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5 ½ Things to Do in the Winter in Boise (Especially if You Don’t Ski or Snowboard)

Winter campus scenes, snow, photo Patrick Sweeney

I’ll be honest with you: I’m not a very coordinated person. And I don’t mean in the organizational sense, I mean like physically I am not very good at balancing myself upright. As a result, I’ve never had the ability — or the desire — to head up to Bogus Basin or many of Idaho’s other ski resorts with my friends during the winter months. For those of us who may not find the slopes ideal as the snow starts to fall across our state, keep reading for 5 ½ things to do in the winter in Boise, especially if you don’t ski or snowboard.

1) Ice skating

While some of your friends may be carpooling up the Foothills, it may give you ample free time to check out another classic winter activity: ice skating. Just twenty minutes away from campus, the Village at Meridian offers ice skating on their rink from 12 – 9 p.m. most days in December. You and a few friends can make a reservation and be gliding around in no time (and maybe even get shopping done at the same time!)

2) Coffee shop hop

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets colder here in Boise, is to try out many of the coffee shops and cafes our area has to offer. With over a dozen in walking distance of Boise State’s campus, there are a dozen reasons to check out some of these cozy spaces. Form and Function, Dawson Taylor, and District Coffee are great starts. And hey, maybe you’ll even find your new favorite homework spot.

3) View holiday lights

Aside from just driving, walking, or biking around the city and viewing holiday lights at places light Eighth and Main in downtown Boise, the tree in front of the capitol building, or the tree in the Boise State quad, there’s plenty of places to see festive decorations. The Idaho Botanical Garden hosts their annual Winter Garden aGlow until Dec 31 and there’s even the Christmas in Color drive-thru display in Garden City. Get some hot cocoa and head out there!

4) Hot springs

Just because you may not be a big skier or snowboarder doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had in the Boise Mountains. The Kirkham Hot Springs are right off the main highway and are just less than two hours away from campus. That’s just one example of the many, many springs Idaho has to offer. The hot springs can be a great, relaxing day trip for you and a good group of friends.

5) Tubing

If you’re still looking for an adrenaline rush this winter, tubing is also a great way to get your fix without having to exert yourself too much. Bogus Basin actually has tubing open on select days throughout the winter. In Eagle, Gateway Parks has a state-of-the art tubing hill that operates daily throughout the winter season. Talk about an exciting afternoon!

5 ½) Reflect

While this isn’t necessarily a go out and do activity, this time of year is a great time for reflection. With holidays fast approaching, we’re quickly coming to the end of 2021. Try and think about what things went really well for you this year academically, socially, and everywhere else. For things that didn’t go so well, maybe think about what you can tweak going into the new year. For me, that happens to be making more time for my hobbies and relaxation and maintaining a solid GPA. Hopefully, you can use this time to come back rejuvenated and more ready than ever to tackle all that 2022 brings!

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