Boise, Idaho, is known for its gorgeous parks, excellent museums, day trips, RV parks, restaurants, venues for weddings, and several other exciting attractions.
Boise is an excellent choice for families, as there are various activities to partake in with children, including zoos, aquariums, and even a facility for birds of prey.
You can see spectacular views of the Boise River Greenbelt, discover cutting-edge contemporary art at the Boise Art Museum, and experience a fun and lively atmosphere at the Capital City Public Market.
Discovery Center of Idaho, Zoo Boise, the Aquarium of Boise, and the World Center are some of the best places for kids to visit in Boise, ID.
In the vicinity, there are many activities to keep the outdoors enthusiast happy—travelers’ CDC information. Availability and hours have likely changed.
Best Things to Do in Boise Idaho
There are the 25 Best Things to Do in Boise Idaho, which are listed below.
Aquarium of Boise
#1 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Aquarium of Boise opened in 2011, and it is a large interactive aquarium spanning 10,000 square feet.
While other aquariums provide hands-on exhibits like touch tanks that feature coral, crabs, starfish, and rays, the Aquarium of the Pacific has things like touch tanks that contain coral, crabs, starfish, and beams.
Other tanks in the same exhibit contain tanks where you can see a shark tank with an octopus in it.
The main attraction of the aquarium is the tank itself and other attractions like an aviary for birds.
Boise River Greenbelt
#2 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Boise River Greenbelt is a 25-mile-long stretch of the Boise River that serves as a perfect trail for joggers, walkers, and cyclists.
Some commuters even use it to get to their workplaces since it goes through the heart of downtown Boise.
You’ll also enjoy scenic walking trails such as tree-lined footpaths that take you past some of the city’s most popular parks, such as Kathryn Albertson Park and Julia Davis Park.
Additionally, the city built a scavenger hunt for visitors with a map and clues on their website that will direct visitors on a journey through the trail and allow them to learn more about the city’s history.
Boise Art Museum
#3 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Boise Art Museum’s contemporary artwork and exhibitions are displayed at the museum’s Julia David Drive location. When the Boise Gallery of Art first opened in 1938, it was its only art museum.
The building was expanded in 1973 to include over 10,000 square feet. In 1997, the current facility was expanded to 34,800 square feet.
The museum’s main building is accompanied by a lecture hall, sculpture court, museum store, and other facilities.
There are many art lovers in Boise, Idaho, and one of the best things to do in the city is visiting the Boise Art Museum.
The museum has a range of programs and hosts many special events, with the bonus of temporary exhibits.
#4 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Boise River and downtown Boise lie along each other’s backs, and the park is within walking distance of the city center.
People in Boise know this park for the variety of activities available to them. If they want to get physically active, they can even go rafting or kayaking along the Boise River because the park offers access points to the river.
Alternatively, you could go hiking on the numerous trails that run through the park or enjoy nearby playgrounds.
Bald eagles and deer can be commonly spotted in this area.
Kathryn Albertson Park
#5 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Wildlife is abundant at the 41-acre Kathryn Albertson Park, which contains open paths and gazebos perfect for appreciating nature.
This park includes many different kinds of wildlife, such as waterfowl, egrets, and owls, but it also features salamanders, turtles, bullfrogs, beavers, and rabbits.
Kathryn Albertson was an avid Boise booster and donated a great deal of money to the city.
Recent visitors have given positive feedback about Kathryn Albertson Park. Some say it’s Boise’s best, and visitors to the city should plan a visit in the fall when the park is bursting with vivid autumn foliage.
The Kathryn Albertson Park is located about a mile south of downtown Boise, close to South American Boulevard.
To ensure that everyone can enjoy the park and use the restrooms, the parking lot and restroom facilities are open from sunrise to sunset.
Discovery Center of Idaho
#6 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Discovery Center of Idaho is an interactive science center located on West Myrtle Street. They try to inspire people to become more interested in engineering, math, science, and technology.
The museum houses approximately 200 exhibits. The Centripetal Wheel, the Bubble Wall, and the Turbulent Orb are some of these.
The center also hosts rotating exhibitions and offers camps for children during school breaks and permanent exhibits.
If you’re searching for something fun to do with the kids in Boise, be sure to visit this fantastic locale.
Additionally, preschoolers have activities, such as Young Discoverers and an evening event, Adult Night, where local food and drinks are served while live music plays.
#7 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Zoo Boise is a zoological park well-known in the local area for the significant number of species it accommodates for visitors to enjoy.
There are separately themed sections, like Butterflies in Bloom and the Sloth Bear Encounter, and interactive elements that can be experienced in different places throughout the park.
There are also smaller-scale animal husbandry areas on the zoo farm where children can feed animals like goats and sheep. It has an Animal Presentations area where students can learn about all the animals that live at the zoo.
Idaho Botanical Garden
#8 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Idaho Botanical Garden is situated on more than 30 acres of the former prison grounds. Still, now these acres are occupied by different kinds of gardens featuring both succulents and roses and other native Idaho plants.
Along with vegetable, herb, and meditation gardens, the winter garden will be decked out with numerous holiday lights. Even if you enjoy visiting the Idaho Botanical Garden on your terms, the Garden also offers free guided tours.
Free Thursday and Saturday guided tours are offered year-round from May through September.
The staff can keep the grounds filled with seasonal plants all year round, and people from the area claim that there’s no wrong time to visit the Idaho Botanical Garden.
According to other reviewers, this attraction is designed to draw diverse visitors, including young people, singles, and soon-to-be-married couples.
Capital City Public Market, Boise, Idaho
#9 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Featuring fresh local produce, local food, and a variety of local artisans, the Capital City Public Market is located on West Bannock Street. The market’s history dates back to the early 1990s when a few vendors were set up in an open-air marketplace.
The market hosts more than 150 vendors daily throughout the peak season, and the stalls occupy four city blocks in downtown Boise.
A variety of food items, such as baked goods, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, and much more, are available for purchase in the market.
These special events, such as concerts, Bike to Market Month, and Wiggly Worms, present an opportunity for merchants to foster community. You can buy the product today if you’d like.
Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Center
#10 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Boise’s Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Center is located just northeast of the city and is an excellent choice for people who enjoy skiing and winter sports.
Downhill and cross-country skiing trails at the ski center extend for more than 20 miles.
While there are various runs available for all levels of ability, much of the ski center sprawls across 2,600 acres of land, primarily forested. There are plenty of options for every kind of skier.
In the Boise Ridge Mountains, Shafer Butte is a popular recreational destination where visitors can enjoy horseback riding and hike in the summer.
Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
#11 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
This Park, which occupies less than an acre of space, is inspired by Anne Frank’s faith in humanity.
Called the Educational Park, the educational facility was designed by architect Kurt Karst and employed natural elements such as water, stone, and indigenous vegetation to create a feeling of hope and provide knowledge about human rights issues.
Two of the Park’s highlights are a 180-foot quote wall, with quotes from humanitarian leaders, and a bronze sculpture of Anne Frank as if she is lifting the curtain from her hiding place.
Though it is the only Anne Frank memorial in the United States, many visitors may be surprised to learn this. It also contains a seedling from the Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam, the former location of the Anne Frank tree.
Next to the public library and located on the Boise River Greenbelt, you’ll find the Park. The memorial is accessible for free at all times, including weekends and evenings.
Hulls Gulch Reserve, Boise, Idaho
#12 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Grove and Lower Hulls Gulch both reside in Hulls Gulch Reserve. The 292-acre preserve is located near the foothills in north Boise. This creek begins in the foothills and flows through the park’s reserve.
Trails for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and runners stretch out for about 150 miles.
The reserve is home to various wildlife, and visitors can view wild animals such as owls, lizards, snakes, and foxes.
It educates visitors about the environment and preservation by being located in the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center.
#13 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Boise central business district welcomes visitors with local restaurants, shops, and attractions north of the Boise River.
The Idaho State Capitol Building and the Zoo Boise and Albertsons Stadium are located within walking distance of each other, near the University of Idaho campus.
A selection of popular events, such as Restaurant Week, can be found in the downtown Boise calendar year-round.
Visitors should plan some time to explore the downtown area when in Boise. Vendor hours, pricing, and offerings vary, as do their location.
Boise Farmers Market
#14 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Boise Farmers Market is known for its location on West Front Street, which offers vendors a space to sell products and foodstuffs from nearby farms.
Delectable baked goods and locally produced cheeses, fruits, and vegetables are all on sale.
Ready-prepared dishes such as flavorful tacos and delicious sweet treats such as doughnuts are also for sale.
You can also buy wine at the farmers’ market, such as Hat Ranch Winery and Cold Springs Winery, from local wineries.
Ridge to Rivers
#15 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
More than an opportunity for a beautiful picture, the Boise Foothills offers a scenic backdrop for the city. Whether you go on a one-hour excursion on the Ridge to Rivers system or spend a whole day on it is entirely up to you.
With an almost limitless number of options for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers, the approximately 190-mile trail system links neighborhoods to public lands.
Rivers, streams, and creeks provide a wide range of natural landscapes, from grasslands to scrub slopes to tree-lined creeks that lead to the Boise National Forest.
The trail system is well-liked by both locals and visitors. There were plenty of reviews, and the majority of them praised the marked trails and commented on how easy it is to pick up a map from nearby stores.
Website visitors can find out more about various types of trails like mountain bike loops, family trails, trails suitable for visitors with mobility issues, trails for visitors with pets, and equestrian trails.
East of the Idaho State Capitol Building, Cottonwood Creek Trailhead is the most convenient access to the city from the Idaho State Capitol Building. There are many places in town where you can rent a bike.
Boise Trolley Tours, Boise, ID
#16 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Boise Trolley Tours is located on North Garden Street, and its tours are led by local Boise residents who have extensive knowledge of the city’s attractions.
There are 75-minute narrated tours of Boise’s historic downtown made every day in open-air replica trolley cars from May through September.
Many different exciting destinations are accessible by time, including the Basque Block, the Idaho State Capitol, Hyde Park, and the mansions of Warm Springs.
There are also unique tours like the 21+ Frightened Felons Tours, which takes visitors on a trolley to the Old Pen for the Old Pens Frightened Felons Event.
The 31-passenger Molly Trolley is especially popular for parties and weddings and can be used privately.
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Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center
#17 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Boise River Greenbelt is where the Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center is located, which sits on 4.6 acres of land just off Walnut Street near downtown Boise.
While there, kids will be able to do things like caress antlers, horns, and hides and create animal tracks in the sand.
Visitors will get to see the stream while taking part in the StreamWalk interpretive trail. There are self-guided tours and specialized tours that include various plants, aquatic insects, and fish-based interactive experiences.
The Basque Museum & Cultural Center
#18 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
According to museum administrators, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center is the only Basque museum in the United States.
The museum’s building used to be a boarding house and is also recognized as the city’s oldest brick building.
This museum is meant to preserve the Basque people’s heritage and cultural and historical legacy, who made Boise their home when the city was known as the “Capital of the Basque World.”
Old Idaho Penitentiary
#19 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
For the Old Idaho Penitentiary, criminals were brought to cell blocks, solitary confinement, and even the gallows starting in 1872. By 1973, the prison population was too high, and conditions were too outdated to continue operation.
As it’s commonly known, Old Pen had housed more than 13,000 inmates over the past 101 years.
Many criminals incarcerated here while serving time for their crimes have been added to the National Register of Historic Places to help visitors learn about some of the notorious inmates and the harsh prison conditions.
Admission for adults is $6, and access for children between 6 and 12 is $3. Every child under the age of 5 can visit for free. Old Pen is open every day except on Sundays.
This office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Still, year-round, it’s available from noon to 5 p.m.
Warm Spring is a small town located just east of Boise, where a botanical garden is located on the premises. Free parking is provided.
Guests can visit the attraction free of charge with an included guided tour on the hour from 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
When on a self-guided or guided tour, please remember to take in the additional 18-minute video presentation.
Chandlers, Boise, Idaho
#20 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
If you’re looking for a decadent evening of extravagance, the Chandlers are the place to be.
The Chandlers offers fine dining in an elegantly decorated, warmly colored space, along with original artwork, in downtown Boise’s Hotel 43.
Prime corn-fed beef, Kobe beef, and a variety of fresh fish and seafood from around the world are all restaurant specialties.
A brilliant choice by Executive Chef Luis Flores is to let the ingredients speak for themselves. He uses them to prepare each dish precisely as it should be.
The restaurant’s highly-praised wine list contains more than 700 different vintages (over 6,500 bottles from around the world). More than 30 other wines are available by the glass, and new ones are introduced based on the season.
Every evening, live jazz is performed in the lounge area of the restaurant.
Boise Fry Company, Boise, ID
#21 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The Boise Fry Company has decided to place fries on the menu where they belong: as the main course. Burgers are entirely optional. Proper selection of the potato is essential.
Potatoes are available in several varieties: gold, russet, red lady, yam, sweet potato, and purple. Do you want to know another fascinating fact about potatoes?
All potatoes are organic. Once you’ve decided on the length of your cut, you can select from among shoestring, regular, home-style, chips, waffle, or po’boys.
Once you choose your preferred type of salt, you are given eight different options to choose from: vanilla, cinnamon, jalapeño, horseradish, Cajun, rosemary-garlic, hickory-smoked, or plain.
In addition to the dipping sauces, you can also select between eight different dipping sauces.
If you must, you may even be able to get a burger to go with your fries. You will likely have to wait in line, but it doesn’t matter. Though it may not appear very flashy, the small restaurant is trendy.
The World Center for Birds of Prey
#22 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The World Center for Birds of Prey has, since its founding in the 1980s, positioned itself on West Flying Hawk Lane to work to protect endangered species.
Many education activities related to birds of prey are available on a scenic hillside in Boise, Idaho.
These demonstrations include both live presentations and shows, as well as guided tours.
Great Harvest Bread
#23 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Since the Fairview Avenue Bread Carts’ inception, people have been moving through the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Broadway, starting at six a.m. and finishing at noon, to catch the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread straight from the oven.
Instead of having pre-made loaves in the deli, Great Harvest bread is made in-house, from scratch, and with whole grains.
They mill their own Montana Red Spring wheat, combine it with water, salt, yeast, and honey, and then bake a delicious loaf of bread.
Mornings are best to get fresh baked goods such as muffins, scones, cookies, and buns.
Saint Lawrence Gridiron, Boise, Idaho
#24 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
Saint Lawrence Gridiron is unapologetically trendy. It utilizes exposed industrial pipes and reclaimed wood décor to make up its eclectic decor.
In addition, the St. Lawrence Gridiron encourages chefs to use the dishes that go well with bourbon and beer when they make their menu. All that means is there will be a lot of meat.
The restaurant is focused on bringing comfort food from various regions of the country to try and better understand the roots of American cuisine.
A whole range of burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork platters, and grilled meat are all excellent options. There are eight delicious beers on tap and some locally made craft beers and reasonably priced wines.
#25 Things to Do in Boise Idaho
The couple behind the farm-to-table restaurant Fork, named Amanda and Cameron Lumsden, opened the establishment to the public in 2011.
To ensure that all of its food ingredients come from local sources, the upscale restaurant, opened in a converted brick row building on Boise’s 8th Street, seeds all of them from regional Northwest farmers and producers, including be liquors obtained from local brewers and distillers.
The caring food served at dinner is prepared with fondue made of tomatoes and basil, fries seasoned with asparagus, and 8th Street tacos with fresh avocado.
Entrees include Moroccan-style voodoo chicken, artichoke and ricotta ravioli, and short ribs braised in ale.
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Things to Do in Boise Idaho
- Aquarium of Boise
- Boise River Greenbelt
- Boise Art Museum
- Barber Park
- Kathryn Albertson Park
- Discovery Center of Idaho
- Zoo Boise
- Idaho Botanical Garden
- Capital City Public Market, Boise, Idaho
- Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Center
- Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
- Hulls Gulch Reserve, Boise, Idaho
- Downtown Boise
- Boise Farmers Market
- Ridge to Rivers
- Boise Trolley Tours
- Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center
- The Basque Museum & Cultural Center
- Old Idaho Penitentiary
- Boise Fry Company, Boise, ID
- The World Center for Birds of Prey
- Great Harvest Bread
- Saint Lawrence Gridiron, Boise, Idaho