an informative Nature Center.
|Inside the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.|
|A view of the Loess Hills from a scenic overlook at Stone State Park.|
The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center closes at 4:30 p.m. so we left then and headed just a half a mile or so down the road into Stone State Park
. We had our picnic lunch and then checked out one of the scenic overlooks.
|Overlook Trail at Stone State Park.|
We finished our trip by hiking the trail at the overlook we were at for just a little bit. Nestled in the Iowa Mountains, it was a nice way to end our little adventure.
Overall, I had a fantastic Mother's Day and I look forward to going back to Dorothy Pecaut one nice Saturday to explore the hiking trails further. I was really impressed with how far little Sioux City has come over the years and I would highly recommend checking out a few of the places mentioned here if you ever find yourself with a day in Sioux City.