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Things to do in Mitchell

  • Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Mitchell, South Dakota
    The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, South Dakota contains a large archaeological site that was an Indian village over 10 centuries ago, allowing the visitor to imagine what life would be like in that era. There are many exhibits of Native American artworks, culture and information about the village; that is educational, fun and certainly exciting for all of the family. The village carries many pieces of modern art by local Native Americans that sculpt, paint and carve many beautiful and engaging pieces of art; as well as numerous displays, events, and hands-on activities that will carry you back to that age, with many of the native peoples living in earthen lodges and teepees. The village sits on a six acre site that look out over Lake Mitchell and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. The Thomsen Center Archeodome surrounds and covers the open excavation site and allows visitors to visit year round. It is 10,000 square foot structure that encloses two lodges on the earthen floor and also contains a darkroom, computer classroom, video conferencing studio and a full laboratory. This is the only preserved and protected archaeological site that is open to the public in the state and the archeodome includes a covered archaeological teaching and research facility that is one of only a few in this country. The Boehnen Museum has numerous exhibits that include a reconstructed earthen lodge; which is only one of the seventy that are believed to have existed here; with other displays of spear points, pottery, tools and elaborate trade networks. The village also houses the "Shoppe Antiquary" that is part of the Boehnen Museum's gift shop and offers traditional, contemporary and ceremonial Native American artworks that include; clothing, jewelry, postcards, prints, literature and pottery, as well as many other interesting and unique trinkets.

  • Corn PalaceCorn Palace Mitchell, South Dakota
    The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota is a multi-purpose arena/facility that has become quite the popular place over the years, welcoming more than half a million people each year. The Moorish revival structure is decorated with crop art; with designs and murals covering the structure made from corn and other grains and is one of the most unique structures in the nation. It hosts the home basketball games for the Dakota Wesleyan University and the Mitchell High School Kernels; bringing folks from all parts of the state to watch these great ball games. The original Corn Palace, which was called the Corn Belt Exposition, was constructed in 1892, to highlight the rich soil of the state, and entice folks to come and settle in the region. The structure was a wooden castle like structure on the town's Main Street, and in 1904 to 1905, the town made a challenge to Pierre in an unsuccessful try to make it the capital of the state. Part of that experience included rebuilding the original Corn Palace in 1905 and again in 1921, with the design by Rapp and Rapp of Chicago. In 1937, Moorish domes and minarets were added, transforming the palace into the unique building that it is now and costing $130,000 every year to decorate it this way. Every year, the corn murals are changed and redesigned with a new theme; all created by local artists, and from 1948 to 1971, the artist Oscar Howe created the panels. From 1977 to 2002, Calvin Schultz designed them, and since 2003, Cherie Ramsdell has done them. In 2006, they couldn't have any murals since that year brought a drought to the area. Although it has become quite the tourist attraction, the palace does serve the local community with sports, exhibits, concerts and other community events that bring excellent venues to the community. Every year, the palace is celebrated with a citywide festival; called the Corn Palace Festival and it usually is done in September, or around harvest time so the corn husks and other materials can be acquired. Other favored events include the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in July, Corn Palace Polka Festival in September and others. This Corn Palace has been preceded by other grain palaces in the region; including; the Corn Palace in Sioux City, Iowa that was active from 1887 to 1891; a Bluegrass Palace in Creston, Iowa; a Grain Palace in Plankinton, South Dakota and a Corn Palace in Gregory, South Dakota.

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  • Dakota Discovery MuseumDakota Discovery Museum Mitchell, South Dakota
    The Dakota Discovery Museum has been welcoming people for the last 65 years, from all over the world, this marvelous museum has given their visitors a glimpse into the history and past of South Dakota. There are numerous exhibits that house historical artifacts that have been preserved from a way of life that the majority of us today, will never know, without visiting a wonderful venue like this one. The museum is located on the grounds of the Dakota Wesleyan University that offers educational and entertaining experiences to all that come through their doors. In this museum you can discover the old traditions of the American settlers that include; ranching, farming, fur trading, railroading, hunting and the exciting travel of stagecoaches. The Dakota also has a vast collection of Native American beadwork and a real tipi; which is considered one of the best exhibits in the museum. While visiting here, you can see some of the finest examples of how these hardy brave people lived and how the diverse cultures came here and co-existed on the plains of the Dakotas. The culture and their way of life can be seen and appreciated in the art galleries of the museum; and view four of the state's most famous artists that include; Oscar Howe, Gutzon Borglum, Harvey Dunn and Charles Hargens. Oscar was born in 1915, and is one of the most celebrated artists in the galleries; having gained international recognition with his unique style and depiction of the Native American culture. Charles has brought the historic western culture to vivid life with his marvelous illustrations; which have graced more than 300 books and 3000 magazines including the Saturday Evening Post. Gutzon is most widely known and recognized for his outstanding sculptures of Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, but his greatest and most recognized sculpture is that on Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Harvey was an illustrator for numerous well known and read magazines, co-founding the Leonia School of Illustration, as well as a wonderful legacy of prairie paintings. The newest adventure to come to the Discovery museum is the Discovery Land which is an interactive center that encourages children of any age or experience to visit the Dakota as a settler, pioneer or Native American; while their parents can peruse the museum's marvelous sights, they can playact as whatever they choose and gain some knowledge of what it was like to live on the prairies with multiple art and culture activities. The displays here, and the live entertainment is always changing, so be sure to check them out whenever you are in the area.

  •  Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie
    The Ingalls Homestead: Laura's Living Prairie can be seen and enjoyed in De Smet, South Dakota, and is where Pa Ingalls laid claim to his new homestead in 1880; and where the young sweetheart of the heartlands would write many of her books becoming quite famous in the process and allowing millions of American, past, present and future to learn about the hardship, the joys and the sadness that faced so many families as they moved ever west to claim and tame the land that they would call home. The site has covered wagon rides, pioneering activities, an 1880s school session, prairie exhibits, Ma's little house and ponies and horses to thrill the whole family. The Ingalls Homestead is sitting in the heart of the state's tallgrass prairie, and every summer, many families and more groups come here to visit the famous Ingalls family homestead to relive those wonderful stories about the plains and prairies that eventually became a television series that lasted many wonderful years and brought even more acclaim to the sweetheart of the Midwest, Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was the free land that brought Pa Ingalls and thousands of other families to the prairies of South Dakota in the late 19th century. Church, school and a part-time job would be important to Charles Ingalls and his family; since their homestead would only be a mile from De Smet. The land was almost perfect in all kinds of ways; since there was good water, and Pa easily dug their well. In February of 1880, Charles went to the land office in Brookings to file his homestead claim and in 1886, he was able to file his final papers and put the declaration in the De Smet News. The Ingalls homestead cost them 16 dollars in filing fees and a huge amount of hard work for the 157 and a quarter acres of beautiful lands. In 1879, Mary Ingalls had been stricken with blindness and Pa told Laura that she would have to become Mary's eyes and see for her with words. In her four "Little House on the Prairie" stories that happen on the homestead, Laura has shown us all what that land and homestead looked like with all of her emotional words. In the winter of 1879 and 1880, the Ingalls would have to live in the surveyor's house by Silver Lake for three months, until Charles could file his claim and build them a small prairie house. There the family would live and work, except for the frigid winter months when they would move into De Smet to live above Pa's store in the rooms there. In 1885, Laura and Almanzo Wilder would be married; after Laura had lived on the Ingalls homestead for five years; and the remainder of the family would stay there for another three before moving into the house that Charles built in town. But it was an exciting and adventurous time for all the Ingalls and something that they would all remember and help us to know, thanks to Laura Ingalls Wilder and her marvelous books.

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Local Restaurants in Mitchell
  • Country Kitchen
    Meatloaf dinner with gravy and onion tanglers, mashed potatoes, dinner roll, veggie; country beef pot roast, with mashed potatoes, veggie and dinner roll; roast turkey breast dinner with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, veggie and dinner roll; chicken fried chicken dinner covered with peppered gravy, mashed potatoes, veggie and dinner roll; country fried steak with peppered gravy, mashed potatoes, veggie and dinner roll; pasta is grilled chicken tossed in Alfredo sauce on penne pasta topped with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese with grilled flatbread; BBQ ribs & fries basket; chicken tenders & fries basket; breaded popcorn shrimp basket; mini country fried steak & fries basket; super sampler basket with St. Louis ribs, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, southern style country fried steak mini and onion rings; jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce; Alaska cod dinner with tartar sauce; country choice classic sirloin is 8oz. sirloin steak grilled and topped with onion tanglers; steak & shrimp combo is 8oz. sirloin steak grilled with onion tanglers with three breaded shrimp, lemon and cocktail sauce; flat iron steak is 9oz. steak grilled and topped with onion tanglers; steak stroganoff is grilled sirloin steak layered over penne pasta with sautéed mushrooms and onions in sour cream stroganoff sauce topped with onion tanglers and served with grilled flatbread; crispy orange Asian chicken is crispy chicken strips tossed with orange sweet and sour sauce, Asian veggies, mandarin oranges, cashews and chow mein noodles atop a bed of citrus rice with grilled flatbread; sausage & peppers rustica is Italian sausage sautéed with roasted peppers and onions tossed with marinara and penne pasta topped with parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning, with grilled flatbread; Tuscan sundried tomato penne is Italian seasoned chicken breast tossed with fresh green peppers and diced onions in sun-dried tomato sauce topped with shredded parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning with grilled flatbread.

  • Depot
    Appetizers; nacho supreme with meat, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hot peppers, salsa, sour cream, black olives and cheese; shrimp basket is popcorn shrimp with fries; boneless chicken nuggets with fries; spicy boneless chicken nuggets; mozzarella sticks; cheddar cheese balls; jalapeno cream cheese poppers; basket of onion rings; blooming onion with house sauce; sweet and tangy wings; teriyaki wings; buffalo wings; drummies; chislic 10oz. served with toast. Choice char-broiled steaks served with soup or salad, dinner roll & choice of potato; depot dinner steak is 8oz top sirloin; Dakota southern is 12oz. sirloin steak; Milwaukee Road steak is 48oz. top sirloin; baby back ribs by half or whole rack; BBQ pork ribs half rack; Depot Chopped sirloin steak is 8oz. smothered with onions, pepper and mushroom; country fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy; sirloin beef tips; rib eye 16oz.; grilled chicken dinner is 8oz.; boneless pork chop; buffalo rib eye grilled; South Dakota buffalo ribs with house BBQ sauce; buffalo sirloin grilled; South Dakota ground buffalo steak 8oz. served on Texas toast; prime rib 10 or 14oz.


Country Fried Steak Country Kitchen Mitchell, South Dakota


Steak Stroganoff Country Kitchen Mitchell, South Dakota


Orange Asian Chicken Country Kitchen Mitchell, South Dakota



 Buffalo Rib Eye Grilled Depot Mitchell, South Dakota

Baby Back Ribs Rack Depot Mitchell, South Dakota

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  • Akta Lakota Museum Akta Lakota Museum Chamberlain, South Dakota
    The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center was opened in 1991, and occupies the former school on St. Joseph's campus that was closed after having served as the dormitory before having the children live in family units. The change allowed the school administrators to make their class sizes smaller, which in turn was more beneficial to their students; and allowed part of the dormitory to become classrooms for the students of the St. Joseph's Indian School. Once the classes were started, the 14,180 square foot building became the new home for the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center. It was designed by Brother Bonaventure and Father Lind in the 1960s, and the structure's circular shape gave a unique advantage to showcase the history and artifacts of the Lakota people. The museum welcomes thousands of people every year, and contains a well known collection of art by Nakota, Dakota and Lakota artists that include some unusual cultural exhibits. The exterior walls contain 10 images of the Lakota and Dakota chiefs that were instrumental in helping them through the trouble times that they all faced. Akta Lakota means to honor the people in the Lakota dialect and the center not only honors those native peoples and their marvelous culture but is an educational center also and a continuing monument to the Lakota people and their unique culture. The Lakota will be holding a powwow in September, 2010 and all folks are invited to come and see what actually happens at one of these outstanding and exciting venues educating all newcomers in the way of the warrior. The word "powwow" comes from the Algonquian language and is translated into a gathering of medicine men and spiritual leaders in a curing ceremony. Historically, the many Native American nations in the continent had ceremonies that celebrated wars, hunts and food gatherings and were held to allow the people to give thanks to God for their good success and to honor their ancestors or to deal with special honors like name giving ceremonies, coming of age rites and adoptions. There are so many stories to hear and learn about this unique race that lived here for centuries without disturbing the natural order of things; learning to live off the land and to use every bit of it, without causing any kind of trash that would exist for centuries to come.

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
    The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society is located in De Smet, South Dakota and is the start of the journey that young Laura would take through her exciting life on the prairie. The starting point is of course the first place the Ingalls family lived when they arrived in South Dakota in the cold hard winter of 1879; the surveyor's house that still stands today and is waiting for you to come and visit, sit a while and hear as much as you would care to about this unique woman that has given so much to so many in this country in terms of her books and the marvelous written word that she used so aptly to describe her adventurous and exciting life. The surveyor's house is mentioned in her "By the Shores Silver Lake" or take a stroll down to Third Street and see the house that Charles Ingalls constructed for his family after they moved into town to escape the harsh winters on the farmstead. There is much to learn about the Ingalls family after Laura left and this is the place that tells it all and more. In 1887, the Ingalls family tired of the farm life and moved into De Smet permanently, sometime after Laura was married. The house that Charles constructed was close to the school that Carrie and Grace would attend; while he was buy as the Deputy Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, town clerk and street commissioner. Charles was also a member of the school board and belong to the Congregational Church; and worked as a carpenter while living in town. He passed on in 1902 of heart failure; with Caroline and the girls there with him to say goodbye. Caroline continued to live in the house on Third Street with Mary and stayed quite busy. Ma would become sick in 1918, and Grace and her husband, Nathan Dow would move in to keep her company and help. Sadly, she left them in 1924, and they are both buried in the De Smet cemetery. Mary had gone to the blind school in Vinton, Iowa and after graduation, came back to De Smet and lived with her parents until they both passed on and then went to visit Carrie in Keystone, South Dakota. While there, she became sick and suffered a stroke, had complications and passed on in 1928. She passed on at the age of 63, and is also in the De Smet cemetery.  If you really need to know anymore, then the memorial is a great place to begin, as they have all the information that you could want and more.

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  • Center for Western StudiesIndian Room Center for Western Studies Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    The Center for Western Studies is located at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and preserves and interprets the history and culture of the great Northern Plains. The center has become a repository for more than 500 collections and a library of over 36,000 books about the American west. The center also has a large art and artifact collection, and sponsors many more. It has published over 70 books about the west and is the biggest academic publisher in the state. Permanent exhibits include the Froiland Plains Indian Room, the Fantle Scandinavian Room, the Jim Savage Art Studio and display cases. When you visit the Plains Indian room, you'll be amazed at the beautiful items that are showcased here that reflect the traditional lifestyle of the Sioux Indian people that lived on the northern plains. There are quilled, beaded and painted items of the traditional Sioux, with weapons, tools a winter coat and buffalo robe. The Scandinavian room is a copy of an authentic Norwegian living room that was located in a 19th century house that belonged to the Klett family. Their two storied house was in Opdal, southern Norway and reflects the self-sufficient lifestyle that the majority of the Norwegian and Swedish immigrants, some three million strong, had when they came to this country in the early 1800s up to the early 1900s. The room has hand made furniture from Sweden and Norway that was collected by Sally and Benjamin Fantle in the 1930s as well as utensils, spinning wheel and rosemaled trunk. The art studio showcases the democratic spirit of the frontiersman carver, who could somehow find the funnier side of life on the great plains. Jim was a whittler, much like the wood carvers in Scandinavia and found he had a lot in common with the Sioux craftsman whose way of life he much admired. Jim's workshop, that sat in his backyard in Sioux Falls, was meticulously reassembled in the center and contains some framed busts of horses, Indians and funny cowboy figures. The display cases, six of them, came be found all through the galleries displays that showcase a sampling of the treasures of the center that contain letters and signatures of Abraham Lincoln, Mari Sandoz, Fredrick Manfred, Wallace Stegner, O. E. Rolvaag and Thomas Jefferson that are on loan from Mrs. Elizabeth White. Hey, is that the Betty White, I wonder? Anyway, there is a case dedicated to CWS founder Dr. Herbert Krause, and another that contains excellent examples of Plains Indian bead and quill work from the Sven G. and Marion Froiland Collection.

  • Porter Sculpture ParkPorter Sculpture Park Montrose, South Dakota
    The Porter Sculpture Park is found off I-90 in Montrose, South Dakota, some 20 miles east of Mitchell, South Dakota and sits proudly on the South Dakota Drift Prairie. Numerous sculptures were created in the style of industrial art, made with old farm equipment, railroad tie plates and scrap metal; with the biggest one standing 60 feet high and looking like a huge bull's head. The sculpture took three years to construct, weighs 25 tons and is equal in size to the heads of Mount Rushmore. There are more than 40 sculptures including the bull's head, where you can walk around inside and see some of the materials used to create it. The park has been featured on PBS, CBS and other Midwest and international television shows. The sculptor will take you on a personal guided tour, except for the two that are located at 13th and Philips Streets in downtown Sioux Falls. Mr. Porter is still running the park, and all the sculptures have been created with metals. Sometimes, the parents of Porter, the artist will meet you as you drive in and begin the first half of the tour. There is a marvelous one of a fish jumping out of a cracked fish bowl and then taking his escape across the plains. There are cartoonish vultures doing various things, like smashing each other's heads with large hammers and other silly antics that will surely delight your children. Past the vultures, there is a yellow man whose is making fun of the art critics that come here, the Rainy day, the magic dragon, a unique variation of the farmer and pitchfork painting, screaming man, wise man, prairie dragon and deadman's hill. Evidently, Wayne Porter, the artist, likes to hide in the bull's head and when he sees you coming will appear as if by magic and say hello. The head represents an extinct Egyptian Long Horn and is made of railroad plates welded together and although Wayne claims he isn't a talented artist, in respect to drawing or painting, he certainly can do outstanding work with a welder and rods. The eye on the bull was inspired by Michelangelo and looks more human than animal. There are numerous skeleton beasts that guard the bull head and a weird tortured demon that hangs out behind the bridge of the bull's nose and is quite strange. There are many unique sculptures as well, like the jack in the box; that resembles Pandora's box better with a clown coming out with bloody eyes and mouth. When you go there, Wayne and his mom will be happy to tell you the story behind every one of the pieces, which is sure to give you something to think about as you leave the park behind.

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  • Pettigrew Home & MuseumPettigrew Home & Museum Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    The Pettigrew House was constructed in 1889 for Jenny and Thomas McMartin, and in 1911, Senator Richard Franklin Pettigrew bought the house for $12,000, and it would become a wonderful museum that saved the history of Sioux Falls and the region around it. Richard came to Sioux Falls in 1869, and began working diligently to build and promote the new city. He would instigate the introduction of five railroads to the region, serving as the state's representative to Congress and helping many businesses develop in the community. When the territory became a state, in 1889, he was elected to serve as the first full term senator, and began a two term administration that would champion the rights of farmers, women and the working man. Richard had always had a fascination with collecting, since he was a world traveler and amateur archaeologist. Eventually, this collection would inspire him to create his own museum on the back of his house, that was opened to the public in 1925. The marvelous relics that he had preserved included; projectile points, guns, stone tools, natural history specimens, Native American clothing and other objects that pertained to the settlement of Sioux Falls. Richard passed on in 1926, and he bequeathed his estate and museum to the city in hopes that it would be continued and maintained as a museum. In the 1930s, the city had to add more space, which completed Pettigrew's dream. The house is a beautiful example of the well-to-do folks enjoyed during that period of our history, and it is available for tours today. The exciting exhibits describe his many works, the history of the city and surrounding regions; with the house itself replenished in such a way that is reflective of that period, with outstanding antiquities and furnishings that were used at that time. The woodworks are elaborate, especially the staircases leading upstairs, with molding that is truly marvelous considering the tools that were needed to accomplish such results. Some of the exhibits at the Pettigrew are excellent examples of artifacts from around the world and region. The "You are Here: Surveying Dakota" depicts the history and tools of that trade that has been around for more than 5000 years, and began in ancient Egypt. Speculation and Conflict: The Rise of Sioux Falls is another that tells of the history of the city and takes a chronological picture of the city from 1856 to 1883. A Cabinet of Curiosities: A Look at Sioux Falls' First Museum is about the museum here and tells the story of Pettigrew and the many places of the world that he visited and the relics he brought back. Some of the unique objects include a walrus skin canoe, photographs, historic guns, prehistoric stone tools, geological specimens and more.

  • W. H. Over Museum of Natural & Cultural History
    The Over Museum houses the state's biggest natural and cultural history collection in a museum that is free of charge, and located in Vermillion, South Dakota. William Henry Over is well known in these parts and equally admired. Bill found an arrowhead in his dad' field one day in Albion, Illinois, and it inspired him in such a way that would determine his course of life. As the other children played and entertained themselves in the ways that were most popular at the time, Bill spent his free time collecting bugs, relics and plants; and actually had his first exhibition at the age of 15, in 1881, in his family's house in southern Illinois. He soon realized that he would one day run a big museum. Bill went to Minnesota to start a business, but all the while, he continued to collect and categorize his samples. In 1901, he showed his collection at the American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, and during this period in his life, he lectured locally on various topics from potatoes to the primitive man. In 1908, Bill lived in Deuel County, South Dakota, and his enormous interests began to include fossils; while his increasing expertise in the field helped him to recognize unknown crab and snail fossils; two that would be named after him, the pisidium overi and the Dakotacancer overani. He had married and had two children, a son and daughter, and they all moved to a homestead in Perkins County; where Bill tried his hand at farming, and still collecting. In 1912, he published his first article, entitled, "Notes from the Northwest South Dakota" in the journal, Curio Collectors, and he started studying natural history. This study included fresh water shells and fossils, huge bones of the dinosaur, triceratops and artifacts that were left in the county's lands by the Arikara Peoples. The year before, Bill had written an article about the difficult task of breaking rocks to get specimens of sphenodiscus lenticularis and the story had come to the attention of the University of South Dakota dean, E. C. Perisho, the man responsible for the state's geology. The article enticed him to visit Vermillion, and soon the entire family was moving there while Bill became the assistant curator of the university museum. It was a dream come true for Bill, as he was able to become more involved directly with archaeology and developed his thirst for knowledge in the history and culture of the Native peoples of the state. Two years after Bill had joined the museum, he started collecting live animals, and was committed to training and attracting young people to the state's institution had a snowy owl, snakes, that included a rattlesnake from Texas and three live opossums. The Chicago Zoological Park purchased all of his snakes in 1941, which helped him to continue and to expand his horizons of interest. Bill passed on in 1956, and left behind one of the finest collections available in the state concerning its natural history information and artifacts as well as many other exciting venues.

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- 2801 Jaycee Ln.