10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

The best way to beat the blues this winter is to get out and find some fun activities. If you can’t enjoy the winter outdoor experience, there is always some indoor options available as well. Here you will find a little bit of both to choose from. Winter will pass faster and much more enjoyably if you plan a winter season adventure.

  1. Sertoma Butterfly House & Marine Cove in Sioux Falls is a great place to escape winter without hopping on a plane to warmer climates. It’s a tropical retreat any time of year for all ages. You’ll find over 800 butterflies from around the world flying freely throughout the conservatory. Wander the paths or relax on a bench. If your lucky, the butterflies may stop by for an up close encounter. The marine cove also offers up close interaction at the shark and stingray Touch Pool. They have special events the 3rd Saturday every month, beginning the year with Beat the Blues on January 17.
  2. Lakota Games on Ice at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village - Saturday, January 17. Bring the kids and learn the games that ancestors of the Lakota people played during the long winter months. It begins at 1:00 pm and ends with hot chocolate, cider and cookies. Even better - the event is free.
  3. Bald Eagle Days at Lewis & Clark Visitor Center, near Yankton - January 24-25. SOAR Raptors will present a live raptor program for all ages at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm both days. Spotting scopes will be available for viewing eagles. Children’s activities provide a fun learning opportunity. Free event. It’s the perfect time of year to observe Bald Eagles perched in trees along the river and diving down to the water to do some “fishing” for their next meal. It’s not unusual for large numbers of eagles to inhabit the area this time of year.
  4. Ice Fish Fest at Catfish Bay in Sioux Falls - Saturday, January 24. Pre-drilled hole ice fishing tournament on a privately stocked lake that is only open to fishing once a year. Cash prizes for the winners. Online pre-registration available at icefishfest.com
  5. Family Winter Try-It Day at The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls - January 31. Sample a wide variety of winter outdoor activities that you may have always wanted to try, but never had the chance. Here’s your chance. Try cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing, just to name a few. 1 to 4 pm. No registration required and it’s free. Already know how to do all that? Come explore the trails on cross country skis or snowshoes or come to the Ice Fishing Extravaganza on February 28.
  6. Great Bear Recreation Park, just 3 miles east of Sioux Falls, is the place for downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing. They have all the equipment available for rent - just bring yourself and some friends for tons of winter fun. Tuesday nights is a great time for some tubing - two get in for the price of one. Like winter sports competition? Check out the annual FUN SKI on January 23.
  7. Southeast South Dakota Snowmobile Trails. Miles and miles of snowmobile trails exist throughout the region. State Parks that offer trails for snowmobiling include Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon, Newton Hills State Park near Canton and Lewis & Clark Recreation Area near Yankton. You’ll find a map of the region’s snowmobile trails at www.gfp.sd.gov/to-do/snowmobile/docs/east-river-map.pdf
  8. Interactive Murder Mystery, ‘tis the Season...for Murder!, at the Pettigrew Home & Museum, Sioux Falls - January 30-31 and February 6-7. There’s been a murder during a holiday party at the museum and everyone is a suspect. Citizen “detectives” are called in to solve the crime. Advance tickets are available at the Old Courthouse Museum or by phone, 605-367-4210, ext. 0.
  9. Take in a show or a concert at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls. There’s a full schedule throughout the winter including Sister Act on February 24-25 and Momma Mia! on March 10-11. While you’re there, visit the Visual Arts Center to see the current exhibit.
  10. NMM Live! at the National Music Museum in Vermillion. Free concerts at 12:05 pm featuring world renowned musicians. January 30 - Violinist Jeri Jorgensen and fortepianist Cullan Bryant will perform the music of Beethoven, Mozart and more. February 27 -  One of the world's premier veena players, Nirmala Rajasekar will showcase this plucked string instrument and the Carnatic music of India. March 27 - Hear the beauty of an 18th-century harpsichord played by Mark Kroll, Professor emeritus of harpsichord from Boston University and a world-renowned keyboardist. The musicians also perform a full evening concert (admission charged). While you’re there, be sure to see the museum’s amazing collection of instruments from around the world. Hint - Admission is Free for everyone on Friday (children and students are always free).

For more about these events and others to chase away the winter blues can be found on our Calendar of Events web page.