Fun and Free Things to Do in the Treasure Valley
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!
Free Outdoor Movies:
photo credit: Boise Weekly
- Settlers Park Family Night Movie: A fun family friendly free tradition that happens every summer from June to August in Meridian
- Movies Under the Stars at Julia Davis Park: Another fun option to watch family friendly hits in Boise from June to August
Free Summer Lunch Programs:
photo credit: Idaho News
- FREE lunch at the park in different parks throughout the Boise area from June to August. Kids 18 years and younger can eat for free and adults can purchase a lunch for a small fee.
- The Boise, Meridian, and Nampa School Districts provide summer meal programs for kids doing summer school, but it is also open to the public for free lunch. Check out these site for more info:
Public Pools and Splash Parks:
photo credit: KTVB
- Meridian Pool at Storey Park: Pricing ranges from $2 – $4
- Settlers Park Splash Park: FREE, park is open from 6am to 10pm
- Lakeview Waterpark in Nampa: Pricing ranges from $1-$3
- Ivywild Pool in Boise: has a fun kiddie pool & water slides for bigger kids. Pricing ranges from $2.25 to $4
- Boise Pools: try the inflatable obstacle course at the Fairmont Pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Play in the fountain at Ann Morrison Park
- Play in the fountain near the Grove Hotel in Boise at the Boise Centre on the Grove
Water fun in Boise, Meridian, and Nampa:
photo credit: Idaho Statesman
- Eagle Island State Park in Eagle, ID – $5 per vehicle (make sure it’s open before you go… they have had to close at times due to some contaminated water).
- Sandy Point Beach at Lucky Peak, East Boise- $5 per vehicle
- Quinn’s Pond in Boise (Garden City) – FREE! You can rent paddle boards near by, or fish, wade, swim, play on the beach… all for free! Beautiful paths and
- Float the Boise River in Downtown Boise – you can fill your tubes and rafts for free at the starting point at Barber Park!
- Lake Lowell in Nampa, ID
- Surf the waves at Boise Whitewater Park
Entertainment in the Treasure Valley:
photo credit: Idaho News
- Starlight Mountain Theatre in Garden Valley – always a fun treat! A short one hour drive from Boise!
- Meridian Speedway: Get a family pass with 2 adults and 4 kids for $36
- Firebird Raceway
- Zoo Boise : Discount admission on Thursdays
- Meridian PAL sports Program
- Lakeview Golf Course Family Association: Inexpensive golf for the whole family in the evenings
- Right around Thanksgiving, the headquarters of Scentsy light up thousands and thousands of Christmas lights! You can stroll around the Scentsy campus (known as Scentsy Commons) and enjoy the beauty! The venue is beautiful and they even have a cafe inside the building that is open to the public! Go HERE to check out what is happening at Scentsy Commons right now!
Libraries in Boise:
photo credit: Idaho Statesman
All the Libraries in the Treasure Valley offer free and fun activities for kids, youth, and adults!
- Meridian Library: Summer reading program & other activities
- Boise Public Library: Summer reading program & other activities
- Nampa Public Library Activities
- Eagle Public Library
- Kuna Public Library – Summer Reading Program
- Caldwell Public Library – Summer Reading Program
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
photo credit: City Hope Church
- Tour the Basque Museum and Cultural Center: Pricing is free for kids 5 and under and ranges from $3 to $5 for kids to adults
- Visit the Idaho State Historical Museum
- Explore the Discovery Center of Idaho
- March to the Idaho Military History Museum – Displays of military firearms, uniforms, the development of Gowen Field. Tuesday-Saturday donations accepted.
- Boise Depot – Open Sunday and Monday from 11am to 5 pm FREE
- Warhawk Air Museum – explore aircrafts from WWII in Nampa, ID
- Old Idaho Penitentiary visitors may tour the cell blocks, gallows, solitary confinement and prison grounds
Sports and Outdoors
photo credit: Boise Hunter Homes
- Zoo Boise (Discount admissions on Thursdays)
- Fish at Arrowrock Reservoir
- Play frisbee golf at Ann Morrison Park
- Idaho Ice World – Family Night every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, $5 per person includes skate rentals.
- Kids Bowl Free (just pay shoe rental)
- Big Al’s Specials: Monday evenings 6pm-close $1 games, shoes and sodas (be prepared to wait though!)
- Go Geocaching
- Hike Table Rock (here is a site with info about hiking in the foothills)
- Enjoy gorgeous nature at Camels Back Park and the area right behind it, called Hulls Gulch.
- Bike the beautiful Boise Greenbelt
- Givens Hot Springs in Nampa/Caldwell Area – Swim in the hot springs. This rural location is along what was once the Oregon Trail invites historical exploration of the surrounding area. Cabin rentals and camping available.
Other Outdoor Activities:
photo credit: The North End
- Fish in the pond at Fuller or Settlers Park
- Go Ice Blocking on Simplot Hill
- Hike Camel’s Back Park
- Visit the MK Nature Center for some BEAUTIFUL nature and see all the fish! FREE!
- Go the the Capital City Market Saturday mornings
- Spring Break Camps for Kids.
- The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise
- Edwards in Boise: In the summer, you can watch a select variety of movies for only $1
- Reel Theatre in Nampa & Boise-
- Overland Park Theatre: in Boise- $1 Tuesdays
- 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
photo credit: Idaho State Parks and Recreation
- Visit IDAHO: Great place to find info on everything in Idaho
- http://www.meridiancity.org/ (Meridian)
- http://www.nampaparksandrecreation.org/ (Nampa)
- http://www.cityofeagle.org/ (Eagle)
- http://parks.cityofboise.org/ (Boise)
- http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/ (Idaho)
What do you LOVE to do in the Treasure Valley? Leave your ideas for fun things to do in the comments below!
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