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Winter family fun in Boise, from dawn to dusk

We dare your family to try to run out of things to do here in winter

Families love Boise because of all they can do in a single day. The fun doesn’t slow down in winter, either. Your family can be walking along a 24-mile pathway next to an icy river in the morning, hitting the slopes in the afternoon and watching professional hockey in the evening. It doesn’t get much better than this. We have some suggestions for how your family can spend the perfect winter day. Will you accept the challenge? 

Start with a delicious, balanced breakfast

You’re going to need a full breakfast because you’ve got a lot to do today! You could try local favorite Goldy’s, where hearty breakfasts always draw a crowd. Big City Coffee is another popular spot with tasty cafe fare, espresso and enormous pastries and plates. The venue is cozy and decked out with colorful vintage signs. Flying M is also a great breakfast option, with fresh, daily-baked goods and house-roasted signature blends. Bacon is another favorite breakfast spot, offering a varied, creative bacon menu served in a casual bistro atmosphere.

We dare you to finish the tall stack of pancakes (all five!) at Goldy’s.

Let gravity show you a good time

If your family likes winter sledding and tubing, you’ve come to the right city. Boise has some of Idaho’s best tubing parks. One is at Bogus Basin, a ski and snowboarding resort located a mere 16 miles from downtown. When you reach the bottom of Bogus’ enormous tubing hill, a conveyor lift will take you back to the top so you can ride again. The other tubing park is Eagle Island’s Gateway Parks in Eagle. They make their own snow when needed and also have a ski and snowboard hill.

We dare you to try the 800-foot tube run at Bogus Basin backward or on your stomach.

Grab some hot chocolate

Boise’s hot chocolate always hits the spot. You could head to Goody’s Soda Fountain & Candy Bar in Hyde Park for homemade hot chocolate. Java has a famous mint hot chocolate if that’s your thing, or head to a local hot spot Truffles, where they serve a rich drink called Drinking Chocolate, made from melted chocolate mixed with heavy cream. You won’t believe your taste buds.

We dare you to try a hot cocoa bomb from Stella’s Ice Cream in downtown Boise or order some from Cocoa Bombs, where they were invented.

Go for a swim

Many Boise hotels have heated or indoor pools, so be sure to pack your swimsuits. The Riverside Hotel has enormous indoor and outdoor heated pools, hot tubs and an indoor splash pad. The Hampton Inn & Suites also has a kid-friendly indoor pool and splash pad. If your family is looking for some wet and wild fun, the Riverside and the Hampton Inn & Suites have the perfect settings to let loose.

We dare you to jump from hot tub to pool and back to the hot tub while it’s snowing at the Riverside Hotel’s outside pool.

Watch a hockey game

Idaho Central Arena is home to the Idaho Steelheads, the minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars and American Hockey League’s Texas Stars. The season lasts from October to April, so you have plenty of time to catch Boise’s greatest show on ice. From the power plays and penalty box to the lightning-fast goals and die-hard fans, adding a game to your itinerary will be a highlight of your trip.

We dare you to join the chuck-a-puck tradition at a Steelheads game by purchasing and tossing a puck onto the ice at the end of the second period. Try to get your puck closest to the center to win.