77 Things For Kids To Do In Boise
We are relocating to Boise with kids, what is the best kid stuff in Boise?
We hear it all the time. When you visit and when you actually move to Boise with kids, be forewarned it is kid heaven! Moving with kids to Boise is a fun filled event. Here is a rundown on things for kids to do in Boise, 77 activities for kids in Meridian or Boise to be exact. From indoors to outdoors from artsy to athletic, Boise offers up a little something for kids of all ages and interests. From traditional little league sports to creating a new piece of art at Art In The Park, no one is left out in the cold. Unless you are snowboarding or tubing at Bogus Basin, then cold is good! In addition to being kid friendly, Boise is safe beyond compare. Dropping the kids at Roaring Springs Water Park or Lucky Peak State Park without adult supervision is what relocating to Boise is all about and an everyday event. It is a Brady Bunch flash back in many ways, kids still walk to and from school and most fend for themselves until mom and dad get home from work. Kids in Boise are living large. People who move to Boise with kids are still experiencing Andy’s Mayberry.
Kids Activities In Boise
Boise is blessed to be a town full of kids and that high demand translates into a world class slate of choices from competitive to just for fun. They are all encompassing in addition to the list below chess, golf and tennis, rock climbing all have competitions in town.
From PAL recreational to the super competitive soccer clubs the soccer scene is growing by leaps and bounds. Most of the clubs have both recreational and traveling competitive teams. For little kids just getting started I think P.A.L. sponsored by the Meridian Police department is a great intro. Inexpensive, low key and fun. For the super competitive player there are multiple clubs the two largest probably being The Nationals and Nova. IYSA or the Idaho Youth Soccer Association is the governing body for competitive soccer in Idaho. They are located here in Boise and can help to point you in the right direction depending on your needs.
Baseball and Softball
When I was a kid there was just one little league in the valley. Now there are quite a number. West Boise, South Boise, East Boise, Meridian Youth Baseball, West Valley Little League, Idaho District 2 Challenger league. Even Pal has a league. I did not know there where that many baseball players in town. So basically, no matter what part of town you land in there is a league and a club ready to take you out to the ball park. Yes these clubs have girls softball too, the high school teams are really competitive and place players at colleges nationwide annually.
The king of youth football in Idaho is the league run since 1949 by The Optimists Club of Boise. The league they run is hands down the one. Offering options for tackle football, flag football and cheer it has been the go to for generations. If you never played in the jamboree at Albertson’s Stadium on “The Blue” you missed a great childhood experience.
Other leagues have sprung up across the valley just like in baseball, but they are second fiddle as far as hardcore tackle goes at least. Meridian Pal has a flag league which would also be a great fit for the just for fun, recreational kids looking for inclusion and to be part of a team. Some of the others like south valley and west valley I do not really know too much about.
Well, while I do not know a lot of the specifics about the many clubs in the valley I do know this. My wife has a friend whose boys train at Danick and it is for the real serious, long hours and lots of travel. They just bought Gem State the other old school center, which would position them as number 1. If you are thinking 10.00 and the Olympics, look no further. But if Danik is not a fit for you explore some of the others including Wings, Bronco Elite, James Tighe Gymnastic Academy, Tumble Time, Gymnastics or Tulilov Gymnastics Training, to name just a few.
I know, a team sport? Enter the Byrds. An acronym for Boise Young Rider Development Squad. Those with an eye on the Tour De France or a downhill mountain bike championship will fit in nicely. For 20 years Byrds has offer training and a team environment to youth ages six and up. Choose the recreational program which meets Monday and Thursday evenings from spring until late October. Each ride is supervised and led by a coach and experienced riders. Option 2 would be the year-round competitive program, Either the Eagle or the Falcons. Designed to be an all-encompassing environment for the aspiring rider no matter the discipline, road racing, mountain bike racing or cyclocross racing.
Another great community asset is the Boise Bicycling Project, a nonprofit designed to get kids in the saddle. They employ volunteers to take used and broken donated bikes and parts and repair them and donate them back out in to the community to those in need of a lift. While this has nothing to do with youth bicycling as a team sport it would be a great opportunity for a young bike enthusiast to get their community volunteer time.
Yin Or Yang we have both. Both Nordic and lift assisted downhill skiing are available to youth sliders hoping to crash a few gates or climb a mountain. Mores Mountain to be exact. Mores mountain is the top of the nordic trail system at our locally owned not for profit community ski hill called Bogus Basin Mountain Resort. Travel up the Kirsten Armstrong Bikeway, a curvy 16 miles, and you will find yourself at the base of the downhill area. The Frontier Nordic lodge is just a mile up the road from the downhill parking lot. While "Bogus" may not be Squaw Valley, the mountain and the competitive ski teams are both good enough to get you there for the next world cup event.
The Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation is home to the Mighty Mites and more. Here your kids can pursue their Olympic dreams and make some lifelong friends in the process. BBSEF offers downhill racing, snowboard and free skiing as well as mountain biking with the competitive athlete in mind. Everyone with a basic skiing ability is welcome and pricing starts at around $600 dollars a year. The program runs year round and includes a local option or you can join in the traveling team as well.
Yes. Fastest growing sport here too. Club and high school teams.
Competitive swimming has had a strong hold on the valley for a long time. The public pools as well as private clubs field teams in the summer. The YMCA runs the club for the year round hard core Olympic hopeful. Practices in the afternoon after school and early mornings as well.
High School Sports
From girls gymnastics to wrestling, track to football, just about any sport you can dream up is here and super competitive. Lots and lots of kids partially because our two biggest religions are LDS and Catholic. I read in the local paper the other day that even video games are a high school sport now. Not sure how it qualifies as a “sport”, but hey different strokes. Maybe they will have one where they have to run and play at the same time!
Family Art Saturday
A great program on the last Saturday of each month gear towards kids under 12. Arrive at the BAM facility located near downtown Boise in Julia Davis Park. Adult supervision is required.
Art In The Park
One weekend a year Julia Davis Park is turned in to a public art sale, exhibition and hands on art studio for kids! This one of a kind cultural event is complete with food trucks, loads of exhibitors with art for sale, and a wide variety of all kinds of arts and crafts for young and old alike. Held the first weekend after Labor day, this year’s 3 day event will be on September 6-8.
Home Depot Kids Workshop
Ever first Saturday of the month The Home Depot holds a hands on kids build it event. The April them for the 6th is Birdhouse. Tools, materials and expert help are all on hand to get your young one on their way to doing a bath remodel for you! With an emphasis on fun, these workshops are lively, encourage creativity while building a safety conscious attitude and new set of skills.
Even a visit to the web page of this kid friendly science center is fun! Visit in the facility itself is a lot more fun. Complete with a STEM store, a collection of permanent exhibits, and a traveling exhibition as well. The center offer so much including summer camps, field trips, rent out the facility for birthday parties or any event. Become a member and attend the Monday Members events. They even have an Adult night. A few examples of upcoming events include Spring into Science, Humans in Space Spring break camp, Design with constraints: Legos and Spooky Science to name just a few.
While we do not have the super expensive top level pro sports here, we do have a great line up of college and semi pro sports. The kids love them just as much and the parents will love the pricing even more so.
In addition to the high quality baseball be ready to enjoy promotions at many games with nightly themes plus promotions at every game. That’s just the start, add in the drone light show, numerous post game fireworks shows and a whole load of giveaways. Everything from piggy banks to dog bowls. The first pitch will be tossed against Everett on June 16 at 715. Season tickets are on sale now and a half season packages will run you $240-306. There are lots of other packages as well, individual tickets go on sale in May. Want a free team poster? August 11 2019 is your day.
This is our family favorite, economical, fun and family oriented. The fact that The Steelheads slide onto the ice at the Century Link arena in downtown Boise’s Grove Hotel is a bonus. Grab a bite to eat before the game at any one of downtown’s eateries. Right at the front door to the arena are two great ones, Lucky Fins, think lobster mac and cheese or sushi. Buffalo Wild Wings is there as well. Chandlers, Bar Gernika, Bardenay and The Owyhee Tavern are all good and all just a block or two away. Alternately grab a beer, pizza, a dog or some nuts at the game. Chuck a puck is a nightly give away promotion, loud music at intermissions and a tshirt cannon too. Of course if you are lucky a dead fish and a couple of rambunctious defensemen will arrive as well.
Hit Albertson’s Stadium in the fall and catch a game on the Blue or follow the Bronco Basketball team at Taco Bell Arena. The great thing about BSU sports is the variety and the price, with the exception of football and basketball they are inexpensive or free. Softball and womans soccer, mens and womans tennis. There is even a brand new baseball team and of course a gaming team. No hip college is without some serious gamers.
High School Sports
Overall the same high school sports experience here as you will find from Miami to Seattle.
This ever popular one off event is held each summer in downtown Boise. With a waning sun in the west ward sky and with hay bales set for protection of the racers and the crowd, pull your hat down and get ready for some fast action at the main event. The pro cat 1 race typically starts around 8 or 8:30. What should you expect? Typically a tight group zips by a high rate of speed on a rectangular course. Until some want to be stud breaks from the pack and the chase is on. Attendance by top notch professional riders makes this a world class event for both riders and spectators alike. Summer nights in down town Boise are resplendent. But there is more earlier in the day, no less than 6 races. The kids will need a bike to participate in the ride and while the 2019 schedule is not yet been released, 2018 saw the kids ride with local Olympic Gold Medalist Kristen Armstrong at 1 pm. Follow that with Cat 4/5/amateur races and even a celebrities race! The best seating is on the corners! Get there a little early if you want the best view of the action!
For almost 100 years the philanthropy of business owners here in Boise and Meridian Idaho has been a badge of honor for those whom are fortunate and able. Be it the Fortune 500 types like Morrison Knudsen, the Albertsons & Simplot’s or more locally oriented folks such as The Molenars and the Kleiner’s in Meridian Idaho, giving is in their blood. Giving space and financing to develop our awesome park system just goes with the territory. Being a good neighbor is more than just neighborhood watch. It is the idea that those that follow, our kids and their kids to deserve the same access to space and quality of life that we enjoy. From the big 4 Along the greenbelt and river to small community parks like Cassia and Catalpa. Many of our parks are strung out along the river/Greenbelt corridor. At just over 25.5 miles long it is a combination of paved walking path and quiet walking only sections where you can commune with the river that is the life blood of Boise’s downtown. Some sections are parks and others parklike manicured settings, while others are wild land style riparian areas. Access for fishing, wading and catching frogs is guaranteed in all areas. Community parks across the valley are numerous and each with its own flair. Camelback for a quick hike and a sunset view or sledding and others like Cassia, Catalpa or Julien for a game of ultimate frisbee or just a spot to toss the frisbee. Other parks sport a myriad of activities, for instance, a community gardens, dog parks, a bmx park and even a new archery range! They include great big public pools like the one at Ivywild which has tons of water features for kids ages 10 and under. Work out stations as well, try Willow lane which is also a hot spot for summer league softball. Needless to say no matter where you lay your head down at night the kids will have a park or three nearby.
The Green Belt
The backbone of the awesome Boise Parks system. This 26 mile long river side walking and biking path which provides space
and river access for year round recreation. The south eastern end is anchored by Lucky Peak State Park and on the west end in Eagle and now beyond. Tied together by many smaller neighborhood parks, Bsu campus, and the larger anchor parks called the "Ribbon Of Jewels". No matter where you are access to walking biking or rivering is not far away.
The Ribbon Of Jewels
I like the Gems of Boise better since we are the gem state. But no one listens to me. Whatever you want to call them these four mega parks are the back bone of the ribbon, they are a community resource that you could never recreate today. Other ribbon parks are scattered along the greenbelt adding to the already over the top recreation trail. I provided a link to the detailed brochure if you would like to know more. These are named for Bernadine Quinn, Donna Larsen, Kristin Armstrong, Marianne Williams, Alta Harris and the newest addition the 16 Acre Sue Howell Park. The 4 gems line the river in the core of downtown Boise and are home to zoo's and museums, softball fields and duck ponds or just a simple bench in a quiet nook to reflect on life’s challenges. These memorial parks are dedicated to these 4 great women. Behind every great person is a great spouse! Ester Simplot, Kathryn Albertson, Ann Morrison and Julia Davis were just that and now they are the moms of Boise watching over her every move.
This 43 acre plot is Boise's oldest park founded in 1907. Located across the river from the Boise State Campus and surrounded by downtown it is right in the middle of everything. Loaded with museums, the zoo, and bandshell and host to many annual cultural arts such as BAM's Art In The Park Each September. Walk to Wholefoods, the library or the Basque Block in Minutes. You can hop to the RAM brew pub on one foot. We used to sneak into the Zoo as kids, These parks were just down the road from Erica and I's childhood homes and served as back yard extensions.
This park is located between the river and the bottom of the bluff that forms the Boise bench. 153 acres of something for everyone. Parents will appreciate it is a nonsmoking park with the exception of a designated area near the duck pond With land donated by Harry Morrison and built by M-K works in 1959. With something for everyone it is the largest park and also one of the most popular as there is something for everyone. Water features, bocce courts, soccer fields, the take out for floating the Boise river too. The list goes on from sand volley ball to disc golf. The little ones will love the Candy Cane Playland.
Kathryn Albertson Park
Growing up Erica and my backyards were adjacent to what is now the 41 acre Kathryn Albertson Park. Back then it was just a big horse pasture with a creek along the bottom of the hill. To go play "over the hill" was the expression we all used if we were headed to the present day park to catch crawdads, shoot our slingshots or bows or chase the horses. Back then the park was all speculation and rumors. It was an awesome place to grow up with access to the other ribbon parks the green belt and the downtown core. Jumping off the "Silver"(red now) trestle or hitting the pantry for ice cream where all highlights. Today the park is a partially manicure nature preserve to reflect and ponder, listen to the birds sing or just day dream as a momma duck with little ones in tow swim by.
Ester Simplot Park
The Simplot’s - et al stepped up big here. Because of their generosity the city of Boise was able to turn an odd shaped 39 acre park into the newest 55 acre killer park in the ribbon. See the map HERE. Dedicated in 2016 only because of the overwhelming commitment from The Quinn-McEntee families who donated a portion of the land and the Simplot’s who added a million into the Cities pot for land and all the money to develop the site. This pet free experience will take you through green spaces and down the boardwalk. Follow the hiking trails to one of the docks on one of the ponds which total 23 acres in size. Just right for wading fishing or paddle boarding.
Other Greenbelt Parks
Here is the Diamond! Although not officially on the ribbon this park is my favorite. Thanks to funding from The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation the city was able to rework an old mill diversion into a wave shaper in 2012 to create phase 1 of the Boise Whitewater park. The shaper allows the managers to shape the wave for either surfing or kayaking. Click HERE to see map of Phase II which is currently under construction and is set to open this spring or summer. Check out the cool web cam online.
Softball and small bmx, Boise high plays its soccer games here too.
Kristin Armstrong Memorial Park
Mostly Picnicking or tossing a frisbee or ball around.
Covered Picnic area, kids playland, kids water features and fountains.
Lucky Peak State Park
Fishing, swimming, picnicking, rooster tail in the spring. East end of Greenbelt.
Boise Community Parks
Every neighborhood has one, some have two. In close in west Boise for example find Fairmont Park and Winstead park just a mile apart. New parks are springing up in areas with lots of new homes, mollenar in southwest off Maple Grove. There are dozens more that have been entertaining and providing the quality Boiseans have come to expect. Most are just a grassy spot, while some are dog parks and other are setup for softball or have a designated walking path. Know this you are never far from the nearest one.
Camels Back Park
One of the old-time favorites is Camels Back which sports a great sunset/downtown twilight view.
Hyatt Hidden Lakes Park And Bat Reserve
This old gravel pit is a large wetland with walking paths intertwined.
The newest Large park is Kleiner Park which is located next to the Village for an after lunch walk. Lots of running paths a fishing pond and a community center have this one on the radar of anyone looking for a place to relax in Meridian Idaho.
Another large park in Meridian is Settlers Park located on the corner of Meridian and Ustick roads. Here find another pond stocked by the Idaho Fish and Game, a huge play structure-center, softball fields and a whole lot of space.
The Charles McDevitt Youth Sports Complex is just that. A skate board park for the individual players and little league fields for the team player. A great path for walking and the obligatory fishing pond stock with catchable sized trout for the kids or the frying pan.
Eagle Island State Park
At some point the plan is to run the green belt to here. At the present time it ends about 2 mile upstream. Eagle Island state park has a great swimming pond early in the summer. A tubing hill in the winter and a bridle/walking path. It is really an underutilized are. It's highest best use as of now would be hunting, but it is not legal in the park. The pond gets algae as it warms and then just about any place else is the spot to cool off.
I am not certain this qualifies as a park, but it certainly qualifies as an awesome world class trail system to ride, walk or run. Forest Gump would have trouble covering all the trails in this system. All non-motorized and do not dare make a muddy footprint or tire track in the spring or be hung out to dry. I am not sure why a muddy tire track ruins the trail, I guess it might just be more maintenance or it could cause a wash out? So maybe these are more walking paths than hiking trails. The trails extend all the way to and down in below Bogus Basin and extend out to Stack Rock. They start on the eastside near Lucky Peak and extend west to Eagle at the Bike park and velodrome/bmx tracks.
Originally a Union Pacific own station, as train travel went bye bye so did Union Pacific. The city acquired this 1930’s period piece out of bankruptcy when Morrison Knudsen went belly up. Notice the names in the bricks out front as each of these fine folks donated a brick and a chunk of change to the project. Giving is in the dna in Boise. Rent this great space out for your next event like a graduation party or wedding reception. It is original, film a Humphrey Bogart style movie here without changing a thing.
Since 2002 this is graphite/mural style outdoor art gallery is bursting with creativity and an ever changing scene of cool young hip art. With the approval of the powers that be, each artist gets to create and express without fear of interruption or imprisonment. It is an awesome place to take a stroll after a lunch at Zen Bento or Pie Hole! It is the largest outdoor mural gallery in the north west. Free, open 24/7 and well worth you and the kids time. Located in the alley near 9th street, half the fun is finding it. Don’t worry you may turn down the wrong alley, those don’t exist here. Safe, clean it is like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting only the artists have red and purple hair now.
Complete with a visitors center that is open 6 days a week and highlighted by the streamwalk which is free of charge. The Streamwalk offers a peek into the many and varied ecosystems, habitats and the flora and fauna of our great state. This wetlands style tour is complete with underwater viewing windows where you get a fish eye view. Learn about native species of plants, how snags help the environment, habitat improvement and much more at 18 different interpretive stops along the way. From Beaver dams to composting the kids will leave with a whole new outlook on Nature and the roll that we play in it.
With a design inspired in the classic style, this domed wonder, a St Paul’s look alike, has graced downtown Boise since 1920. Sandstone walls and marble halls, 4 kinds of marble to be exact. Visit and find out were in the world they are from. Accented with art history and straight up state history. The schools have been doing State Capitol trips since 1921…just kidding. But lots of field trips. Look up to find the stars, 13 big ones, 43 little ones.
It is more than a park along the Greenbelt, here, the focus is to get you to "Never Forget". This 3/4 plus acre interpretive site invokes the feeling of being "there" at the end. Arrive and witness the results of war, left over walls and rubble and it is all complete with a bronze of Anne herself. Here kids will learn more about the universality of the fight against injustice and oppression. Find numerous inspirational quotes etched in stone from various times and places. Explore the ideas presented on the Spiral of Injustice or watch any of 10 or more video's in the Marilyn Shuler Room. If you are not inspired by Reinhold Chrystman’s actions to save others, check your pulse. "It was the fall of 1944..”. A City of Boise park run in cooperation with The Wasserman Center for Human Rights it is free to visit anytime. Located just downstream of Capitol Blvd. on the East side, by the Library.
The newly remodeled and expanded Idaho State Museum is more than just a place to learn about Idaho's history. Plus now there is more space for exhibitions, displays and even a kids interactive play center. Rent out space for your next concert in the communal hall with the grand piano or reserve private space or class rooms for your next educational tour or event. From work conferences to 50th anniversary's the space flexes great. Cool gift shop loaded with a treasure to take home. The Idaho Historical Society has set up the museum in relation to how our unique landscapes have influenced life in Idaho. Find geographically aligned exhibits, highlighting geology, native inhabitants and the Boomtown Gallery designed with a space for children to learn and play! Visit the history lab and practice the skills needed to survive in days gone by. Of course you will want to visit the Stories From Idaho exhibit which is a tip of the hat to many of the movers and shakers who set the corner stones that made Idaho the great state it is today! The Anne Frank Memorial is right across the street, as is BAM the- Boise Art Museum and the Zoo Boise is steps away as well. Make a day of it.
Also adjacent to the state historical museum. Located in St. Paul Baptist Church building which was relocated to its current location in Boise at Julia Davis Park. The museum promotes educational, community outreach and exhibition programming. From lectures and literacy to film and music find the whole spectrum here. Open Tuesdays- Thursdays and Saturdays as well.
Come to the "old" Penitentiary and experience almost 150 years of penal history. The big bonus is there are ghosts! Experience more than 30 historic buildings and multiple special exhibits including historic weaponry, Idaho State Penitentiary-Faces, Idaho Forestry Soldiers: Called To Action WWI, Crafty Cons or learn about the Marked Men. Have an un-ruley child a visit to solitary might help there and tour the cell blocks and gallows as well. On a warmer note hit the gift shop, attend one of the many events or bring a field trip. Rent out any one of 5 spaces from a classroom to the old Women's Ward for a reception or a birthday party. Open 7 days a week until 5 pm. Be sure not to miss the cemetery tour.
A visit to the Basque block, which includes lots more than the Basque Museum and Cultural center, is a place to learn about others, eat like others, even dance like others. Find out who the Basques are and why they are such an integral part of the culture here in Idaho and across the west. The home country is northern Spain and southern France and many of the earliest immigrants where herd to herd sheep. Today they are still busy herding sheep and being mayors, teachers, and just about everything else. At the museum you can arrange a group tour or just cruise it at your convenience 5 days a week. Closed Sunday Monday and Holidays. Visit the gift shop or experience everything from cultural exhibits to oral history or even take a language class. The Basque block offers even more it is a widely known meeting place before the big game or just for fun. From Bar Gernika and Leku Ono which are both fun Basque eateries on the block to Bardenay which is a popular Boise eatery and Distillery are all good bets. Also located here is the Basque building and corner bar. This is the one that when you walk through the door the 2 old Basque guys turn slow and look as to say "your bar, Bar Gernika is down the street". The other half of the building is the dance hall where many of the events including the practice sessions for the dance troop which preforms all of the indigenous routines. They are named the "Onkari Dancers" Idaho Black History Museum
Located off Warm Springs Blvd. near the old Idaho Penitentiary. Find out all about the unique geology of Idaho, attend an event or field trip. Enjoy museum tour and walk, lectures and the history of geology and rocks. Free to get in Wednesday thru Sunday, 12-5 pm at 2455 Old Penitentiary.
Located near the airport at 1090 Boeing. This is a fascinating personal wheeled vehicle collection of the Yankee family. Call ahead to get a personal tour. It's free I think. The Yankee's are an old Boise family that run a machine shop among other things. Contains everything from a pink Cadillac to A steam fire truck. Personal collections are the best.
James was an American artist born deaf in Garden Valley He created many of his pieces here in northwest Boise with soot from the fire and saliva. His work has been featured and appeared at many of the world’s largest and nicest museums. The museum here in Boise located at 5015 Eugene Street, is in his old house and is part cultural center and has a vibrant artist-in-residence program which live and work on a three month rotational basis. Open Thursdays- Saturdays 11-6 for drop in tours, free admission.
Just remodeled, shiny and new, sort of! Located at 4692 W. Harvard St. near Gowen Field. Stop in for a public tour of militaria from all branches of the armed forces. Learn about everything from who Paul Gowen was to Vietnam. Experience Idaho's winners of The Congressional Medal of Honor. check out a vintage PT-23, a WWII trainer aircraft and so much more. Open Tuesday to Saturday 12-4.
The collection of planes at this air inspired museum is astonishing. From a World War 1 tri-wing Fokker Dr-1 to a Mig -21 the variety of war birds covers all shapes, sizes and era's. From whirlybirds to trainers, my fav is the World War II era P-51 Mustang is painted in the colors of a Boise Ace named Beeson. It is sexy. Open Tuesdays To Sunday in Nampa, take Garrity turn South on 39th. The big annual event is each August, the Warbird Round-Up.
World class bouldering gym with thick mats. All sorts of events for bachelor/ette, adult climbing leagues, even team building and singles night. Classes like belaying 101, Lead Climbing and Training For Climbing. Get your stretch on and your mind right with Vinyasa Yoga. Max class size 24. Birthdays are heightening at Asana. Three different party packs to choose from. The Table, Rock, Black Cliffs and most inclusive the City Of Rocks. Youth programs are not in short supply with summer, winter & spring break camps through the Parks and Rec partnership. Join the Asana Recreational Climbing Team and take it to a new level. Open 7 days a week at 4977 N Glenwood across from the fair grounds.
Free skate, or join the hockey or figure skating teams and be an Olympian. Most all of them started in a local community rink just like this one. Its skating and more, a great pro shop, and events center. They host birthday parties and corporate events as well. Just want to skate? A full service experience awaits with everything from rentals to restaurants. It is best to check the website for hours and days as the schedule rotates with events etc.
Best Nerf Arena In Town
Just ask And they will confirm. Friendlier version of paintball. Enjoy huge arena with obstructions and obstacles. Book a party or just drop in between 5:30 and 8:30 Mondays or Tuesdays. Bring your own gun or use one of theirs. Walk the walk for $20.00 for individuals or $150 for the eight party pack. Choose from a variety and weights of nerf guns. Minimum age 5 years. 5878 W Franklin Rd. 208-342-0342
All right, who wants a blown acl. High risk and reward. These places are a blast, but ask Erica how much fun she had.
I personally love the dodge ball. Lots of choices. Altitude Trampoline Park Boise, Fly High Adventure Parks, Jump Time Idaho, Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park
Old school collect the tickets Arcade with a ride or two.
If you do not have time to go to Monterey, but need to kill an hour, this will work. Near the Mall at Franklin and Cole.
Located on Overland road just west of the Meridian road exit is The Wahooz Family Fun Zone. Enjoy the one and only water park in Boise, Go through a few frames at Pinz bowling alley or head over to Wahooz which has too much to really mention here. But let’s start with the new 16,999 square foot addition that holds most of the list below. 3 stories high and loaded with fun.
Swinging Capsule will vault you and 3 friends skyward.
The Frog Hopper
Afraid of heights, this ride lifts you and 6 friends 16 feet in the air and then you plummet down the tower.
Sky Trail Ropes Course
30 plus challenges and 3 stories high allows you to climb to new heights as you explore and become more confident in your rope climbing abilities
Clip 'N Climb
8 routes to climb while you are roped up for safety.
Like the one at McDonalds on steroids, like 4 levels better. Blasters and vacuums add to the fun, or just explore the tubes.
Hovercraft bumper cars are a new twist on an old favorite.
XD Dark Ride
Outstanding new inter active ride. Wahooz is proud to be the first to employ this 6+ D movie experience in the Pacific North West.
Its full of motion laser blaster fun. Be the best you can be by shooting laser guns at all sorts of enemies and
then compare scores with your buddies at the end.
Laser Maze Challenge
Duck, crawl and shimmy your way through two new laser mazes.
Face Place Photo Studio Deluxe
This is a "Big Group" photo booth sure to please and squeeze in everybody for that everlasting image.
40 miles per hour of great fun to be had here. If you haven’t ever done indoor cart racing, do yourself a favor and take the kids. It is a blast to go head to head with the kids on even footing. It is a shared experience without the phone. They will be talking about it for longer than you will be. (208) 321-1166
More fun at The Little Gym of Eagle and Meridian. Esteem building curriculum, great staff and lots of choices. Thinking of joining?
Visit for free. Choose from Kindermusik, Gymnastics, Parent/child, Dance, Sports skills, all one of a kind classes that incorporate active play. They will host your birthday party and have special one off summer time camps.
This is the captive breeding center started and run by The Peregrine Fund. Their mission is conserving birds of prey worldwide. In addition to saving the peregrine falcon it is also one of the main centers for breeding the California Condors. The money shot here are the outdoor flying demonstrations called "the Fall Flights". The fall flights are live presentations where birds of prey swoop in from on high grabbing the "rabbit" decoy right in front of your eyes. Really awesome. These times and schedules vary annually check the website for specific flight times. Visit The Velma Morrison Interpretive Center and meet birds of prey of all types from every corner of the globe. Enjoy live raptor presentations, hit the Discovery Room for hands on exploration. Condor cliffs will transport you straight to the Grand Canyon, or visit the gift shop or many indoor exhibits. This is a one of a kind Boise at its finest experience. Closed Mondays.
It's a zoo. No lies here. While not world class it has lions and tigers and bears, green alligators and long necked geese. Plus there are about 10 other things on the list to do and see within walking distance so why not?
With 49 plus acres you will find many and varied types of gardens spread out on the grounds. Located in east Boise on the site of the old farm for the Idaho State Penitentiary, there is something for all from Iris's to an English Garden. This is a great add on to an Old Penitentiary tour. Leave the kids in solitary for an hour and see what these great gardens have to offer. If you are here at Christmas "The Winter Garden Aglow " is a local favorite.
292 Acre Nature preserve in the Boise foothills. Visit the site to learn the rules for the various trails.
Bring your own tube, raft or paddle board, or rent one at Barber Park and experience one of the signature past times that define Boise. This is a relatively safe class 1 plus float. Staying of the banks is the key. If the tube rental facility at Barber Park is not open, think twice. The river comes from the bottom of the dam and is cold year round. Shuttle services by bus from the take out a Ann Morrison are available.
Multiple sporting goods stores in the downtown core rent all shapes and sizes of bikes for a cruise on the greenbelt or to bomb down some of the foothills trails.
There are literally hundreds of great ideas for an afternoon out of town. While some of these require some gear or expertise you can almost always find an outfitter.
Idaho has more hot springs then any other state. There are multiple good ones within an hour+ of Boise. Try Campground, Pine Flats or Kirkham. These are all paved roads and easy access, very little nudity at these 4. Take highway 55 from Eagle 34 miles to Banks. Turn right on Hwy 17, then roughly 10, 27 and 40 miles respectively.
Different from the breeding center this is a huge chunk of snake river canyon nesting and feeding grounds. The easiest access is to take Meridian road south thru Kuna and another 19 miles south to the Swan Falls area. Idaho Power has a small dam with a park here that is a great spot for a picnic after a hike along the rim. Also has great bouldering and fishing for small mouth bass.
Ride the sky coaster or mountain bike in the summer or go tubing,downhill or cross country ski in the winter. Family friendly, affordable and close.
If you have a pad and a sleeping bag you are in, just read the sign to your left. Then Google Fir Creek Campground and you are off. Hit Kirkham hot spring and campground en-route. There are thousands of great spots to go camping in organized camp grounds with vault toilets or dispersed camping at any wide spot in the road. With two thirds of the state being public land there are only 3 weekends a year when finding a spot is an issue. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Otherwise camp on. Also the Idaho department of parks has a system of yurts that you can rent. Most require a reservation ahead of time and a small hike in, but they are a blast.
The Payette river system 40 minutes north of Boise offers world class rapids of all levels for you thrill seekers or slow floaters. Unless you have experience you need an outfitter. We are fans of Idaho Whitewater Unlimited in Garden Valley. They run trips from May through August. Try the class II Swirly Canyon and bring the little ones. For some serious whitewater action the Canyon section up near Lowman might be more your style. With challenging rapids like Little Falls, Surprise and Lone Pine this one will have you paddling for your utter existence. Another great combo run is the Staircase(IV) and add on the Main(III). It is a great family trip once the water drops below flood stage a little. These photos are the tough bits Class 4 and 5, North Fork Payette And Buffalo rapid on South Fork Of The Boise.
South of Homedale in the Owyhee Desert is a myriad of gemstones of all types. Petrified wood, Agate, Jasper, some precious Opal, even fossils. If you cross the state line into Oregon, Succor creek is famous for Geodes and Thunder Eggs. We even have our own little lava flow similar to the "Craters Of The Moon" national monument near Arco. Called Jordan Craters, here you will find all sorts of geologic wonders. Head south on Highway 95 and then turn right on Cow creek road about 12 miles before you get to Jordan Valley. Lava tubes and cinder cones and so much more. To find good collecting areas you can google online and find some maps to known areas or just venture out and follow your nose. If it is rainy, I would recommend somewhere of the road to succor creek state park as it is gravel and can be accessed year round without risk of getting stuck. Here is a starting point if you want to follow your nose. Take highway 95 south from Marsing. Take a right on McBride Creek road at around mile 12-15. At 1-2 miles in “talc” on your right are fossils. At mile 5-7 just after the cows, you come down a little hill and a road takes off to your right (If you come to a 90 degree left turn and start crossing the hay fields you missed the turn), Then follow said road for a couple miles. Stay left when you can, but stay out of obvious private farm ground. Follow fence line west and climb as desired. There is wood and glass all over in this area, it is a part of succor creek so keep an eye out for geodes and thunder eggs as well. Leslie Gulch is also a sensational trip, same directions but take the left. Right at Rockville school then left at 3 miles. The road is gated at the top of the hill down into Leslie gulch when wet. Here you will find a bunch of hoodoos, wild colors and great hiking. Rare Desert Bighorn sheep live in the canyon as well.
There is a place that rents boats and Lucky Peak is just 20 minutes from town, why not? If you are moving to Boise with kids and have your own boat here is a list of some lakes and reservoirs within two hours of Boise. Arrowrock Reservoir, Anderson Ranch Reservoir, Cj Strike Reservoir, Brownleee Reservoir, Snake River, Payette Lake, Cascade Reservoir, Warm Lake, Redfish Lake, Magic Reservoir Plus a few others.
Like everything else outdoors our fishing is excellent. In addition to world class quality of many of our fisheries, the diversity of species is a mind bender. Trout, bass, walleye, perch, catfish, carp, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, pike, muskies, crappie, bluegill, whitefish. I am sure there are one or two I am forgetting. From the blue ribbon trout fisheries like the South Fork Of The Boise, Middle Fork Of The Salmon and The Owyhee rivers to the high mountain lakes trout fishing is a gem. Browns, Rainbows and Cutthroats are all to be had. Smallmouth bass, sturgeon and sun fish in the Snake river and snake river reservoirs is great too. Some sections are loaded with 14 inch small mouths while others seem to hold more giants. Cascade reservoir has perch, trout and small mouths. On reservoir has walleye, Salmon Falls down near Jackpot Nevada. Whatever you love to hook it is not far away.