Brookings = Summer fun bonanza

Kristine Young

Kristine Young

The hot days of summer are just around the corner and while some already have great holiday or work plans for the long-awaited academic break outside Brookings, others may be staying put and wondering what the town offers on its slower days.

Here are some suggestions, but keep in mind that creativity is key to finding amusement whether you are in a world-class city or in good old Brookings.

1. McCrory Gardens. If you are cooped up inside all day long working, McCrory Gardens is a great place to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Soak in the aroma of a variety of flowers while you walk with a friend and enjoy this beautiful garden Brookings has to offer.

2. Attend the Brookings Summer Arts Festival. The Arts Festival gives you an opportunity to get to know people in the community, learn about different cultures, and eat lots of great food. The event takes place July 10-11 in Pioneer Park.

3. Join a softball league. Fuel your competitive spirit and get a good workout by joining a softball league. The City of Brookings Park and Recreation office has plenty of information regarding softball leagues and other programmed activities. Go online and find out more at

4. Play Disc Golf. Disc golf is a great opportunity to get outside, get some exercise and sharpen your hand-eye coordination. With two different courses in Brookings, you can always challenge yourself and have fun.

5. Attend the Uncle Sam Jam. This free event provides a variety of Fourth of July fun. From a parade in the morning to a pork feed, inflatable kids’ games, train rides, a kids’ craft corner, kids’ tractor pull, live music and fireworks, you will surely have a lively and fun Fourth of July.

6. Go to Zesto.There is nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer day. With a large variety of ice cream, malts, shakes and toppings, you’ll never run out of selections and your taste buds will never be bored.

7. Go biking on the bike path.Get to know Brookings a little better and reduce your carbon foot print by taking advantage of the bike path. A map of the bike trails and parks in Brookings can be found in the city’s website:

8. Go to the city pool.Whether you just go to lie out and get a tan or to unleash your inner child and go down the waterslide, swimming and relaxing at the Hillcrest Aquatic Center is a great way to escape the heat of the summer. The Center’s season opens May 22, with daily individual tickets costing $4 and individual season tickets, Proxy-Connection: keep-aliveCache-Control: max-age=0


9. Attend events at the Swiftel Center.The Swiftel Center provides a variety of entertainment options without having to go to Sioux Falls or a bigger town. Be sure to constantly check for upcoming events.

10. Go on a picnic.Grab a blanket, a picnic basket and a friend and take advantage of one of the beautiful parks in Brookings while enjoying a delicious meal.