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Keeping Busy in Boise

Dusk view of downtown boise

There are so many things to do in and around Boise, it’s tough to decide where to start. We’ve compiled this list to give you some ideas.

All Year:

Boise Art Museum – Learn about modern and contemporary art in a variety of exhibitions showcasing international artists. Show your student ID for free admission.

Go on a hike up to Table Rock, or any of the miles and miles of the Ridge to Rivers trail system nearby.  Check out this Ridge to Rivers Interactive Map to plan your course.

Head up the mountain to Bogus Basin for fun all year. There’s hiking and biking trails, an all-seasons tubing hill, and… a mountain roller coaster!

The Idaho Botanical Garden has a variety of options all year round. They offer a beautiful bloom in the spring and summer, and during the holiday season they light the garden with more than 400,000 lights for visitors to walk through and enjoy.

Find somewhere to eat. Check out one of the many restaurants located in downtown Boise. 8th street has a ton of options, or if you want to avoid the action try something in the North End.

While you’re downtown, don’t miss Freak Alley. It’s said to be the largest outdoor gallery in the northwest and is an absolute celebration of street art at its finest.

Zoo Boise – Zoo Boise connects our visitors with animals to inspire and involve our community in the conservation of wildlife worldwide.

Watch the sunset at Table Rock. You can either drive up Table Rock Road and park alongside the road or leave early enough to hike up to the top.

Check out the beautiful Idaho State capitol building located in the heart of downtown Boise. It’s open every day of the week to visitors.

Go on a bike ride along the Greenbelt, or even go mountain biking in the foothills. If you don’t have one, you can rent or buy one at the Cycle Learning Center (CLC).

Anne Frank Memorial – This nearby landmark is the only Anne Frank Memorial in the US. You can visit there yourself or take a virtual tour here.

The Aquarium of Boise has reopened and is an exciting and educational experience for everyone no matter the age. They are open every day of the week and have different exhibits to experience.


Float the Boise River – start at Barber Park and float all the way to Ann Morrison Park.

Explore the nearby lakes and rivers: Lucky Peak, Snake River, Payette River, Boise River, Quinn’s Pond, Jump Creek Falls, and Black Canyon Reservoir to name a few.

Go white water rafting along the Payette River. You can do an all-day adventure or just enjoy a half-day of paddling and getting soaked.


Wake up early to catch the Spirit of Boise hot air balloon festival.

Visit a pumpkin patch, choose your favorite, and have a pumpkin carving contest. Don’t forget to turn your pumpkin seeds into a yummy snack.

If you’re into the spooky side of Halloween then make sure to check out one of Boise’s haunted houses.


Go skiing or snowboarding at Bogus Basin. They have a variety of season passes to choose from as well as day (or night) passes. They also give student discounts on all of their passes.

Grab some friends and go tubing at Eagle Island Park.

Some winters in Boise get more snow than others, but if you see just enough on the ground head over to Camel’s Back Park for some sledding. Don’t have a sled? No problem, the hill is steep enough that you can  get creative with your “sled”!


Play disc golf at Ann Morrison Park.

MK Nature Center – Take a stroll through StreamWalk right along the Greenbelt. There are some good chances you’ll see some wildlife along with sturgeon.

Set up a picnic in the park. Grab a blanket and a basket full of food and layout in the sunshine. Some great parks to check out are Camel’s Back Park, Julia Davis Park, and Municipal Park.

spirit of boise hot air balloon festival

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