As Idaho’s capital city Boise is a mecca for art, culture, cuisine and of course, outdoor recreation.
With annual events like the Gene Harris Jazz Festival, Art in the Park, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise is the cultural center of the gem state. Food is a top priority for Boiseans, and unique events like the Soul Food Extravaganza showcase this priority.
As home to the largest population of Basque’s outside of Spain, Boise is proud to host Jaialdi, an event which takes place every five years and showcases the Basque culture through music, food, dancing and history.
Spend a day at the Discovery Center of Idaho and learn about the physics of science or check out Boondock’s Fun Center and Roaring Springs Water Park in nearby Meridian, a 17-acre park where kids enjoy bumper boats, race cars, mini golf and gallons and gallons of water.
For an "up close and personal" animal experience families love the World Center for Birds of Prey and the Boise Zoo. Both offer unique exhibits and a chance to learn about specific birds and other animals native to Idaho and other parts of the world.
Boise offers a chance to hit the outdoors from almost anywhere in the city. Escape to the foothills for hiking and mountain biking, or rent a tube or raft and take a leisurely float down the Boise River. For a more casual outdoor experience, try an afternoon walk on the Boise Greenbelt. When you’re ready to take it up a notch, Lucky Peak State Park is a short 30-minute drive and offers swimming, boating and jet skiing opportunities, while the Payette River at Banks offers families the chance to get wet on some Idaho whitewater.
For wintertime excursions, Bogus Basin Ski Resort is only a 30-40 minute drive from downtown and Tamarack Resort and Brundage Mountain are a two-hour drive north.
Combine Education and Recreation in Central Idaho
Just west of Arco, Craters of the Moon National Monument is an 83 square-mile national monument with a stunning array of volcanic features including aa, pahoehoe and blocky lava; cinder and spatter cones and lava tubes (caves). The Craters of the Moon National Monument is the largest lava field of its type in the mainland United States. A visitor center explains the flow and trails and guides are available to take the kids out into the lava or on a climb into a cave.