Are you looking for an amazing place to have the best fun during your trip? We will be listing fun things to do in Brookings (SD) on arrival, and you can be rest assured this place has what it takes to make your stay here a lovely one.
Brookings is the 4th largest city in South Dakota in Brooking County, U.S., named after one of the early South Dakota pioneer promoters in the person of Wilmot Brookings.
Heavy on German & Norwegian ancestry, this town is a great historical attraction with lots of beautiful things to do; parks, historic sites, trails, restaurants, etc., will make you gush over this beautiful city.
And for movie lovers, it’ll interest you to know that Brookings is the hometown of the main character in Netflix’s series ‘Love,’ Gus Cruikshank.
Let’s explore, shall we?
Fun Things To Do In Brookings (SD)
1. Visit South Dakota Art Museum
Stop at the South Dakota Art Museum if you are in Brookings, especially for art lovers.
It is a small site just inside South Dakota State University campus. The South Dakota Art Museum is home to over 6,000 works of art that will thrill you.
Sculptures, paintings, and pottery are all available here. The museum’s major is Harvey Dunn’s permanent collection is the major attraction of the museum, including Dunn’s wartime pieces. You can check them out.
Paul Goble’s illustrations and Marghab Linens have special galleries to display their work.
Address: 1036 Medary Ave, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
2. Learn History at the Agricultural Heritage Museum
Head to the Agricultural Heritage Museum to learn about agriculture’s key role in South Dakota’s History and economy.
On South Dakota State University campus, the main focus of the Agricultural Heritage Museum is on the changes in agriculture over time and the way of life of the locals in South Dakota.
Featuring also is a big 1915 J.I. Case Steam Traction Engine 65 horsepower, a copy of the 1915 farmhouse, and an an1862 homestead shanty.
It is a lovely place to visit with kids as well, and It has a lot of exploration sites for children and many toys.
Address: 977 11th St, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
3. Visit the South Dakota State University Arboretum
The Arboretum is located on the north side of McCrory Gardens; the South Dakota State University Arboretum sits over 45 acres of land. It has a fascinating display of trees, grasses, and shrubs.
You can learn about local species of trees and the efforts specialists make to introduce and naturalize new species in the northern Great Plains.
Openes from morning till evening all week and has a lot of paths people can use to explore each section.
Address: 631 22nd Ave, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
Things To Do In Brookings (SD) For Kids
1. Stop t the Children’s Museum Of South Dakota
The South Dakota Children’s Museum is a lovely space for kids to drop by on a trip to Brookings.
The venue has what it takes for children of all ages to get an experience here.
Imagine a House gallery is a section that allows the kids to see different lifestyles worldwide, like Mozambique and Guatemala.
The KidsStreet Community is also a wonderful section that depicts the everyday lifestyle, like supermarkets and the post office.
The mini Explorers gallery displays tailor-made exhibits for kids ages 0 to 4.
Address: 521 4th St, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Get Fresh Air at Dakota Nature Park
Visit Dakota Nature Park and let the kids explore and play to their satisfaction in this massive space park.
The Nature Park is a 135-acre nature reserve with a network of walk paths and a few ponds where fishing and kayaking can be done.
Lots of wildlife are available, so the kids can get to see them, and if you happen to be around during the fall, the kids have a picture-perfect location.
You can take pets alongside the kids to the park, and the pets can swim in the ponds. It is all-around fun for everybody.
Address: 1705 32nd St S, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. See McCrory Gardens
Take the kids to experience and take in the beautiful site of the McCrory Gardens, a nice place to explore once in Brookings.
McCrory Gardens is a 25-acre botanical garden and 45-acre Arboretum, bringing together South Dakota’s flora in one place.
The venue is usually open from morning to evening and includes a lot of walking ways people can jog or bike while seeing the different shrubs and trees.
McCrory Gardens is pet-friendly and allows pups to wander the trails, but they should be leashed at all times.
Address: 631 22nd Ave, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
Romantic Things To Do In Brookings (SD)
1. Have a Drink at Local Craft Brewery
Head to Downtown Brookings, filled with nice places to sit over a beer with your partner in South Dakota.
Passionate for beer, the Eponymous brewing company is known for using local ingredients in its beers and adding traditional brewing techniques with the advances of modern brew science.
Wooden Legs Brewing Company is another wonderful alternative that serves top beers, including consistent flagships and a large selection of rotating seasonal taps.
Address: 309 5th St #100, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Go Antique Shopping in Downtown Brookings
Downtown Brookings is an amazing site with many antique shops that will drop your jaw.
The Antique Gallery Mall is a multi-dealer antique mall and is an optimal place to start treasure-hunt sessions.
Spanning two levels, the mall has every antique, from vintage clothes and comic books to Victorian furniture.
It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm; a little shopping here won’t hurt with your partner. A vacation is never complete without some shopping.
Address: 324 Main Ave #1, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Stop at SDSU Dairy Bar for Ice Cream
Head to SDSU to enjoy a creamy cone with your partner. This is one of the fun things to do in Brookings, SD.
The SDSU Dairy Bar has over 50 flavors, and the ice cream is usually prepared on-site; it is fresh, as you can witness the cow-to-cone process right before you!
You can also purchase sherbets and half-gallon containers. The only downside is that their hours are challenging as they are not open in the evening and on weekends, but try to visit when you can!
Address: 1225 College Ave, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
Things To Do In Brookings (SD) For Couples
1. Tets Your Archery Skills at the Brookings County Outdoor Adventure Center
Get to the County Adventure Center to try some thrilling events with your partner, which is highly recommended; this complex is a 29,530-square-foot facility featuring an indoor gun and archery range.
The venue focuses major on shooting sports and has twelve shooting lanes where locals and visitors come to hone their shooting skills; we can assure you it will be such a lovely time.
The center also offers archery ranges and classes for adults and kids interested in this fantastic sport; anyone interested can hop on.
Address: 2810 22nd Ave S, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Visit Larson Park
Larson Park on 22nd Avenue is another awesome place to chill with your partner; especially if you love golfing; then head to the 20-hole ditch golf spot in the park.
The course has several pin placements and concrete tee pads, with different challenges at each hole.
The difficult section is on the southeast side of the golf course, where you’ll need extra discs as you have to shoot over the lagoon.
The course is easy to navigate, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenes of Larson Park while playing.
The park provides a bike trail, a basketball court, playground equipment, and a spacious space for picnics. It will be a lovely time here.
Address: 22nd Ave S & Eastbrook Dr, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Enjoy a Beautiful Downtown Musical Performance
Don’t miss this fun musical festival Downtown at Sundown. It is a cool place to be, giving such an exciting feeling.
This is a five-week outdoor summer music festival held in Brookings annually from July to August.
It is free and held on 5th Street and Main Avenue in Downtown Brookings, which everyone is free to attend.
Start with vendors’ shops opening at 5:30 pm each night and then the performance of the headliner band by 6:00 pm.
Visitors can enjoy shopping, yard games, and other engaging activities during the Downtown at Sundown asides from the food and music.
Address: South Dakota 57006, USA
Free Things To Do In Brookings (SD)
1. Enjoy the Summer Arts Festival
The Brookings Summer Arts Festival is one to look forward to; it takes place every July, so planning your trip to Brookings to enjoy this event would be awesome.
They have a lot of artists from across the country, representing various art disciplines, participate in this art festival.
Also featuring are artisans offering packed cottage food for gourmet tastes and natural skin products.
The Brookings Summer Arts Festival celebrates the city’s heritage with several historical displays.
The Brookings’ Pioneer Park on 6th Street hosts the festival and often includes a children’s area that offers educational activities and fun to kids. Entertainers also perform at the park’s bandshell and side stages during the festival.
Address: Pioneer Park, 104 6th St W, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Visit the Pump Park
Pump Park is a large space with many trails, and this mountain bikers’ haven stretches for nearly two miles starting from the south end of the Southbrook Softball Complex.
Pump Park can also be accessed via the recreational trail, which loops the Dakota Nature Park and is a cool hangout spot.
You can play soccer with friends or sit and reminisce about the day and watch the beautiful scenery at the park.
Meeting and making new friends here is inevitable as you have a lot of people coming in, and if you are a social bee, you will go home with lots of contacts.
This is such a fun thing to do in Brookings, do well to check it out.
Address: 1705 32nd St S, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Visit the Softball Complex
This sports facility on 22nd Avenue South hosts state softball tournaments, among other events.
The Southbrook Softball Complex has five lighted softball diamonds for adult and youth sports and tournament play.
In addition to these fields, the complex has full support facilities, including aluminum bleacher seating, concessions, and restrooms.
It has numerous picnic shelters plus a large, gravel, off-street parking lot for a family picnic.
The complex, moreover, nestles among lush trees providing shade to players and spectators.
Address: 22nd Ave S, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
Cheap Things To Do In Brookings (SD)
1. Check out Prairie Lanes
This Prairie Lane has a bowling alley, a restaurant for a quick meal, a lounge area, and a relaxation spot.
It’s also another fun place to spend time with the family as you get to bowl together.
The Lanes offer 26 high-quality lanes with easy automatic scoring for family, friends, and league bowling.
You can join a league, have a party, or bowl for fun. Ten lanes are dedicated to Spark Bowling.
Address: 722 Western Ave, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Stop at the Pioneer Park
A stop at Pioneer Park is one of the fun things to do in Brookings, South Dakota.
Both kids and adults can use this park for outdoor activities such as picnics. It has a volleyball, a basketball court, a large space to explore.
You can play as long as you want as it is open from 8 am to 8 pm and it opens all week. You can meet other people as well to vibe along.
It is a cool place, as it’ll be worth your time.
Address: Pioneer Park, 6th St & 1st Ave, 104 6th St W, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Visit Hillcrest Aquatic Center
The Aquatic Center hosts four big swimming pools with diving boards and water slides.
It features a huge, zero-depth leisure pool, an enclosed body slide and open tube slide with sand play areas, and a separate deck rented for parties.
With its tree-topping slides, fountains, “plumber’s nightmare,” climb-aboard decks, and piping that drizzles, drips, sprays, and splashes pool-goers, the water park can keep the whole family entertained for an entire day and then some.
Concession stands provide all the fun food necessary to satisfy the hungry and the thirsty. Pack your towel and shades, and have a good read. Large grass areas surround the leisure pool for easy lounging.
Address: 1505 5th St, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
Cool Places To Visit In Brookings (SD)
1. Nick’s Hamburger Shop
Nick’s Hamburger Shop has been a staple food group for any Brookings local and neighbor alike since 1929.
The two-ounce mini burgers come with a few different options, but fries are not one of them.
The homemade pie selection and delicious shakes are other delicacies to look forward to
You’ll have to pick a number to place an order; one burger is never enough. You can choose plain, with cheese, or double-stacked. The toppings are simple.
Do well to stop by here, as it is a fun thing to do in Brookings, SD.
Address: 427 Main Ave, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Arrowhead Park
This multi-purpose park on Indian Hills Road spreads over 16.1 acres in a cool residential neighborhood.
Residents and visitors can enjoy ample green space for outdoor team games like tag football.
The park provides an outdoor basketball court, a tennis court, and playground equipment.
Arrowhead Park has picnic tables, restrooms, and a recreational trail for biking and walking.
This pathway links to the Brookings trail system and the Indian Hills trail meandering around the park’s neighboring community. This is a fun thing to do in Brookings, SD.
Address: 1115 Indian Hills Rd, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Coughlin Campanile
Strolling around South Dakota University is a great way to broaden your view.
Don’t miss their main building, built from red bricks, features a high-arching chime tower called the Coughlin Campanile.
Standing at 165 feet tall, Coughlin Campanile dates back to 1929 and is now part of the U.S. Register of Historic Places.
Beyond that, you can also see their stadium and many other buildings and landmarks found throughout the paved walkways of the university.
South Dakota State University’s aesthetic is picture-perfect and makes for a great photo spot.
Address: 940 Medary Ave, Brookings, SD 57006, USA
Things To Do In Brookings (SD) At Night
1. Watch a Movie at Brookings Cinema 8
The Brookings is one of the best places to spend quality time with friends and family and watch a much-anticipated movie.
Located on 6th Street in the busy districts of Brookings, this movie theater has everything you can ask for to give you a smooth viewing experience.
The theatre was recently renovated and remodeled in 2017, so you’re sure to get a clean and vibrant cinema experience in Brookings Cinema 8.
Prices are great despite the renovations, and they offer delicious popcorn and an assortment of drinks.
Address: 219 6th St, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
2. Have Fun at the Fear Asylum Hunted House
The Fear Asylum House is one of the daring yet thrilling things to do in Brookings if you plan to diversify your schedule and add a little spice.
A haunted house sure to test your courage, this place has modern costumes, competent actors, and extremely professional customer service.
The haunted house doubles as an escape room, making it a perfect addition to your plans if you’re visiting with a close group of friends or relatives.
While scary, this place is also a great bonding experience for teenagers who won’t mind the adrenaline rush.
Located along 6th Street, head there to see if you have what it takes to withstand fear, and it would be fun.
Address: 216 6th St W, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
3. Head to 9 Bar & Club
The 9 Bar and Nightclub is a modern club connected to Cubby’s Sports Bar & Grill. The club offers a college atmosphere, a huge dance floor, and daily drink specials, and it would be a cool place to cool off your evening.
The full-service bar nearly stretches the entire length of the club, and the upper deck offers a more intimate setting, which is great for bachelorette parties.
Many people come here to unwind; it would be okay to make new friends if you wish.
The 9 Bar is also available for larger-scale get-togethers, like your office ugly sweater party! Just call ahead to make a reservation.
Address: 305 Main Ave, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
Indoor Activities In Brookings (SD) For Adults
1. Royal River Casino
Royal River Casino/Hotel recently renovated its property to offer the most comfortable, inviting space for gaming, dining, and lodging you’ll likely find in the area.
Visit to see The gaming floor at the Royal River Casino includes Las Vegas-style slot machines which are very popular with visitors and locals, in addition to blackjack and poker tables.
The casino also features entertainment options and a large-scale buffet. Featuring a star-studded lineup, you will enjoy a full season of big laughs, music, and an unforgettable experience at the casino.
Address: 607 S Veterans St, Flandreau, SD 57028, United States
2. Watch a Play at Prairie Repertory Theatre
Prairie Repertory Theatre provides yearly summer theater for the entire family. They train student company members and showcase their talent to the wider community.
Prairie Repertory Theatre offers four shows each season, from Broadway to Musicals.
Prairie Repertory Theatre (P.R.T.) is an extension of the State University Theatre Program, allowing students to produce four performances each summer.
Not to mention providing the community with some great entertainment when the weather’s too hot to handle.
All shows are performed at the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center on the campus of South Dakota State University.
Address: 1601 University Blvd, Brookings, SD 57007, United States
3. Attend Paws For Wine Gala
Are you an animal lover or have a thing for the well-being of this fluffy creature? Then head to the Brookings Humane Society’s annual Paws for a Wine event.
This is a gala fundraiser for the local animal shelter geared towards animal protection and well-being; a little token here won’t be bad. This is surely a cool place to be and a fun thing to do in Brookings, S.D.
It is usually laced with wine tasting, meals, live music, a silent auction, and more. Check out BrookingsHumane.Org! GA $60 V.I.P. $90
Address: 824 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57006
With all the various points of interest that this city offers, you won’t run out of things to do in Brookings.
A visit to the campus of the city’s South Dakota State University alone should highlight a fulfilling trip to Brookings, among other things.
We’ve detailed in this article the list of things to help you navigate on arrival, as we would love you to have the best of time during your vacation.
Let us know in the comments which of these you would look up first when you arrive. Happy travels.