Nestled within Empire Mall, Xcite Family Fun Center enraptures youngsters with inflatables, video games, and tasty treats. Sock-clad kids bound across the center’s ever-changing selection of inflatables—which frequently includes Batman- and Disney princess-themed bouncers—navigate obstacle courses, and race down slides. The arcade entices players with games such as air hockey, skee-ball, and Star Wars Racer, and the enclosed toddler zone pairs wee ones with age-appropriate inflatables, slides, and coloring-book versions of the tax code.
In between rounds of bouncing and gaming, kids can reenergize with grilled-cheese sandwiches, pretzels, or pizza at the snack bar. Open-play sessions run until 9 p.m. Monday–Saturday, and parents or grandparents can accompany their children for free.
Swiss army knives are famed for the many vital tools hidden in the nooks and crannies of their surprisingly small exterior; Star Performance Complex takes a similar approach to educating kids in fitness. Their instructors offer swimming, gymnastics, tae kwon do, and dance lessons to tykes who enjoy competitive athleticism. They also provide day and night care that combines structured activity with open play in their fun gyms, which feature not only gymnastics equipment but inflatable play houses. Other teachers focus on team sports, training kids to work together in softball, soccer, and cheer. All of this – excepting the swim lessons – takes place in their single, colorful facility full of squeaky hardwood, soft mats, and all the equipment a kids needs to build a strong body.
Sioux Falls Flight School’s FAA-certified instructors oversee aspiring pilots as they learn to navigate celestial spheres. During lessons, they teach students how to take the reins of a Cessna Skyhawk, using the Garmin G1000 cockpit as a guide through the sky. The flight time they offer can be used toward earning a commercial or private piloting license, or simply allows pupils to bear down on the basics of flying, a practice that has confounded ostriches for centuries.
The blender operators at Juice Stop power bodies and please taste buds with a menu of smoothies and juices made from real fruits and vegetables. Blades slice through pineapple bits, blending in sherbet, yogurt, and coconut to create the Double Dribble smoothie, and the 4x8 smoothie combines skim milk, yogurt, honey, peanut butter, and bananas for liquid sustenance ($3.44–$4.44). Each thick beverage includes a free nutrient boost such as the daily blend, with 51 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that supplement nutrition, or the intensity blend, with creatine, potassium, and phosphates to power trips to Europe via row boat. Drinkable salads in the form of veggie-combo juices combine carrots with other healthy options such as parsley, apples, and spinach ($3.69–$4.91), and just-crushed oranges tickle tongues with a sweet juicy tang ($3.97–$5.14). Hands grip hot drinks, warming fingers with the Top Shelf—apple and cranberry juice brewed with cloves and cinnamon—or the Alpine Slide, a cascade of mint and hot chocolate pouring over a scoop of vanilla yogurt ($2.80–$2.95).
Landshark Scuba is one of South Dakota's only Professional Association of Diving Instructors–certified centers; the facility has been educating landlocked locals in the diving arts since 2005. With the Discover Scuba class ($35), novice divers will be introduced to scuba diving within the safe and relatively shark-free confines of Landshark's pool (a $5.35 pool fee is included with this deal). Diving basics will be covered by Landshark's staff of friendly and experienced masters of maritime mobility. Should you choose to pursue further diving instruction at Landshark, credit from this beginner's class will count towards your PADI Open Water certification.
A verdant par 3 course complete with 18 holes, Hidden Valley invites adventurous golfers to crack open a bag of clubs and send their golf balls out to roam the greens in search of the elusive hole in one. Clubbers of every caliber can partner up and enjoy the back and front nines, strolling from hole to hole as they practice putts, collect divots, and scrape a cryptic message into each sand trap. Hidden Valley is owned and managed by the Reiter family, whose golf heritage reaches back to the 1950s, a time when the pros were paid in livestock and Henry Ford had yet to invent the golf cart.