Brookings Itinerary
Seasonal Checklist

Brookings enjoys four full seasons every year and with each comes new and fun activities to try. Here’s a rundown of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your next visit, no matter the time of year.

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Bundle up and embrace the chill! Brookings has so much to offer during the colder months. Before you head out to enjoy, make sure you have the essentials: a big puffy coat, a favorite beanie, your ice fishing rod, and those figure skates you have in the closet that are just waiting to be used again.

The reason for your coat and beanie are obvious and you should probably also grab a pair of warm mittens. Temperatures can get pretty cold.  You can count on at least one full week of sub zero temps sometime between December and February. But the good news is the extreme cold doesn’t last longer than a few days. Grabbing those extra layers will make your winter experience much better.

Ice fishing is a popular pass time for outdoor enthusiasts. The solitude is a perfect time to focus on yourself and the natural environment around you. Many people enjoy the activity because it gives them the chance to unwind and relax. If you need a break from your everyday routine, make your way to Brookings and take a chance on this peaceful winter activity.

Get those ice skates sharpened and lace up. Brookings has an outdoor ice rink open at Lions Park for anyone at any time, depending on weather conditions. For a sure bet for excellent ice, the Larson Ice Center hosts open skate hours throughout the winter. If you don’t own any ice skates, don’t worry. The rink has both ice skates and hockey skates available to rent in various sizes.

Maybe these activities are brand new to you or maybe they are your favorite pass time, either way experience them and so much more when you plan your trip to Brookings this winter.


Dress in layers because the spring weather can be quite unpredictable. As the ground begins to defrost and the rainy days start coming, you can feel the anticipation in the community for those beloved warmer months.

You’ll need a few accessories for the spring season in Brookings. Our rainy season usually runs between April and mid-June, so you will need an umbrella, rain boots, and most importantly a light rain jacket. Expect crisp cool mornings which can turn into warm afternoons… but be prepared for a quick moving rainshower which can pop up out of nowhere. The key to this season is layering. The mornings begin cool and dewy and by the afternoon the warming sun can get a little toasty.

Spring time in Brookings means the start of outdoor sporting events. Grab your baseball cap and head to the diamond to watch local Brookings or SDSU athletes take on the field. Throughout the Spring and Summer months you can follow all ages of baseball or softball teams.

As the students start to pack up their things and move back for the summer, the city really starts to unthaw and come alive. Discover new trails at the Dakota Nature Park, and dust off your hammock at the South Dakota Arboretum for a relaxing start to the season.


Ahh summer! When the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, you’ll want to keep those sunshades and swimsuits handy. Winters can get downright cold, but our summers pack the heat and bring the fun. From live music to the best patio scene, when you’re in Brookings, you’ll want to be outside all season long.

One of the hottest summer spots is the Hillcrest Aquatic Center. This waterpark features three pools filled with diving boards, slides, and spraying features. You’ll also find a spray-pad with bucket drops, geysers and a water cannon, alon gwith a wet sand area for building sandcastles near the leisure pool.

Entertain yourself and the family with live music all summer long. Local artists perform throughout the week at the South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Pioneer Park, Downtown and more. Tune in to our  events calendar for live performance schedules.

The best way to encounter the Brookings’ outdoor vibe is through the patio scene downtown. From rooftop restaurants to hidden gems, several bars and restaurants offer the perfect spot for a quick bite or an evening under the stars. Our best advice is to make sure you experience at least one whlie you’re in town!

Cubby’s Sports Bar & Grill, is a popular establishment as it is, but add in a gorgeous rooftop patio and you have the perfect summer stop. Looking down over main is a summer staple for the locals. Another favorite is at Skinner’s Pub, an outdoor bar and the overtaking greenery create the best happy hour destination.


The crisp air comes with an excitement of a new college semester. Make sure to bring your game face when traveling to town. Highlighted by South Dakota State University, fall sports dominate our community and we wouldn’t have it any other way. From tailgating to potlucks, we will show you a good time on Jackrabbit turf.

Find your favorite hoodie and make your way to Dana J. Dykehouse stadium for some of the best FCS college football in the Midwest. Coming off a National Championship, the Jackrabbits are ready to prove they can do it again. Besides the game itself, our long-lasting traditions bring alumni back year after year. For over 110 years, Hobo Day fills the community with students, new and old. Usually taking place in mid to late October, Hobo Day claims to be the largest one-day event in South Dakota and draws in thousands of visitors for both the annual parade, tailgating and football game.

Fall is a beautiful and bountiful season in our community. It is the best time to see McCrory Gardens in full bloom. Good Roots Farm and Gardens, on the outskirts of town, grills up their final Wood Fired Pizza Nights of the season. The Farmer’s Market offers the best produce every Saturday morning through the end of October. It does not get much fresher or better than Brookings during harvest season.

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