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18 Best Things to Do in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Aberdeen, South Dakota, is known for its beautiful scenery and rolling hills. The city is home to Northern State University and many beautiful parks.

There are several excellent fishing areas throughout the state that contain some of the largest fish in South Dakota. Whether it is summer or winter, there always seems to be a festival going on to celebrate a special event.

Plus, the region is filled with history museums, amusement parks, and top attractions that guarantee family fun.

Holiday Inn Express Suites Aberdeen
1. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aberdeen, an IHG Hotel Top Recommendation

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aberdeen is ideally located for business and leisure travelers alike, offering a convenient base for exploring everything that Aberdeen has to offer. The hotel features a restaurant, fitness center, bar and shared lounge, as well as an indoor pool, hot tub and 24-hour front desk. Each rooms comes complete with a wardrobe, flat-screen TV, private bathroom and bed linen and towels.

Fairfield by Marriott Inn Suites Aberdeen
2. Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Aberdeen, SD

Introducing the Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Aberdeen, SD! The hotel is conveniently located just 1.8 km from Melrose Addition and 3.1 km from Aberdeen Regional Airport. It offers sa variety of rooms and suites to fit your needs, all of which are equipped with free WiFi, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs. Fairfield's on-site amenities include an indoor pool, fitness center, and 24-hour front desk.

My Place Hotel Aberdeen SD
3. My Place Hotel-Aberdeen, SD

Looking for a place to stay in Aberdeen that won't break the bank? Look no further than My Place Hotel! The hotel's clean and comfortable guest rooms are equipped with all the amenities you need for a relaxing stay, including air conditioning, cable TV, a microwave, a coffee machine, and more. And its location can't be beat - just minutes from Melrose Addition and Aberdeen Regional Airport.

Things to Do in Aberdeen, South Dakota

Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Aberdeen.

1. Dacotah Prairie Museum

Dacotah Prairie Museum Aberdeen, South Dakota
Dacotah Prairie Museum/flickr

The Dacotah Prairie Museum is a great place to take your kids. Explore the past of this part of South Dakota by going through the museum and experiencing the early days of the area. 

Kids can get a hands-on experience learning about pioneer life, Native American bison hunts, early farming, prairie history, and ranching days that made Aberdeen what it is today.

The museum’s mission is to preserve the region’s history, highlight the wonderful artistic community and present the rich cultural heritage of the area. This includes the early Native American history as well as the recent history of Aberdeen and surrounding areas.

You can check the drop-down menu on the museum’s website to learn about the upcoming offerings.

The museum opens at 10 am every morning, making it a good option as the first thing to do on your list when you visit Aberdeen.

If you like history museums, make sure to check out the Johnson Fine Arts Center too.

2. Aberdeen Community Theatre

Aberdeen Community Center
Aberdeen Community Center / Facebook

Aberdeen Community Theatre is an excellent way to entertain the family. They offer plays, musical shows, and many other productions throughout the season.

This unique theater features top-notch entertainment along with amazing sets that will take you right into the action of each performance. Favorite shows like “Shrek the Musical”, “Mamma Mia!”, and Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” are always a hit with audiences of all ages.

The Aberdeen Community Theatre Production is among the best things to do in Aberdeen and the perfect way to get closer to the wonderful artistic community in the city.

3. Aberdeen Aquatic Center

An aerial view of Aberdeen Aquatic Center
Aberdeen Aquatic Center / Facebook

The Aberdeen Aquatic Center is a great place to take a swim, enjoy a workout, and partake in outdoor activities.

This center has something for everyone with its indoor and outdoor pools, diving boards, bumper boats, and slides.

The aquatic center is open from June to August and has a number of exciting activities, such as drop slides and diving boards.

If you’re a fan of water activities, you’ll find this center to be one of the most fun things to do in Aberdeen.

4. Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

sand lake national wildlife
Management / TripAdvisor

The Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place to birdwatch, go for a walk, or just take in the natural scenery. The refuge is open year-round and has a number of trails to explore.

It’s still advised to call the refuge before going, as the visitor’s center and some other attractions may be closed due to Covid-19 regulations.

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge is home to a large variety of plant and animal life, including over 230 different types of birds. If you’re interested in birds, you can pick up pamphlets at the national park’s office that will tell you what bird species are in the area.

While you’re there, stay at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel Aberdeen, especially if you’re traveling with your significant other.

The hotel is close to the refuge and other attractions, such as Brown County Speedway. You can get the best deal with the Loyalty Program.

See Related: Ways to Book the Cheapest First Class Flights

5. Wylie Park

Wylie Park Campground Entrance
Wylie Park Campground/facebook

If you’re on the hunt for what to do in Aberdeen, don’t miss out on Wylie Park. This park is a great place for a family picnic, a walk, or to just enjoy the outdoors.

The park has an extensive playground, a duck pond, basketball courts, and much more.

One of the best things about Wylie Park is that it’s always open and free to the public. You’ll also find bike trails, go-karts, and miniature golf courses in the park.

So, if you’re looking for a place to spend an afternoon, this park should be at the top of your list.

See Related: Where to Travel for Your Birthday

6. Richmond Lake Recreation Area

Richmond Lake Recreation Area
Richmond Lake and Mina Lake Recreation Areas/facebook

The Richmond Lake Recreation Area is a great place to go fishing, canoeing, or just take a walk. This area is open year-round and has a number of trails for hikers and bikers.

The recreation area is also home to the Richmond Lake Campground, which has a number of campsites. If you’re looking for an outdoor camping adventure, you can’t go wrong with the Richmond Lake Recreation Area. Make sure you stop by when you’re looking for fun things to do in Aberdeen.

If you want to live in proximity to the lake, book a room at the AmericInn by Wyndham Aberdeen Event Center. The hotel is near the regional airport and is only 2.4 kilometers from Richmond Lake.

7. Downtown Summer Concert Series

Concert Attendees

If you’re in Aberdeen during summer, you can’t miss out on this summer concert series. The weekly event features a different artist every Thursday evening from May until August.

You can also enjoy live music at local restaurants, bars, and breweries throughout the warmer seasons as well.

If you’re looking for free things to do, you’ll find that this concert series is one of the best activities in Aberdeen.

Stay at the Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Aberdeen if you plan to catch several concerts on your trip to Aberdeen. The hotel is close to the airport and has an indoor pool along with other amenities.

8. Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center

Aberdeen Recreation Cultural Center
Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center – ARCC/facebook

The Aberdeen Recreation & Cultural Center is a great place to enjoy indoor activities, visit art galleries, or just have fun with your family. This facility has something for everyone, regardless of their age and interests.

It’s one of those unknown places that turn out to be gems once you visit.

Some of the classes offered at the recreation center include dance, art, martial arts, and more. The cultural center also has a computer lab, which is perfect for anyone who wants to get some work done.

Make sure you stop by the recreation center when you’re looking for things to do in Aberdeen, SD. You won’t be disappointed.

9. The Village Bowl

Inside The Village Bowl
The Village Bowl / Facebook

The Village Bowl in Aberdeen is a great place to go for a fun night out with friends. They have a wide variety of bowling lanes, as well as arcade games and pool tables. The Village Bowl is also home to the best pizza in town.

The staff at the Village Bowl are always friendly and welcoming, and they are always willing to help you with whatever you need. The prices are very reasonable, and the food is delicious.

If you are looking for a great place to bowl in Aberdeen, the Village Bowl is definitely worth checking out. Since it’s not a full-day activity, you may want to hit some other places after the Bowl.

In that case, you can book a vehicle from Kayak to visit multiple attractions in a day.

10. Capitol Cinema

Inside Capitol Cinema Aberdeen
Capitol Cinema Aberdeen / Facebook

When you’re short of things to do in Aberdeen, it’s time to head over to the historic Capitol Cinema on Aberdeen’s main street, where you will find an interesting and eclectic mix of movies playing at any given time.

This cinema is a great place to catch a movie with friends, or to take the family for an afternoon or evening out. If you’re planning to stay in the city for a month or longer, you can get a subscriber card that offers discounts and deals on admission prices, making it one of the more budget-friendly Aberdeen things to do.

See Related: Best Things to do in Fargo, North Dakota

11. SkateAway

Kids dancing at SkateAway Play ground
SkateAway Aberdeen/facebook

SkateAway is a popular venue for kids’ birthday parties, family celebrations, school holidays activities, and more. This skating rink has fun entertainment all year round, so you can rollerblade (or skate) to your heart’s content.

If you want to take a break from skating, there are plenty of other things to do at SkateAway, including an arcade and gift shop.

SkateAway is a great place to take the kids for an afternoon or evening out and is sure to keep them entertained for hours on end.

The prices are very reasonable, and you can definitely have a lot of fun on a budget.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to do in Deadwood, South Dakota

12. Allevity Entertainment

Allevity Entertainment Entrance
Allevity Entertainment-Aberdeen, South Dakota/facebook

Allevity Entertainment is a great place to hang out when you’re in the city. This is a place where people of all ages can come and play pool, air hockey, foosball, and other fun table games.

Being one of the best Aberdeen things to do, Allevity Entertainment is also home to several arcade games that are sure to keep anyone entertained.

You can even rent out their large party room for your next big celebration.

13. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints chapel
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/facebook

If you want to get closer to the cultural and religious side of Aberdeen, head over to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can visit the church to learn more about the Mormon faith and meet other people who share your beliefs.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also offers a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, including youth groups, family history classes, and more.

The church is a great place to come if you’re looking for a sense of community and belonging.

See Related: Best Things to do in Deadwood, South Dakota

14. Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park ss (1)
Fort Sisseton Historic State Park/flickr

If you’re looking for the best things to do in the Aberdeen area this weekend, a day trip to Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is a great idea. Located about an hour and a half outside of Aberdeen, this historical site offers up an interesting look at South Dakota’s past, and it’s sure to keep you entertained for hours on end.

The Fort Sisseton Historic State Park offers guided tours of the fort, as well as reenactments, cannon firing demonstrations, and more.

The park is known for having an abundance of wildlife, so you can be sure to get a chance to see some wonderful animals if you pay them a visit. 

15. Bramble Park Zoo

Bramble Park Zoo Front view
Bramble Park Zoo/facebook

The Bramble Park Zoo represents 130 species and 500 animals. It’s a family-friendly zoo with plenty of opportunities to interact with the animals. Lots of cuddly creatures too!

It’s a small zoo but has a great variety, and you can get pretty close to many of the animals, thanks to the wide-open spaces in which they live. Since it’s at a distance from Aberdeen, you can book a vehicle from Kayak to take the kids out for the day.

A standard vehicle that accommodates five adults and three bags will cost you anywhere from $50 to $60, which is quite a steal. Make a road trip out of it!

See Related: Famous Historical Landmarks in North Dakota

16. Revive Day Spa

Outside Revive Day Spa
Revive Day Spa / Facebook

If you’re exhausted after doing all Aberdeen activities, it’s time to book a spa treatment at Revive Day Spa. Specializing in massage, the Revive Day Spa is the best place to relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

You can get an hour massage and spend the day unwinding and pampering yourself. There are also reflexology treatments, which cleanse your body of toxins, leaving you looking refreshed and healthy.

See Related: Things to Do in Yankton

17. Aberdeen Murals

Murals are a common sight in Aberdeen. You’ll see everything from historical scenes to modern artwork adorning the sides of buildings throughout the city.

Some of the murals are interactive, and you can even pose for a picture in front of them. If you’re looking for something interesting to do in Aberdeen, take a walk around town and admire all of the beautiful murals in the city. In fact, if you want something for your Instagram, photographing murals is among the best things to do in Aberdeen SD.

Speaking of photographs, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Aberdeen is one of the most picturesque hotels in the city, which is also close to the airport and offers a wide range of amenities.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

18. Storybook Land and Land Oz

House in Storybook Land
Storybook Land and Land Oz/flickr

One of the most exciting Aberdeen, South Dakota things to do is Storybook Land, which is an ode to fairy tales. With over 30 animated characters and a variety of rides, this is the perfect place for kids and adults of all ages.

Land Oz is also a great place to visit, with its variety of shops and restaurants. You can even meet Dorothy and her friends from the Wizard of Oz while you’re there. Both Storybook Land and Land Oz are great places to spend the day, and you’re sure to have a blast while you’re there.

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