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We Call Them Conference Educational Experiences

MPMA’s Host Committee has organized half and full-day experiences so attendees can see how South Dakota sites apply history, art and science to their interpretation. These experiences are educationally oriented and designed to enhance your session and workshop training.  Walking shoes are recommended.

Pre-registration is required, must show ticket to board bus.

Tours are scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, 2021 and Friday, October 8, 2021.  Come early or stay later and take one of the many Tour options available!

Register for Tours here

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

All Day Tours     
Pre-registration is required, must show ticket to board bus.

T1: Brookings: A Taste of South Dakota

Departure: 9:00 a.m.
Return: 4:00 p.m.
Sponsored in part by Visit Brookings
Meal Provided

McCrory Gardens

South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum

Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Cruise up Interstate 29 to Brookings for a Taste of South Dakota Food and Culture tour where you will enjoy visiting three museums and a botanical garden while sampling South Dakota specialties from appetizers to dessert. In downtown Brookings, two life-size, animatronic tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs are just some of the highlights at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. On the campus of South Dakota State University, learn about the history and science of local agriculture at the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, and view pieces by Harvey Dunn and local, national, and international artists at the South Dakota Art Museum. End the day at the McCrory Gardens, a botanical garden and arboretum, where you will enjoy the famous SDSU ice cream, home of cookies and cream, where students make artisan ice cream from cow to cone.

T2: A Thousand Years of Agricultural History

Departure: 9:00 a.m.
Return: 3:30 p.m.
Meal On own 

Corn Palace

Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

Stockyards Ag Experience

Travel one hour west of Sioux Falls to the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village to learn about early people who farmed and operated a large-scale bison processing center at the site. Archeologist Adrien Hannus will be your guide through the museum and the unique archeodome, a climate-controlled dome that allows yearround archeological digs on site. Before leaving Mitchell, stop at the kitschy Corn Palace, which is a fun take on agriculture! Back in Sioux Falls, you’ll have lunch on your own and time to explore the city’s namesake at Falls Park. End the day with a tour of the Stockyards Ag Experience, a museum focused on the Sioux Falls Stockyards and the agricultural process that brings food from our region’s farms to your table.

T3: Music and Art Museums in Vermillion

Departure: 12:00 p.m.
Return: 5:00 p.m.
Meal On own 


National Music Museum           Oscar Howe, Oscar Howe Gallery              

From Sioux Falls, ride one hour south to Vermillion, home of the University of South Dakota, to explore music and art museums. You will visit the National Music Museum, which has been closed since 2018 for a $9.5 million expansion and renovation. As part of their construction project, the NMM built a new Center for Preservation and Research to store most of their 15,000 musical instruments from throughout history and around the world. Tour this facility and the main museum building, learning about the NMM’s process of building, expanding, and renovating while still connecting to their audience. Switch from music to visual arts with a visit to the Oscar Howe Gallery, featuring works by the South Dakota-born artist who was known for bridging Native American art traditions with contemporary styles.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Half Day Tours in the Afternoon

Pre-registration required. 

T4: History Highlights: Center for Western Studies and Pettigrew Home and Museum

Bus departs hotel: 1:45 Bus returns to hotel: 5:15


Pettigrew Home and Museum


Center for Western Studies

Enjoy local history with a side of art on this tour of two Sioux Falls museums! A the Pettigrew Home and Museum, take a tour of the 1889 Queen Anne-style home.  Richard Franklin Pettigrew, one of South Dakota’s first senators, added a museum on to his home in the 1920s. He willed the building and his collection of natural history, archeology, and foreign artifacts to the City of Sioux Falls, where it now operates as part of the Siouxland Heritage Museums. Hop back on the bus for a short drive to the Center for Western Studies, on the campus of Augustana University. While here, staff will take you on a tour of the history exhibits, art gallery, and archives, which holds over 5,000 linear feet of archival material, along with art and ethnographic artifacts.

T5: Nature, History, and Scenery at Good Earth State Park

Bus departs hotel: 1:45 Bus returns to hotel: 5:15


Good Earth State Park at Blood Run

Travel just outside Sioux Falls to visit one of the United States’ oldest known sites of long-term human residence. From 1300 to 1700, this area served as an Oneota settlement and trading center for many area tribes. Now, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run is South Dakota’s newest state park and features a Visitor Center that tells the story of early people who lived or visited the site. Park staff will lead you on a guided tour of the Visitor Center, including a 20-minute historical film, and the Vista Loop trail (.69 miles, slight elevation change), which has three viewing decks overlooking the Big Sioux River. After the tour, you’ll have time on your own, where you can linger in the exhibits or walk more trails through the park.

T6: National Music Museum: Virtual Tour

Session begins: 2:00pm    Cost: free

Join in for this virtual tour of the National Music Museum, which features musical instruments from across the globe and throughout history. The museum closed in 2018 in order to expand and renovate their existing space and built a separate Center for Preservation and Research. Vermillion is about an hour away from Sioux Falls, but this time, we’re bringing the museum to you! Join in to see how they are using their new spaces and preparing to reopen to the public in 2022. The tour will be pre-recorded, but the NMM Curator of Education and Woodwinds will be on hand to answer questions.

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