Fun and Free Things to Do in the Treasure Valley

fun things to do in idaho

I’ve lived in Boise most of my life, and needless to say it is a wonderful place! From riding the green belt along the river to skiing the slopes in Bogus Basin, there are so many different fun activities that Treasure Valley residents can enjoy all year around. Beside the big treats that the Treasure Valley has to offer such as Table Rock, Camel’s Back Park, and Quinn’s Pond, there are also so many hidden gems in the area that you and your family can experience for really cheap or even for FREE. Here is a big list of free, inexpensive, and fun summer ideas to keep moms and kids in the Treasure Valley busy and happy. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!

Summer Activities

Free Outdoor Movies:

movies in boise

photo credit: Boise Weekly

Free Summer Lunch Programs:

free food in boise

photo credit: Idaho News

Public Pools and Splash Parks:

photo credit: KTVB

Water fun in Boise, Meridian, and Nampa:

photo credit: Idaho Statesman

Entertainment in the Treasure Valley:

entertainment in boise

photo credit: Idaho News

Libraries in Boise:

photo credit: Idaho Statesman

All the Libraries in the Treasure Valley offer free and fun activities for kids, youth, and adults!

Spring Break Activities

Easter Egg Hunts

  • Check out this Easter Egg Hunt Website that will keep you updated on all the Easter Egg hunting happening in the Treasure Valley


free activities in treasure valley

photo credit: City Hope Church

Sports and Outdoors

free things to do in boise

photo credit: Boise Hunter Homes

Other Outdoor Activities:

fun activities boise

photo credit: The North End

Cheap Movies:

Refreshment Deals:

  • Sonic: Happy Hour 2-4pm daily (1/2 price drinks) and 1/2 priced milkshakes after 8pm going on now!
  • Best Sno Shacks: TenMile/McMillan, Cherry/Linder

Other Resources

fun things in eagle

photo credit: Idaho State Parks and Recreation

What do you LOVE to do in the Treasure Valley? Leave your ideas for fun things to do in the comments below!


  • What is Ice Blocking? I’ve never heard of that! Sadly, Treasure Valley Family Magazine no longer publishes new issues or keeps their event calendar going. Their last issue was June. 🙁

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      Ice Blocking… you buy a big block of ice, sit on it and slide down the hill. 🙂 You’ll want to fold up a towel to sit on so your behind doesn’t get wet/cold!

    • Beware of Ice Blocking. We know people who’s teen daughter was killed on Simplot Hill while ice blocking with her Youth Group. This is not a safe activity.

  • What a terrific resource. Great post Cathy! Thanks…

  • Hey folks this is just a side note. Right now in Boise, if you eat at the QDoba Mexican Grill on Broadway(by Myrtle), you will find a coupon on the bottom of your receipt that gives you a buy one get one Half Off entree after 5pm. Can you say date night?!!!! The food is excellent!! They even have veggie alternatives.

  • Thanks so much for this list! Just moved to Boise last month. This is a great resource of activities in our new home.

  • I am having trouble finding the schedule for free lunch in the Nampa area for summer 2014. Anyone know of a link?

  • Thank You so much for taking the time to put this list together!! My family and I just transferred into the Boise area this past weekend. What a jewel this list is for my son and I to ‘play through’ while Daddy begins work in this beautiful city!
    Thank you!

  • Depressing! The pin for this should say things to do in west idaho! I’m in rexburg 🙁 I can’t travel hours for this stuff lol

    • it has been lots of years since living on that side- but some of the things we did there are, sand dunes, caves, mountain biking, old bridge exploring, museums, farms and factory tours, shooting, rock repelling, play houses with meals, hikes, bridge jumping, there is a videogame place in Idaho Falls that has a giant teeter-totter ride. There are a few fun places there. look around and you will find much fun.

  • Children’s Garden Club of Edwards Greenhouse and The Florist at Edwards is provides children between the ages of 3 & 12 the opportunity to experience gardening through stories, print material and hands-on activities.

  • Most of that stuff is not free. Unless you are outdoorsy, there is nothing to do here. – Native

  • The Foothills learning center has a free class for kids age 3-6 the second Tuesday of each month. You have to sign up through Boise Parks and Rec. They walk the kids around their story trail and have a corresponding craft for them at the end. Very fun! If you can’t make it to the class the story trail is just a very short trail around their building with pages of a story at each stop. You read the story as you go. The story changes every month. They also have a free Saturday activity the second Saturday of each month.
    Also, the first Saturday of each month Home Depot has a free kids project that are always very fun.
    The Discovery Center is very expensive. However, their yearly family passes are quite affordable ($65 per year for a family). That includes 2 free adult night tickets and five free guest passes. They have a preschool class every Wed, Thur, and Fri. It is the same each week so you pick one of the days per week to go. They have also increased member benefits by adding a members only night where they make ice cream for tasting, hours for members only, and allow you to bring 2 guests per family pass with you.
    I also love the city pool pass in the summer. All Boise pools for around $115 per family for the whole summer.
    The Zoo pass it worth it for my family for the butterfly exhibit in the summer alone. Love my zoo pass.
    Don’t forget to check out the Boise Parks and Rec summer classes when they come out. My kids have taken hip hop dance, pottery, art classes, and many other great classes in the summer. They have also been on swim team, which practices every day in July and most of August. If you want water confidence to skyrocket put your kids on swim team for a summer. Unbelievable improvement.
    I love Boise, Hope you find something you will love, too.

  • The park by the Village in Meridian has a splash park.

    Also the theater in the Village has $5 movies on Tuesdays (as does Edwards) if your looking for a cheaper way to see summer movies that are coming out.

    And there are tons of littl fishing ponds that the city stocks if kids want to try fishing. Under 14 don’t need a licence. If your and idaho resident, you can get a licence for around $25 that is good until the end of the calendar year. There’s a pond at Settlers, a couple by the park by the Village, one at McDermit park off Eagle an McMillan, and lots more!

    Also if you don’t want to fight the crowds floating the Boise River, go Emmett and you can float the Payette!

  • The Idaho State Historical Museum is closed for renovations, and will be closed until 2017.

  • 12/21/16 — Um, with sooooo much water around the city, why isn’t there an aquarium?!?

  • Hi- We have two events we’d love to have you share with your readers. Both are free and geared toward families.

    On November 16th at approximately 6:30 p.m. Scentsy will pull the lever and turn on 724,000 Christmas lights! That’s 34 miles of lights — even more than last year. The grounds will be open to the public. Come stroll, ohh and ahh, and take your holiday photos with this winter wonderland as your backdrop. Food trucks will be on the grounds for treats and warm drinks.

    Come stroll the grounds of Scentsy’s Campus and don’t forget your camera. On December 11th and 12th, the campus will be glowing with 724,000 Christmas lights—that’s 34 miles of lights! We’ll have area high school and BSU’s choir singing traditional and holiday favorites in our outdoor amphitheater, Santa for the kids and a live Nativity reenacting the manger scene. Come get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies.

  • This is a wonderful post and randomly reading all the comments and made me laugh but made me thankful for all the wonderful ppl still caring to try to help. God bless u all

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