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Boise summers were made for family fun.

Pack as many of these activities into your trip as you can. We dare you. 

Spend time with exotic species
Zoo Boise is filled with all kinds of amazing creatures — large and small, two-legged and four-legged, and covered with fur and scales. You’ll find zoo favorites like lions, zebras, monkeys, and penguins, as well as lesser-known species like giant anteaters, African wild dogs, and maned wolves. Give yourself at least a few hours to explore the zoo and meet its many inhabitants.

We dare you to feed the giraffes during feeding time.

Take family fun to new heights

Head to a higher elevation at Bogus Basin, where your family can ride a mountain coaster, jump on a bungee trampoline, hike through pine trees and take on a climbing wall. You can also mountain bike or enjoy a scenic chairlift ride with breathtaking views. Temperatures at Bogus are typically cooler than down in the valley, so make your way up the mountain if you’re feeling the heat.

If you’re up for an adventure about an hour outside the city, take a short trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park, which has the tallest single-structured sand dunes in North America. One peak rises a whopping 470 feet! The park has one of the longest camping seasons in the Idaho Parks system and Bruneau Observatory has the largest telescope for public viewing in Idaho. If your family likes adrenaline, rent sandboards from the visitor center and sled down the dunes.

We dare you to ride the mountain coaster at Bogus Basin with your eyes closed.

Enjoy local eats and treats  
While in Boise, be sure to stop by Green Acres Food Truck Park for delicious food, desserts, live music and yard games. Most of the trucks rotate — see the daily schedule for the full list. Your kids will love the drinks and cones at The Fizzy Cow Ice Cream & Soda Shop, which has a permanent residence. Green Acres is right off the Greenbelt, a 25-mile pathway through the heart of the city with great views of the Boise River. 

Another favorite Boise family tradition is Westside Drive In’s famous Idaho ice cream potato. Ok, so it’s not an actual potato, but it sure looks like one! They combine vanilla ice cream, chocolate, whipped cream, cocoa powder, Oreo bits and peanuts to create the perfect Idaho-friendly treat.

We dare you to also try the finger steaks at Westside Drive In — they were invented in Boise!

Cool off in the water
Floating the Boise River is the perfect way to spend a hot summer day. You’ll start at Barber Park, where you can rent tubes or rafts (be sure to call ahead to make sure they have them). The float lasts two to three hours and you end up at Ann Morrison Park. A shuttle service can take you back to your vehicle from Ann Morrison. Learn more about floating the river here.

If your family wants more of a beach experience, head to Quinn’s Pond, a 22-acre area with sandy areas and sheltered picnic pavilions. Bring kayaks and paddleboards, or rent them nearby. Be sure to show your kids the nearby Whitewater Park located between 34th and 36th streets, where you can watch surfers take on an adjustable, man-made wave.

More wet and wild fun awaits at Roaring Springs Waterpark, one of the largest water parks in the country. With tons of rides, a wave pool, lazy rivers, interactive play areas for smaller kids and luxury cabanas, you can spend the whole day making memories at Roaring Springs.

We dare you to ride Cliffhanger at Roaring Springs, a nearly vertical six-story slide that lasts a heart-pounding four seconds.

Watch stars on the stage under the night stars
Treat your family to nighttime entertainment under the open sky at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. It’s a popular Boise tradition that runs from late May to early October. Tickets can go fast, so be sure to plan ahead. Picnicking is encouraged, so bring your own dinner, drinks and snacks. Or, if you prefer, you can visit the on-site Shakespeare Cafe. There’s no better way to experience the arts than this picture-perfect natural setting.

We dare you to picnic before the show with a full, four-course meal for your family.

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