28 Best & Fun Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Are you a resident or tourist looking for fun activities in Yankton, South Dakota?  Look no further! You’re at the right place, as we’ll be taking you through the list of 28 best and fun things to do in Yankton, SD, making your trip unforgettable.

Widely known as the River City due to its location along the banks of the majestic Missouri River, Yankton, South Dakota, is a picturesque Midwestern gem waiting to be discovered.

Also referred to as the “Mother City of the Dakotas,” this family-friendly destination offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Visit the Meridian Highway Bridge, enjoy the best of the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, fish at the Missouri River, and enjoy other unique attractions.


28 Best and Fun Things To Do In Yankton, SD (2024)


1. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Begin your Yankton adventure at the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area. Located near the northern shore of the 31,400-acre Lewis and Clark Lake, a large Missouri River reservoir, this sprawling state park offers a wealth of outdoor activities.

With over 25 miles of shoreline along Lewis and Clark Lake, this part offers opportunities for outdoor recreation such as camping, fishing, hiking, or water sports.

The clear waters of the lake also provide ample opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Anglers can cast their lines into the lake in search of walleye, catfish, and bass.

The park also features well-maintained hiking trails, including the Pierson Ranch Trail, which offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding wildlife.

Address: 43349 SD-52, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

2. Gavins Point Dam

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another fun thing to do in Yankton, SD, today is to marvel at the Gavins Point Dam that stands proudly on the Missouri River.

Constructed from 1952 to 1957, the dam consists of an earthen embankment, a powerhouse, and 14 gates on a concrete-lined spillway. The dam also connects Cedar County, Nebraska, with Yankton County, South Dakota.

The dam not only controls the flow of the river but also creates Lewis and Clark Lake; it is a vital part of the region’s landscape.

Take a guided tour and gain insight into the dam’s history and operation.  As you explore the dam, don’t miss the opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the river and its surroundings.

The dam also offers an excellent spot for photography and a chance to witness the sheer power of nature harnessed for the benefit of the community.

Address: Yankton, South Dakota, United States.

3. The Meridian Bridge

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

One of the many free things to do in Yankton, SD, today is to cross the scenic Missouri River on the Meridian Bridge.

Originally built in 1924 as a toll bridge, it was later converted into a pedestrian bridge. The double-decker Meridian Bridge is 3029 feet in length and 18 feet wide.

Walking or biking across this bridge is not only a great way to get some exercise but also an opportunity to enjoy scenic river views.

Adjacent to the bridge is the Meridian Highway Bridge Plaza, which provides historical insights into the bridge’s past and its role in connecting Yankton with Nebraska. Take your time to explore the plaza and learn about the region’s transportation history.

Address: Yankton, SD, United States.

4. Riverside Park

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Although Riverside Park may not have many amenities, it remains one of the top attractions for family outdoor recreation in Yankton, SD.

This picturesque green space stretches along the banks of the Missouri River and features picnic areas, playgrounds, an amphitheater, and walking paths. It’s a serene spot to enjoy a picnic while taking in the view of the river and the neighboring parkland.

Gavins Point Beach, within Riverside Park, provides an ideal location for swimming and sunbathing during the summer months.

The park’s amphitheater hosts weekly concerts by community bands and musicians.

Address: 200 Levee Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

5. Mead Museum

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another unique thing to do in Yankton is to step back in time at the Mead Museum. Located in Westside Park, this museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of the Dakota Territory and Yankton.

Owned by the Yankton County Historical Society, this museum houses and showcases memorabilia of early Yanton and Dakota Territory days, including Native American Sioux, pioneer artifacts, and the development of Yankton as a thriving community.

The museum offers visitors an insight into Yankton’s rich history through exhibits, unique displays, and a variety of outbuildings.

What’s more, the museum also hosts special events and educational programs throughout the year, making it a fantastic destination for visitors of all ages.

Address: 82 Mickelson Drive, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

6. Fantle Memorial Park

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Exploring the Fantle Memorial Park is among the family-friendly things to do in Yankton, SD. This park provides opportunities for visitors to engage in different outdoor activities.

Sprawling 35 acres, Fantle Memorial Park pays tribute to military veterans with the memorial at the center of the park. The park features a full playground with a swing set, walking trails, volleyball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and a horseshoe pit.

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Another great attraction in the park is the 18-hole disc golf course, with well-maintained fairways and a friendly atmosphere.

Grab your discs and challenge your friends to a round of this fun and free-spirited activity while the kids have a good time with the swings on the playground.

Address: 2000 Douglas Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

7. Dakota Theater or Yanktons’ Opera House

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Located in historic downtown Yankton, catching a live performance at the Dakota Theater or Yanktons’ Opera House is one of the romantic things to do in Yankton, SD, at night.

Opened in 1902, the Yankton Opera House is one of the most ancient opera houses in South Dakota. This historic theater features a $10,000 pipe organ, gorgeous seats, and chandeliers.

The Dakota Theater hosts many events, including plays, concerts, and other cultural events. It also provides an intimate setting, allowing couples to spend the evening together.

Address: 328 Walnut Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

8. Hillcrest Golf & Country Club

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Booking a tee time at Hillcrest & Golf Country Club is one of the unique things to do in Yankton, SD, this weekend for golf enthusiasts.

Established in 1954, the Hillcrest Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole championship private golf course offering lush trees and lavish grass that has been known to challenge experienced and inexperienced golfers.

Rated as one of the top public golf courses to play in South Dakota, the club features a beautiful 6,874-yard Par 72 championship course and a beautiful clubhouse with a full selection of equipment, clothing, accessories, and more.

Address: 2206 Mulberry Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

9. Yankton Summit Activities Center

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

One of the fun indoor activities to do in Yankton today is to spend time at the Yankton Summit Activities Center, a recreational center managed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

This state-of-the-art recreational facility features an indoor pool, multi-use rooms, locker facilities, and gymnasiums. It also provides visitors with a well-equipped fitness facility, water aerobics, and personal training programs.

Their fitness room features treadmills, rowing and elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, and steppers. What’s more, the center also features volleyball, softball, and basketball courts.

Address: 1801 Summit Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

10. NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another interesting thing to do on your visit to Yankton, SD, today is to check out the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center, the world’s largest archery center and even shoot a couple of ends or explore the national archery museum.

Sprawling over 100 acres, this state-of-the-art facility features three indoor field ranges, a 3D range with a 40′ elevated platform, two FITA ranges, a 90m indoor range, two classrooms, a fitness studio, indoor tennis courts, and an indoor air rifle.

There is also a museum that showcases a spectacular collection of recurve bows and other historical items.

Tour this facility, learn more about archery, and shop for souvenirs and other archery-related items in the lobby of the Archery Centre.

Address: 800 Archery Lane, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

11. Karttrax Family Fun Park

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another thing on our bucket list of things to do in Yankton, SD, with family is to experience a thrilling adventure at Karttrax Family Fun Park.

Established in 1986, this family-owned and operated facility offers go-kart rides on two different tracks, catering to both kids and adults.

This five-acre fun park also features a beautifully landscaped 18-hole miniature golf course with lots of water features. It also has a bumper boat ride with squirt guns, a kiddie train, and a bumper car ride.

Explore this fun park for a round of family entertainment. Visit the concession for candy, ice cream, and pizza.

Address: 4908 W 8th Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

12. The G.A.R. Hall Gallery

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Built in 1887 by the Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Hall Gallery is one of the must-see attractions in Yankton, South Dakota.

The G.A.R. Hall Art Gallery showcases rotating art exhibits featuring world-renowned artists as well as local and regional artists.

The art gallery also features a collection of antique furniture related to the area’s history, including a territorial courthouse desk and a table used during the Jack McCall trial at the territorial courthouse.

Address: 508 Douglas Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

13. Huether Family Aquatics Center

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

One of the fun things to do in Yankton, SD, in the summer is to escape the summer heat at the Huether Family Aquatics Center.

This state-of-the-art aquatic facility offers a large variety of water features for people of all ages to enjoy. This facility features numerous attractions, including a lazy river with a spray channel and vortex pool, tube slides, body slides, a family pool, a spray zone, an adventure pool, diving boards, a wiggle bridge water walk, an adventure climbing wall, and adventure pool basketball hoops.

Visitors can enjoy the many different attractions and also improve their swimming skills with swimming lessons. What’s more, you can also rent the facility for birthday parties and family reunions.

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Address: 2020 Douglas Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

14. Yankton RiverWalk

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another free thing to do in Yankton is to take a stroll through the city’s Riverwalk. Located in the downtown area of Yankton, this pathway offers a collection of outdoor sculptures designed to entertain and inspire.

These outdoor sculptures were designed to celebrate the history, nature, spirituality, and innocence of childhood. Visitors can admire the Riverwalk’s artistic excellence and experience the serenity and beauty of the Missouri River and nearby Lewis & Clark.

Address: 231 Broadway Avenue #1, Yankton, SD 57078.

15. Sertoma Butterfly House and Aquarium

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

One of the kid-friendly things to do near Yankton is to embark on an unforgettable adventure and discover the wonder of tropical butterflies at Sertoma Butterfly House and Aquarium.

This facility features an aquarium, which displays hundreds of different species of fish and corals in over 20,000 gallons of aquariums. The butterfly house is home to over 800 butterflies from around the world.

It also features a discovery den where parents and children can examine nature’s wonders through interactive exhibits, activities, and educational displays.

Address: 4320 S Oxbow Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57106, United States

16. Yankton Bowl Family Fun Center

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Looking for fun things to do in Yankton, SD, at night? Then, head to the Yankton Bowl Family Fun Center. This entertainment center offers interactive family fun to both locals and visitors.

This center offers 20 bowling lanes featuring sleek lounge seating and massive video walls. They also offer a vast arcade zone with the latest and coolest gaming machines that cater to all age groups. Their on-site restaurant offers tasty pizzas, burgers, and fries, which add to the diversity of entertainment.

Address: 3010 Broadway Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

17. Go Biking

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another outdoor recreational activity to do in Yankton is to explore the network of scenic bike trails that allow users to explore the city and its natural surroundings on two wheels.

18. University of South Dakota

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Located in Vermillion, SD, about 30 minutes from Yankton, exploring the University of South Dakota (USD) is one of the fun things to do near Yankton.

The university campus is a captivating destination in its own right, offering opportunities to explore its historic buildings, attend lectures, or partake in events.

On your visit, explore the National Music Museum, Belbas Center, Aalfs Auditorium, Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts, Akeley-Lawrence Science Center, and Native American Cultural Center.

Address: 414 E Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, United States

19. Missouri National Recreational River

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Located on the border between Nebraska and South Dakota, the Missouri National Recreational River is a protected waterway that meanders through a picturesque landscape.

Managed by the National Park Service, with headquarters in Yankton, South Dakota, this river is perfect for families who want a vacation full of education and exploration.

To truly experience its beauty, embark on kayaking, canoeing, or tubing adventures along this serene and scenic river. Discover hidden alcoves, quiet backwaters, and abundant wildlife as you paddle through the heart of the Midwest.

Address: Yankton, SD, United States.

20. Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Located in Yankton’s Riverside Park, the Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica is one of the top attractions in Yankton, South Dakota.

Patterned after the original Dakota Territorial Capitol built in 1862 and torn down in 1886, the Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica includes photographs of old Yankton, maps of the Dakota Territory, a collection of former Territorial governors, a tribute to the local St. John’s Masonic Lodge, and other artifacts on display.

Visitors can tour the building, which is open upon request through the City of Yankton and can also reserve the space for special events.

Address: Levee Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

21. PLAYX Yankton

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Exploring PLAYX Yankton is one of the fun things to do in Yankton, SD, with family. This amusement park caters to both adults and kids, making it an ideal family destination.

This indoor amusement center features a variety of activities for kids, teens, and adults. Popular attractions include Glow Mini Golf, Nerf Wars, Splatterball, Escape Rooms, Battleball, Table Games, Wild Zone, Cornhole, Video Game Lounge, and many more.

If you’re looking for an ideal place to have fun with the family or a memorable night out with friends, PLAYX Yankton should be on your bucket list.

Address: 103 W 3rd Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

22. Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following the construction of Gavins Point Dam, the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium is one of the must-see attractions in Yankton.

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The hatchery rears threatened and endangered fish species, including the pallid sturgeon and American paddlefish. The hatchery complex features a small exhibit area, two hatching jar batteries, nine indoor cement tanks, a workshop, and a feed room.

The aquarium features thirteen indoor tanks displaying many species of fish, reptiles, and amphibians found in the Missouri River basin.

Visitors can take guided tours of the facility and also get the opportunity to feed the fish and explore two miles of nature trails.

Address: 31227 436th Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

23. Market at the Meridian

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

One of the unique things to do in Yankton, SD, this weekend is to explore the Market at the Meridian, Yankton Farmers Market.

Held every Saturday from May to October in downtown Yankton, this vibrant market is a delightful showcase of the region’s agricultural bounty and local crafts.

On your visit, stroll through the bustling market stalls and discover a wide array of fresh produce, artisanal products, handmade crafts, and more. This market is not only an excellent place to pick up some unique souvenirs but also a fantastic opportunity to sample the flavors of Yankton and the surrounding area.

Address: 2nd and, Douglas Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

24. Go Horseback Riding

Fun Things To Do In Yankton

Another unique thing to do in Yankton is to explore the city’s scenic countryside on horseback. Several local stables offer guided trail rides suitable for riders of all skill levels.

Whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a novice, you can saddle up and explore the area’s natural beauty on horseback.

Vermillion Trails and Golden Hills Ranch are two popular equestrian destinations near Yankton. Their experienced guides will lead you through forests, meadows, and scenic trails, allowing you to connect with nature in a serene setting.

Address: Yankton, SD, United States.

25. Nissen Family Vineyards

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Located in Hartington, Nebraska, about 20 minutes from Yankton, South Dakota, the Nissen Family Vineyards is a delightful destination for wine enthusiasts and those looking for a tranquil and scenic escape.

This family-owned and operated vineyard and winery offers wine tastings where you can sample a variety of handcrafted wines, including whites, reds, and blushes.

You can also take a tour through the tasting process and gain insight into the winemaking techniques and the history of the winery.

While savoring your wine, take in the stunning views of the vineyards and rolling hills that surround the winery.

Address: 88973 NE-57, Hartington, NE 68739, United States

26. The Boat House

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Another fun thing to do in Yankton is to seek adventure at The Boat House in Yankton’s Meridian District. This recreation center offers a wide range of attractions catering to people of all ages.

This facility features axe throwing, a golf simulation, a shuffleboard, a pool, and other fun and games. It also offers one of the best selections of craft beer and wine in the area, along with pizza and other snacks.

Address: 301 E 3rd Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

27. Mazing Acres Pumpkin Patch

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Seeking a thrilling adventure at the Mazing Acres Pumpkin Patch is one of the fun things to do in Yankton, SD, with kids.

Established in 2020, this 15-acre, family-owned and operated farm offers a wide range of attractions and a unique fall festival experience for the whole family.

The farm features a 5-acre corn maze, which is filled with twists and turns that will engage both kids and adults. It also features other attractions such as a mega slide, animal feeding, mega bounce, photo ops, pumpkin picking, barrel train, trike track, obstacle course, and so much more. 

Address: 30851 433rd Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, United States

28. Yankton Community Library

Things To Do In Yankton, SD

Rounding up our list of unique things to do in Yankton is a visit to the Yankton Community Library. This library is more than just a repository of books; it serves as a vibrant community hub, offering a wide array of resources and activities.

Established in 1903, the Yankton Community Library is one of the oldest public libraries in South Dakota. This library houses a vast collection of books, magazines, and digital media such as DVDs and audiobooks. Additionally, the library frequently hosts author talks, reading programs, and art exhibitions.

For those who prefer to unwind and read, the library provides a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. It’s an excellent place to catch up on your reading list or delve into local history with an extensive collection of historical records and documents.

Address: 515 Walnut Street, Yankton, SD 57078, United States.

Plan Your Trip to Yankton, SD

Yankton, South Dakota, offers a wide array of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and historical sites, there’s something for everyone in this hidden gem along the Missouri River.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, Yankton is a destination that should not be missed. Plan your trip today and explore all that this charming city has to offer.

 

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