Seven ways to (barely) leave Sioux Falls and discover something new

Dec. 20, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by the Lincoln County and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations.

Looking for something different to do this holiday break? Try going (just a little) out of town.

The communities in Lincoln and Minnehaha counties are filled with unique shops, dining and entertainment options.

We discovered seven of them we think you’ll agree are worth a quick trip.

EightyOne Arcade Bar

Ready for a retro night out that will satisfy the competitor in you?

You need to pay a visit to EightyOne, Harrisburg’s arcade bar.

This hidden gem can be found tucked into a retail center at 220 S. Cliff Ave.

“EightyOne is dedicated to the authentic arcade experience with over 50 games spanning 40 years. We’ve added several new games, including five pinball machines” owner Errol Stewart said, adding it’s “founded by a gamer, made for everyone.”

There also are six craft beers on tap and “several eclectic bottles,” he said.

EightyOne is hoping to add food if a partner can be found to take over the kitchen.

Hours are 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Monday through Wednesday but is available for private parties.

Even in the Midwest

Now in its second holiday season in Humboldt, this boutique has gained a loyal following.

Even in the Midwest is owned by Stacia Even and Rachael Kapperman and opened online in November 2017. The storefront followed a year later.

Even is from the area originally, as is Kapperman’s husband, so locating on Main Street was an easy decision, Even said.

“It’s where our target market is. We really like to focus on women of the farming community who also like to hunt and get their hands dirty but also dress up and look nice,” she said.

“One of our main reasons for starting this boutique is we felt we needed things that were a little more affordable in our area.”

Shoppers will find casual and dressy women’s clothing and accessories.

There’s a holiday open house from 4 to 8 tonight with discounts and treats.

Regular hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

“The community has really supported us, and our online sales have kept up as well and increased, so we’ve been pleasantly surprised setting up in Humboldt for how well we did,” Even said.


Downtown Dell Rapids makes a great visitor stop any time of year, with lots of local retailers and options for all ages.

One old favorite has a new name, new look and new owner.

It’s Pinz, the longtime Dells Bowl & Cafe at 320 E. Fourth St., which was acquired by Steph Bittner this summer.

“We knew the bowling alley had been for sale, and Dell Rapids needs some entertainment for families and kids, so we decided to give it a shot,” said Bittner, who has lived in the community for more than a dozen years.

Pinz has a new scoring system, a party room, dart room and game room for kids.

“There’s racing games, shuffleboard bowling, crane games where you can win stuffed animals, pinball, Jenga, checkers, a board to draw on and other things to do,” Bittner said.

There’s also a full menu beginning with breakfast at 7 a.m.

“I’ve been surprised at all the support I’ve had from stay-at-home moms and day care centers. They come and the kids bowl,” she said. “And we’ve become a big hit among middle school kids with cosmic bowling.”

There’s also a full liquor license, so “parents can have cocktails and converse, and the kids are out bowling,” Bittner said. “It’s exactly what the town needed, and it’s so fulfilling. When my children were younger, I struggled to find a place to go like that.”

Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Bonus: If you’re a GreatLIFE member, bowl for free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call for reservations at 605-428-3800

The Shoppe

Another new addition to downtown Dell Rapids, The Shoppe, offers a vintage vibe at 501 E. Fourth St. that has become a fast hit with locals. It opened in the fall and is owned by Alice McGinnis, Christi Petersen and Chris Reiff, who met doing vendor shows.

“We just decided we wanted to open a store, and we found this place in Dell Rapids and it was a perfect location, and we just jumped in,” Petersen said. “It was mainly the building that sold us. It has a vintage vibe that goes with our business.”

Two of the owners live in Sioux Falls, and the other is in Madison, so the location made sense too. Each has her own business, but they combine their merchandise in the store.

“We do upcycled and repurposed, so we take furniture that’s worn and dated and update it with painting or staining or a combination,” Petersen said. “We visit thrift stores and rummage sales and curate a look for your home that’s different from what you find in big boxes.”

The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. After the holiday season, The Shoppe becomes an occasional store and likely will be open once a month. Watch here for details.

“The community has been very welcoming,” Petersen added. “We had several businesses drop off flowers and gifts, and a catering company donated food for our grand opening. It was more than we could have ever hoped for. It totally blew our minds.”

‘O’ So Good Restaurant

For a taste of Southern cooking, visit ‘O’ So Good Restaurant in Garretson.

Chef Omar Thornton opened the business in the summer of 2017. Seafood and fish are the stars of the menu, with entrees including a shrimp cheesy hot plate, Cajun seafood pasta, salmon and walleye dishes, and fried catfish. There’s a massive seafood platter that serves at least two people. Non-seafood lovers will find lots of pork, chicken and beef options, and ‘O’ So Good has a few vegetarian options too.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Chef Challenge. Customers can suggest key ingredients for the off-the-menu entree, or they can let Thornton and his crew completely surprise them.

The restaurant on Main Street is open for lunch Wednesday through Friday and reopens for dinner those nights and Saturday.

There’s often live music on Friday and Saturday nights. On the last Sunday of the month – Dec. 29 included – the restaurant hosts the 4G Jam, the Gospel Gathering of Good for God. All musicians are welcome to join in, and everyone’s invited to enjoy Gospel music, singing, prayer, fellowship and food. Thornton cooks up a meal and asks for freewill donations to cover the restaurant’s mission “to help people in need and bring people together through great-tasting food.” The event is from 3 to 5 p.m.

When families come to dine, the front room of the restaurant offers a good place for kids to play while their food is being prepared. There are coloring books and games. They’ll also enjoy shopping in the penny-candy section.

For New Year’s Eve, ‘O’ So Good is hosting a movie, game and dinner night for families. For $32, a family of four will enjoy a buffet, games, activities and the movie “Willow.” Additional tickets for those 8 and older are $5, and additional younger kids get in free. Thornton said the movie will end shortly before midnight in time for a toast. The party will wrap up at 12:30 a.m.

Sioux Valley Grille

Sioux Valley Grille in Canton is getting close to opening its expansion. Stepbrothers Ken O’Brien and Peter Cobb started the restaurant featuring “American comfort food” two years ago across from the Lincoln County Courthouse. They’ve added an adjacent space, which will have a full bar, additional seating for 45 customers and a private dining room that will seat 60 people comfortably.

The restaurant is open from lunch through dinner Wednesday through Friday. It serves dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. Note that in addition to the actual holidays in the coming weeks, it will be closed on Dec. 26.

“We cook every meal to order for our Sunday brunch, and make as much from scratch as possible, from our biscuits and gravy, handmade hollandaise sauce for the eggs Benedict and the hand-whipped cream with cream from Stensland Creamery on our brioche French toast,” Cobb said.

With the additional space, Sunday brunch will turn “into a big, beautiful buffet spread.”

For lunch, diners can find a large selection of sandwiches and burgers, along with a few soups and salads. There also are weekly lunch specials.

The dinner menu features hand-cut steaks, chicken, fish and burgers, along with appetizers and salads. Friday and Saturday nights offer specials, often featuring seafood or fish.

There’s always something for dessert too. Try the hot fudge browning sundae or have a slice of pie.

Take a hike

Want to get out in the fresh air for a hike? State parks southeast of Sioux Falls and near Brandon have special guided ones planned for the solstice and the new year. The events are free, but a park license is required for entry.

Good Earth State Park at Blood Run offers a 1-mile hike on Saturday, the shortest day of the year. The walk starts at 7 p.m. outside the visitor center.

New Year’s Day hikes will be at Good Earth and the Big Sioux Recreation Area.

Good Earth’s 1-mile guided First Day Hike starts at 2 p.m. outside the visitor center. Enjoy hot apple cider outside after the walk.

The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, but it will be closed Dec. 23-25 and Jan. 1.

Big Sioux’s First Day Winter Wonderland Nature Hike starts at 2 p.m. from the picnic shelter. Afterward, there will be hot apple cider and cookies. If there’s enough snow on the ground, the park staff will bring out snowshoes for hikers to try.

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Seven ways to (barely) leave Sioux Falls and discover something new

Looking for something different to do this holiday break? Try going (just a little) out of town.

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