Eight outdoor activities to try this summer around Aberdeen

Wondering what to do to get some sun this summer?

Whether you’re strolling through an arboretum or relaxing by the pool or lake, the Aberdeen area is full of options to help you get outdoors. Don’t forget to hydrate and take sunscreen.

Here are eight fun options in and around town.

Stroll through the Kuhnert Arboretum

On the south side of Aberdeen along Moccasin Creek, a walk through Kuhnert Arboretum is a great activity for families and people of all ages.

Visitors can stop at the educational center where they can learn about various plants and ecosystems or they can visit the rose garden. There are no admission fees.

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Hike to Sica Hollow State Park

About 15 miles northwest of Sisseton, there is plenty to see in Sica Hollow. With over 8 miles of trails, Sica Hollow is the perfect place for beginners. There are even trails for horses to take.

Sica Hollow is also a great place for picnicking and bird watching. Just watch out for tics.

As with other state parks, it costs $8 per vehicle to park at Sica Hollow for a day. A $36 annual pass can also be used and will grant you access to all South Dakota state parks for the year.

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Birdwatch at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Sand Lake is open daily from sunrise to sunset, with its visitor center open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. About 25 miles outside of Aberdeen, the wildlife refuge of nearly 22,000 acres is a great place for nature lovers.

Birdwatchers can see over 200 species of birds, mostly made up of wetland-dependent migrants. There are also five different areas to go fishing around the lake. Deer, ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge can be hunted on the refuge in season.

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Float down the lazy river at the Aberdeen Aquatic Center

The Aberdeen Aquatic Center is a great family activity. Visitors can float down the lazy river, swim laps, or use the slides.

Daily admission to the aquatic center is $8 for adults, $6 for ages 2 to 17, and $7 for seniors. Season passes are also available.

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Don’t forget Lake Mina

The Mina Lake recreation area offers room for many types of water activities. Visitors can go boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. Kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and water mattresses are all available for rent.

Standard state park admission applies, and there is an additional charge for camping or rentals.

Visit Wylie Park and Storybook Land

There is plenty to do in Wylie Park. Families can experience different children’s stories and characters at Storybook Land, while mini golf and go-karting are popular activities at Thunder Road.

Thunder Road is open 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Visiting the famous city park and Storybook Land is free, although fees are charged for concessions, rides, and camping. Or just pack a picnic.

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The Downtown Summer Concert Series is a free and fun summer option in Aberdeen.  The next concert will be on July 14.  American News file photo

Drink a beer in town while listening to music

Once a month during the summer there is free live music in Aberdeen city centre. The next concert will be on July 14. The latest will be on August 26 as part of the Sizzlin’ Summer Nights car and bike show.

Make it a night as vendors and food trucks will be offering food and drink, including beer and wine. All the action takes place at Malchow Plaza, 506 S. Main St.

Explore Lake Richmond

Less than 10 miles outside of Aberdeen, Richmond Lake Recreation Area is a great place for hikers, campers, disc golfers and beachgoers. As with other state parks, a daily or annual pass is required.

Visitors can bike or hike the trails, while kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are available for rent. Don’t forget your beach chair and towel for relaxing and swimming.

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