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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Boise

Things To Do In Downtown Boise With Kids

Things to do in Boise, Idaho (budget family travel tips)

One of the first things that I noticed once we moved to Boise a few years ago was how clean and safe we felt walking around downtown Boise. You see, our family lived a full-time RV life and visited over 35 states, including New York City, San Francisco, Charleston, Fort Lauderdale, and Nashville to name a few.

Exploring major cities can be fun, but sometimes the litter and crime can make a family hesitate to get out and explore as much as theyd like to. Thats not the case at all with Boise because I can say with complete honesty, that the city is incredibly clean and safe, and everyone here is so kind and welcoming to families.

Downtown Boise is actually a fantastic place to bring your family to explore. From great places to eat to outdoor recreation fun such as biking or paddleboarding, there is so much stuff to do in Boise outdoors.

Visit Hot Springs Near Boise

Did you know that Idaho is home to the most natural hot springs out of any other state in the USA? Not far from Boise, you can drive and find yourself pulling over on the side of the road to soak in one of these natural wonders.

It may take a bit of planning before you take the kids along with you, but it can be one of the cool things to do in Boise with your family. Discover the closest hot springs to Boise and learn all of the top tips in my in-depth guide to finding the best hot spring near Boise.

Go Swimming At Luckys Peak State Park

Go swimming on Sandys Point Beach at Luckys Peak State Park, located just East of Boise and only a 10-minute drive from downtown. This popular State Park offers a large sandy beach and a great place to bring your paddleboards and floating toys to cool off in the water, or rest in the shady trees and have an afternoon snack.

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Hulls Gulch Reserve Boise Idaho

Hulls Gulch Reserve is the home of two trails, The Grove and Lower Hulls Gulch. The 292-acre reserve is located at the base of the foothills north of downtown Boise. The name comes from the creek that begins in the foothills and flows through the reserve.

There are about 150 miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and runners. The reserve is home to a large variety of wildlife, and visitors can enjoy catching glimpses of birds like the great horned owl as well as reptiles like lizards and snakes and mammals such as coyotes, mule deer, and red fox. The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center educates visitors about the environment and preservation.

3001 North Sunset Peak Road, Boise, Idaho

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Boise Family Attractions: Top Things To Do With Kids

Dreaming about a family vacation to Boise, ID and looking for things to ...

As Idahos state capital, Boise bustles with fun-filled activities and friendly vibes. The city consistently ranks among the best places to live, however Boise is growing into one of the liveliest vacation destinations in Idaho especially for families. Keep reading to learn why, and find the top Boise family attractions both kids and parents love.

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Things To See In Boise

There are a bevy of things to see in Boise within walking distance of its commercial center. Begin at the Idaho State Capitol, erected to pay homage to St. Peterâs Basilica in Rome, St. Paulâs Cathedral in London, and the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.. From there, meander through Capitol Park to the Egyptian Theatre, the cityâs preeminent event space, where opera performances, film festivals, and rock concerts are held. For those visiting in summer, considering taking in a play at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which runs between June and October in an outdoor performance space along the Boise River.

Why We Recommend Going Here

The sheer amount of varieties is impressive to witness in person.

This is also a great opportunity to learn about what makes a high quality candle, which is to say what they are made of and how their special aromas are developed for us to appreciate on different occasions.

There are also essential oils, gemstones, and incense that are offered at this charming boutique.

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Best Things To Do In Boise With Kids

Posted by Lisa Kohl on Thursday, August 13th, 2020 at 5:38pm

A family-friendly guide to the City of Trees.

Boise may have a national reputation as an outdoor recreation city with a flourishing craft brewery scene, in other words, an adult’s paradise. As you probably already know, it’s also one of the best places to raise a family. Kid-friendly trails, acres of parks, and a healthy array of science centers and museums designed to spark curiosity and inspire young minds are just a few of the reasons families plant roots in the Treasure Valley.

And it must be said: one of the best ways to explore a city is through a child’s eyes. So whether you’re a Boise native or just visiting for the weekend, we’ve compiled a list of the best activities for families with kids, as recommended by the locals who love them.

608-7600 | Website

Hugging both sides of the Boise River, the popular path features 25-miles of paved walk- and bikeways. Its not unusual to see families biking down the Boise Greenbelt and stopping to picnic or fish at an intimate river inlet.

Courtesy of the Boise River Greenbelt

Stellas Ice Cream Shop

Boise Idaho Tour Vlog (Things to do in Boise): Boise with Kids

One of the best things to do with kids in Boise is to bring them to the famous locally owned ice cream shop off 8th Street called Stellas. With so many ice cream flavors to choose from and a large assortment of vegan options, you wont be disappointed stopping by.

Be prepared for a line, but it moves fast and is totally worth it!

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Wahooz Roaring Springs Water Park

Roaring Springs water park is nothing short of amazing. This place is massive and has water features for the entire family. Smaller kids will love Bearfoot Bay which features a shallow wading pool, six small slides and a shady spot for parents to hang out.

The older kids can get their thrill on with the massive water slides and river run. If youve had enough water theres always the go-carts, mini golf, and arcade game space.

Top Things To Do In Boise With Kids

This is a comprehensive guide to visiting Boise with kids. Its chock full of things to do with kids in Boise.

Ever visit a city that you know right away is a complete gem? Well, that was Boise for us! Now that weve gone and returned, Im really surprised the city doesnt get more shine. Its such a beautiful city thats super clean with tons to do. This was our first trip to Idaho but we had such a wonderful time that Im sure it wont be our last!

This is a complete guide with everything you need to know so hopefully your family can love the city as much as we do! From fun things to do in Boise with kids to where to stay in Boise and even how to get around the city, it is all listed here. Without further adieu, here is a list of things to do in Boise with kids.

Disclaimer: Our trip was sponsored in its entirety by Visit Idaho. All opinions are, as always, our own.

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Incredibly Fun Things To Do In Boise With Kids

Looking for some fun things to do in Boise with kids during your upcoming trip to Idaho? Or, maybe you live in the Treasure Valley and need some fresh ideas of fun things to do in Boise ID. Either way, youve come to the right place. Below you will find a complete guide on fun things to do in Boise Idaho with kids including Boise attractions for kids, fun family ideas in Boise, and great outdoorsy ideas.

This ultimate list might surprise you as it includes ideas of fun indoor things to do in Boise Idaho with family, outdoorsy things to do in Boise with the mountains calling so many of us, and even some unique downtown things to see in Boise Idaho with your kids.

First, I want to share with you some of my top suggestions on where to stay in Boise if youre coming for a vacation or youre considering moving to Boise Idaho and you dont live nearby. Since our family lives here in the Treasure Valley, Ive explored and discovered great places to stay when we have family and friends come into town to visit. Our top picks are below.


Idaho Museum Of Mining And Geology

The 25 Best Things To Do With Kids In Boise

2455 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712 368-9876 | Website

Most kids love rocks, and theres no better way to explore the Gem State than through its rich mineral deposits. This tiny museum, tucked next to the Old Pen, has a beautiful array of local specimens, as well as books on how to hunt themselves down yourselves and maps on where to go to do it. Best yet, the look in your kids eyes when they say, you rock!

Courtesy of the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology

938-9185 | Website

More than just a tumble-gym, The Little Gym nurtures self-confidence and growth through a variety of physical exercises, experiences, camps, and classes. With something for four-month-olds to twelve-year-olds, lessons get kids moving, boost brain power, and emphasize social and emotional learning through activities like dance, karate, and gymnastics.

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Idaho Museum Of Mining Geology

The Idaho Museum of Mining Geology will take you deep beneath the earths surface to explore the rich history of mining in Idaho. Youll learn about all the metals and minerals that are found around Idaho including Gold.

Kids will able to touch ancient fossils and gemstones giving them a hands-on experience. Best of all, admission is free.

Inn At 500 Capitol Hotel

stellamc / Shutterstock

Where you stay is going to have at least some effect on your vacation.

There are many great hotels in Boise, but the top one might be the Inn at 500 Capitol.

Staying here is a good way to turn a trip from a 9 to 10.

This four-diamond hotel is the epitome of luxury and hospitality.

The rooms are expansive and provide amazing glimpses of the downtown sights.

You can also see great local artwork all around the hotel.

Waking up at the Inn at 500 means waking up with a smile on your face.

The Inn at 500 Capitol provides immense comfort for its guests.

Please consider staying here when youre visiting Boise.

Its definitely worth the cost and provides easy access to things to do in downtown Boise.

This hotel can help make Boise one of your top vacation spots.

Address: 500 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702, United States

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Old Idaho State Penitentiary

For another cool look at Boises history, take a tour of the Idaho State Penitentiary, opened from 1872 to 1973.

While for younger kids it might be scary, older kids and adults should take the self-guided tour to learn of its more than 100 years of prison history of escapes, scandals and executions. The site features thirty historic buildings and special exhibits, including historic weapons.

The tour includes visits to Solitary Confinement, cell blocks and the Gallows

Idaho Black History Museum

Rafting Down the Boise River (Mom Overboard!) Things to do in Boise: Boise with Kids

Idaho Black History Museum

The Idaho Black History Museum opened in 1995 and has been an incredible resource for learning about the importance of African Americans in Idaho.

Housed in a renovated chapel near Julia Davis Park, the Idaho Black History has a deceptively modest look.

When you step inside and see the power of these exhibits, the museum can seem twice as big.

This is one of the top history museums in Idaho.

It teaches about the impact of African Americans in Idaho and around the world.

If youre seeing different museums in Boise, you have to make time for this one.

The Idaho Black History Museum is one of the top historical points of interest in Boise.

Its open from Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Theres no cost for admission, but you are encouraged to donate.

Address: 508 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, ID 83702, United States

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Things To Do In Boise With Kids This Winter

With its lively and walkable downtown, abundant parks, large trail systems, and proximity to the mountains its no surprise that Boise, Idaho is frequently on top lists of places to work and live. Word has gotten out about the beautiful City of Trees and now it has been named as one of the countrys fastest growing cities.

Here youll find four beautiful seasons, with plenty of activities. But if youre looking for a winter vacay to this city, then here are 10 things to do in Boise with kids this winter.

Bogus Basin. Located only 16 miles outside of downtown Boise youll find Bogus Basin. With 2,600 acres of terrain, this is the areas year-round recreation destination for skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. What makes Bogus Basin unique is that they have one of the largest night skiing operations in the country usually open from 4 pm 10 pm daily. Its truly magical to be able to ski while having lights illuminate the trails. If putting on skis or a board isnt your thing then you can enjoy the 800ft tubing hill or the thrilling high-speed Glade Runner Mountain Coaster, which is open during the winter season as well.

Hockey Game. Idaho Central Arena is located right in the center of downtown Boise. Grab dinner at a local restaurant and walk right to the arena to catch an excitingIdaho SteelheadsHockey Game.

Morley Nelson Snake River Birds Of Prey Area

Murphy, ID 83650 384-3300 | Website

Bring your binoculars, pack a picnic, and drive 20 minutes south of Boise to spend the day in the home of the highest concentration of nesting raptors in North America. Kids will be in awe of the roughly 800 pairs of hawks, owls, eagles and falcons that journey to the 484,000-acre conservation site each spring to mate and raise their young.

334-2844 | Website

Many parents fantasize about sending their kids to solitary confinement for a few hours, but only at the Old Idaho Penitentiary site can families experience that and more. The Old Pen, which opened its doors in 1872, now offers tours of its 30 historic buildings including cell blocks, gallows, and solitary. It also features a collection of historic weaponry and in-depth profiles of some of its most famous, and fascinating, inmates.

Courtesy of the Old Idaho Penitentiary

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Revel At The Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is an oasis in the high desert. Situated next to the Old Penitentiary, the garden has grown and transformed over its 36+ years. In fact, the site served as the Old Idaho State Penitentiary’s farm and nursery until 1973. The Idaho Botanical Garden is made up of 12 themed gardens. The Meditation Garden is a peaceful place to wander and includes a flowing water pond. Meanwhile the Conservation Landscape displays water-conserving plants and the Fire Wise Garden showcases plants that are fire resistant. The unique and informative Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden opened in 2006 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis-Clark Expedition. Best of all for kids is the Children’s Adventure Garden complete with carnivorous plants and tree houses. Come to the Idaho Botanical Garden to revel in your freedom after visiting the Old Pen site.

Tour The Old Idaho Penitentiary

The 25 Best Things To Do With Kids In Boise

Visiting a decommissioned jail in a National Historic Site is one of the cooler things you can do in Boise with kids and teens. The first building in the Old Pen complex dates back to 1894. You can easily imagine the misery of prison life by looking into these old, tiny 3×8-foot cells. A guided tour brings the buildings to life. The fascinating Marked Men Tattoo Exhibit teaches the meaning and history of prison tattoos. A walk through the History of Arms and Armament building is included in the admission price.

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Things To Do With Kids In Boise

The City of Trees is growing rapidly, likely due to its consistent rankings on top 10 lists. Boise has been placed among the best US downtowns, the best city to raise a family, the healthiest, best place to retire, best place to be a doctor, a good spot for yogis and asthmatics, and much more. Its clear that theres many reasons to bring a family to Boise, Idaho, even for just a quick weekend trip. Look below for some kid-approved activities in Boise:

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