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Boise State Bucket List | Winter Activities!

Broncos know that when Boise is blanketed in its first snow of the season and transformed into a winter wonderland, that means winter fun and holiday festivities have just begun! Some of our favorite seasonal outdoor recreation, sightseeing, and entertainment activities are best enjoyed when the temperature dips, so we’re back with our list of can’t-miss winter activities to do in the Treasure Valley and beyond. Let’s check ‘em out!


In this video, Lauren and Sawyer take you through their Boise State Bucket List.

✔ Sightseeing

Students enjoy Kirkham Hot Springs

Hot Springs

Cost: FREE
Directions to Kirkham Hot Springs

Idaho has over 130 natural hot springs throughout the state and some of them are located just outside Boise. Hot Springs are naturally heated soaking pools that make for a great way to kick back and enjoy Idaho’s stunning scenics with friends, even when the weather gets chilly. Many natural hot springs are free and open to the public and one of the most popular spots with Broncos is Kirkham Hot Springs which is just under a 2-hour car drive from campus– making it the perfect day trip!

Check out other popular Idaho Hot Springs

Holiday Lights and Traditions

Students at the annual tree lighting

Cost: FREE

One of our favorite ways to celebrate the winter holidays is to visit all the best light displays around the Treasure Valley. Whether you’re strolling down neighborhood streets of Boise’s North End admiring quaintly decorated houses or celebrating the lighting of downtown Boise’s designated ‘Giving Tree’ at Boise’s Grove Plaza, there are plenty of fun ways to get into the holiday spirit. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention Boise State’s own annual winter gathering tradition that brings our community together for holiday music, hot chocolate, a tree-lighting and the kick-off of a season of light and reflection.

Another can’t-miss event is the New Year’s Eve Idaho Potato Drop which draws in spectators from all around the world. With live performances, food trucks, and lots of festive cheer just outside of the State Capitol building, we can’t think of a more ‘Boise’ way to ring in the new year with friends.

✔ Outdoor Rec

Skiing, Snowboarding and More!

A snowboarder in Boise State attire

Cost: Prices vary. Student Discounts are available!
Directions to Bogus Basin

If you’re seeking a dose of adrenaline during these winter months, consider taking up one of Boise’s most popular winter past-times, skiing or snowboarding. Idaho’s home to 18 ski resorts, each with their own unique personality and amenities, but many students take advantage of the close proximity to Bogus Basin, just 20 miles from campus. With up to 92 different trails ranging in different skill levels, it’s a great place for beginners and professionals alike.

Other great alternatives to “shredding powder” include taking a slide down Bogus Basin’s 800-foot-long tubing hill or snowshoeing along scenic trails in Boise’s foothills. For options a little closer to campus, many students find a sledding hill at one of Boise’s 90+ public parks or enjoy visits to nearby indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks.

Looking to rent some equipment for all your winter sports? You can find all the supplies you’ll need for these activities at an affordable price at Boise State’s Rec Center.

✔ Entertainment

Theater and Performing Arts
A production at the Morrison Center

Cost: Prices vary. Student Discounts are available!
Directions to Velma V Morrison Center

If you’re trying to dodge the cold weather and enjoy the tunes and spectacle of Broadway, you don’t have to look far to get your fix. The Morrison Center, located right on campus, is the largest performing arts venue in Idaho and annually hosts hundreds of live entertainment and arts education offerings. In addition to being the home of many student-led productions, Broncos often can take advantage of student ticket discounts for touring Broadway favorites like Hamilton, Hairspray, and Aladdin.

You can also cozy up for a good show at other performing arts venues within walking distance of campus including the Boise Contemporary Theater, Ballet Idaho and LED Boise.

Holiday Bazaars and Makers Markets

Cost: FREE

Winter is the season of giving and one great way to shop local and dodge the mania at malls and department stores is to visit one of the many holiday bazaars and makers markets throughout the Treasure Valley! Downtown Boise’s First Thursday pop-ups and Indian Creek’s annual Winter Wonderland are just a couple of great places to find unique and handmade gifts for loved ones while you enjoy festive lights and entertainment.

Bronco student life is filled with all kinds of adventure. If you’re beginning your journey to become an #OfficialBronco and want to learn more about Student Life at Boise State, explore our website, visit us on campus, and contact us!
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Follow #BoiseStateBucketList and stay tuned on @BoiseStateAdmissions and @BoiseStateStudentLife on social media for seasonal episodes to come. PLUS! Share your #BoiseStateBucketList activities with us for the chance to be featured in future episodes!!

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Behind the Bucket List

Boise State Bucket List was written, filmed, and edited in part by current Boise State students. In addition to being the incredible hosts of this episode, current seniors Lauren and Sawyer also provide student-led campus tours and love giving future Broncos the inside scoop on all things Boise State. Schedule your campus visit today for the opportunity to connect with current students and get your burning questions answered.

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