In 2014, Boise was named number one on Livability.com’s Top 10 Best Cities for Kids list. The Boise area has award-winning schools, low costs of living and a low crime rate, all of which make the city appealing to young families. The Boise area is the place to be for families who want their children exposed to the great outdoors as well provide them with the big-city experience. No matter where you live in Boise, fun activities are just minutes away.
Here is a list of 10 fun things to do with kids in the Boise area:
- Zoo Boise
355 Julia Davis Dr.
Boise, ID, 83702
Zoo Boise hosts a wide array of animal exhibits, with an African boat ride, kids’ farm, butterfly area, and food and drink. If your little one has been dreaming of getting nose-to-nose with a giraffe, they will have their chance at the Giraffe Encounter. From 1:30 – 2:30 pm visitors will be able to feed the giraffes lettuce leaves for three dollars. Zoo visitors will also have the opportunity to feed a sloth bear at the Sloth Bear Encounter. This encounter is available from 10:30 – 11:30 am for up to 25 visitors for only three dollars. Butterflies in Bloom is open each summer. You may stroll through a flower filled greenhouse as hundreds of colorful butterflies from Costa Rica fly above and around you from June 1st – September 7th. Butterflies in Bloom is included with your zoo admission.
Details: Zoo Boise is open daily from 9 am until 5 pm, June through August. September through April, Zoo Boise is open from 10 am until 5 pm. Last admission is at 4:30 pm daily. They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission Prices for May through September: Adults (12-61) $10, Seniors (62+) $8, Children (3-11) $7, Children (2 and under) Free. Every Thursday is discount admission day. Friends of Zoo Boise Annual Pass holders receive FREE admission to Zoo Boise all year round (plus free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos around the country).
- MK Nature Center
600 S Walnut St
Boise, ID 83712
The MK Nature Center offers a unique wildlife experience on a 4.6-acre site along the Boise River Greenbelt. The Stream Walk and Visitor Center provide a glimpse of Idaho’s many landscapes and abundant wildlife. Underwater viewing windows along the stream walk give visitors a fish-eye view of the world. Inside the visitor center kids can participate in hands-on activities like making animal tracks in the sand, touching animal pelts, antlers, horns and skulls.
Details: Open Tuesday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and Day. Free.
- World Center for Birds of Prey
5668 West Flying Hawk Lane
Boise, Idaho 83709
Guided tours teach visitors all about the lives and habits of eagles, hawks, condors, and other birds native to the West. The center features interactive displays, multi-media shows, and live demonstrations with raptors. Young visitors take delight in the Discovery Room with hands-on eggs, feathers, puzzles, and costumes.
Details: Open March through October 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday). November through February they close at 4 pm. Closed federal holidays, Easter, and Christmas Eve. General admission is $7, Seniors (age 62 +) $6, Youth (ages 4 – 16) $5, Free to members and children under the age of 4.
- Discovery Center of Idaho
131 Myrtle St.
Boise, ID 83702
The Discovery Center of Idaho promotes hands-on scientific exploration and education. Programs include paper making, science fiction, dinosaurs, the science of sound and music, and more.
Details: Open Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from Noon – 5 pm. Admission is $10: Children and Adults, $9: Veterans and Active Duty Military, and Free: Under 2 Years Old.
- Wahooz Family Fun Zone
1385 S Blue Marlin Ln
Meridian, ID 83642
This spacious entertainment center features go-karts, mini-golf, arcade games, bumper boats, batting cages, food and drink, and more. Play in the laser maze, or challenge your family and friends to a game of laser tag.
- Roaring Springs Water Park
400 West Overland Road
Meridian, ID 83642
Roaring Springs is a sprawling water park with a wave pool, lazy river rafting, lots of waterslides, plus food and drink. For the little ones there is the Little Splash Mountain Kiddie Play Area. It has a variety of interactive water playground equipment, and several kid-size slides, your kids will be safely entertained for hours.
- Bodies in Motion
729 W. Diamond Street
Boise, ID 83705
“To create the ultimate, multi-faceted facility that promotes life longevity, vibrancy, health, fitness, and character through motion,” was the dream of local martial arts and fitness instructors- Duncan & Rachel Richardson. The dream was created in 2008 when Duncan and Rachel realized that Boise was missing a facility that strengthens the human body mentally and physically, while also promoting family involvement. “There are plenty of health clubs for adults, and plenty of entertainment centers for children. Why not merge the two?”, says Duncan. He also continues to say, “Imagine a facility where you can bring your kids to participate in martial arts, music, tumbling, or agility programs, while you enjoy conversations with friends over a latte’. Or, if you prefer your latte’ after a workout, then you can do one of our group exercise classes like aerobic kickboxing or Zumba.”
Kids programs include Jr. Martial Arts, open play, ninja warrior, ninja totz, camps, parent’s night out, parkour, parties, and more.
Details: Prices and hours vary depending on activity. Check the webpage for details or call 208-381-0587.
- Boise Art Museum
670 Julia Davis Dr.
Boise, ID 83702
Annually the Boise Art Museum hosts their Art in the Park festival. The festival celebrates the Boise artist community. The public is free to view and purchase art while, at the same time, encouraged to create art of their own. Enjoy live events and performances along with a selection of food vendors and interactive pastimes for children. The museum itself can be quite enjoyable throughout the year with permanent and temporary exhibits.
Details: The museum is closed Monday. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and Noon – 5 pm on Sunday. The first Thursday of the month, the museum stays open until 8 pm. General admission is $6, Children grades 1-12 $3, Children under six are Free.
- Jump Time
1030 River Street
Boise, ID 83702
Jump Time is Idaho’s premier indoor trampoline park with over 14,000 square feet of trampolines, games, and fun for the entire family!
Details: Open Monday through Thursday 10 am – 8pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am – 10 pm, and Sunday 10 am – 8 pm. You can pay hourly or buy an all-day pass. Check the webpage for pricing details and specials.
- Julia Davis Park
700 S Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Julia Davis Park is an 89.4-acre regional park located near downtown Boise. The home of Zoo Boise, the Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum and the Idaho Black History Museum, Julia Davis Park is the cultural and historic heart of the city. The park also features a formal Rose Garden, two reservable picnic shelters, a six-court tennis complex, playground, duck pond, restrooms and a section of the Boise River Greenbelt.
Facebook friend, Jaime Sand, responded to our inquiry about favorite things to do with kids in Boise. As a part of her excellent response, which also mentioned a few of our above listings, she suggested the following: fishing, hiking/walking, biking, and geocaching. All of which can be done at Julia Davis Park. Thank you Jaime for your great ideas!
Details: Julia Davis Park is open daily from sunrise to midnight. The park is free; however, attractions may have a cost.
There really are too many great opportunities to have a great time with kids in the Boise area. The above list is only a small sample of all that it has to offer. What are some of your favorite things to do with kids in the Boise area?