The 13 Best Family Activities in Boise, ID & Surrounding Area

13 Best Family Activities in Boise Idaho

Having been a resident of Boise my entire life, I am often asked about my favorite activities by people who are new to the area.  Particularly, families are curious as to which activities to enjoy together.  What activities does the Treasure Valley have to offer families?

Here is My Vote for the Best Family Activities in Boise, ID:

  • Skiing at Bogus Basin
  • Floating the Boise River
  • Riding the Waves at Whitewater Park
  • Spending an Evening at The Village at Meridian
  • Water Skiing and Boating at Lucky Peak
  • Bike Riding in the Greenbelt / Foothills
  • Attending a Boise State University Football Game
  • Attending the Shakespeare Festival
  • Taking a Tour of the Old Idaho Penitentiary
  • Visiting the World Center for Birds of Prey
  • Visiting the Warhawk Air Museum
  • Touring the Idaho Botanical Garden
  • Walking Through the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center

These activities are all family-friendly and sure to engage adults and children alike.  Many of these activities either hold educational value or will serve to keep your family fit and active.  These provide great outings for your family to bond over.

Skiing at Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin is the perfect place to learn to ski as a family.  With terrains ranging from beginner to advanced, this course is fun for everyone.  The Bogus Basin is 16 miles north of Boise and features 2,600 acres of land to ski on.

The Bogus Basin is especially fun to ski at night.  Giant floodlights light up the valley in a variety of colors and provide for a beautiful view.  There are restaurants available for family dining, and the 2 lodges provide a wonderful atmosphere to come in and warm up!

Floating the Boise River

Barber Park is a popular starting place for rafters and tubers on the Boise River.  You can rent rafts and floats here, or you can bring your own.  There are air stations available for putting air into your own floating equipment.  There are plenty of places to pull aside along the river and enjoy a picnic lunch.  

The fast-moving water and navigable terrain make this activity both fun and safe for families to enjoy.  Shuttles are available to return your family to your car after you have finished floating.

Riding the Waves at Whitewater Park

Waveshapers and jetties turn regular river flow into waves suitable for surfing and testing your kayaking skills.  An afternoon at Whitewater Park is the perfect way to spend time as a family!  Any water activity that normally utilizes waves can be performed in this park on the river.  This effect is known as the “green wave”

Whitewater Park is a great place to teach your children how to paddleboard, surf, or kayak.  It is also a wonderful place to cool off on a hot summer day!

Spending an Evening at the Village at Meridian

An evening at the Village at Meridian has everything to offer to a family looking for fun.  With shopping, dining, and even a movie theater available, there are several activities for a family to enjoy.  There is even a play area for the children to take advantage of while mothers enjoy shopping. 

Perhaps the greatest attraction at the Village at Meridian is the hourly fountain and music show.  The fountain pulses and entertains along with the beat of the music.  Both adults and children alike will enjoy this show!


Get in touch with Ryan today! Mobile: 208-514-7636 Or Email Me..

Water Skiing and Boating at Lucky Peak

Spring Shores at Lucky Peak State Park is the perfect place to put in a boat and other water toys.  There are rentals available if you do not have your own boat.  There is ample room for waterskiing and enjoying other sports on the water.  There is also a beach available for those who want to relax in the sand or play in the water.

Bike Riding in the Greenbelt / Foothills

The Boise Greenbelt is a biking and walking trail that follows the Boise River.  This is one of the most popular trails for biking in the country.  The Greenbelt provides access to several Idaho State Parks.  The trail is popular because of its beautiful views and varied terrain.  It is a great place for beginners as well as professional bikers to enjoy themselves.

Enjoying a BSU Football Game

Home games for the Boise State University Broncos are played at Albertson’s Stadium in Boise.  Taking the family to a football game is a great way to spend time together.  The regular season runs from September through November, with playoff games taking place in December.

Attending the Shakespeare Festival

Every year the Idaho Shakespeare Festival takes place over four months.  Actors portray the works of Shakespeare in a large amphitheater on the banks of the Boise River.  75,000 people attend this festival every year.  It is the perfect place to bring your family to take in some literary value while enjoying a picnic in the scenic Boise Foothills.

Taking a Tour of the Old Idaho Penitentiary

Some of the worst criminals of the 1800s were housed in the Old Idaho Penitentiary.  You can tour this 30-building site with your family, viewing the cell blocks, the solitary confinement quarters, and even the gallows.  There is enough historic value at this site to keep your family interested for hours.  Stories of the criminals who used to be housed in the penitentiary will make history come alive for your kids.

Visiting the World Center for Birds of Prey

This center features both indoor and outdoor exhibits and will allow your family to get up close and personal with a variety of raptors.  The World Center for Birds of Prey provides a great learning experience for the whole family.  There are many shows and presentations during the day for you to enjoy, and there is also a Discovery Room for younger visitors.

There is a ¼ mile trail on the property that will allow you the opportunity to view raptors in the wild.  The center has also created a cliff environment which provides a flourishing habitat for the endangered California condor. 

Visiting the Warhawk Air Museum

The Warhawk Air Museum is located in Nampa.  This is an excellent place to take your family to learn about our country’s rich history.  The museum houses planes for WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War.  Plan to spend several hours viewing the different planes and reading about their role in our military.

Touring the Idaho Botanical Garden

This is an activity you and your family can enjoy again and again.  The plants on display change with the seasons, so there is always something new to see.  You might even get to see some local wildlife living among the plants.  The gardens are beautiful and well-maintained.  They provide for the perfect afternoon out as a family.

Walking Through the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center

The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center covers about 5 acres of pristine property along the Greenbelt.  There are walking trails available on which you are sure to see some of the local wildlife enjoying their habitat.  There are even underwater windows available to view trout and other fish in their natural habitat underwater.  A visitor center will provide your family with information pertinent to the wildlife on the premises.