All manner of monsters prowl the halls of the Sioux Falls Jaycees Haunted House. Sadistic clowns smile from shadowed corners, herding visitors into a blood-spattered room where a ghoul in a straitjacket waits. Strobe lights and fog convince the senses that they've entered an otherworldly dimension or a very dusty camera, concealing the ghastly robotics and props lurking around each bend?such as a leering, demonic child named Hex. Though the attraction seeks to terrify, its ultimate goal is far more altruistic: ticket profits go to the Sioux Falls Jaycees, a community-service group whose volunteers don masks and gallons of fake blood to staff the entire house.
The clubhouse at Les Bois Park serves a roster of classic American noshables to patrons wagering on speedy-steed sprints. Diners can safely bet on snacks such as breaded jalapeño poppers deep-fried and crammed with cream cheese ($7). Or bide time pre-race by devouring a basket of beer-battered onion rings ($8) or by using them to engage in a wager-worthy bout of wrist hula-hooping. Beefeaters will find char-broiled satisfaction with a Back Stretch burger slathered with thousand-island dressing and swiss cheese ($9) or a rib-eye steak ($18) hand-cut, grilled to order, and served with a baked potato and a vegetable medley.
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).
As the only laugh factory up and cooking in the Sioux Falls area, Fat Daddy's hosts the region's top comedic talents with nightly shows. This summer, catch BET, Showtime, and Comedy Central vet Brian Green in an original performance, or see Minnesotan and former farmer Elaine Thompson in fully upright action that's infinitely preferable to watching stand-up comedy performed by life-size cardboard people posters. Seating for all shows is on a first-come, first-served basis, and local notables emcee all programs.
The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, led by critically acclaimed music director Delta David Gier, makes virtuosic musical vibrations accessible to symphonic sound-seeking eardrums. Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, (The Song of the Earth), is a song-and-string interpretation of seven ancient Chinese poems. The six-movement symphony, which lasts about 65 minutes, has been described as Mahler’s most personal work. It is theorized that Mahler was taken by the poems' descriptions of the simultaneous beauty and transience of earthly existence and the secret method for training gerbils to windsurf.