Top 5 Summer Visitor Activities

For Families:

With a mountain river flowing through our city, lively cafes, art, food and mountain trails at the edge of town, there is no shortage of family activities in Boise. Especially in summer. Here’s a list of things to do in the Treasure Valley during the warmer months. Take some time this summer to disconnect from your phone and reconnect with family members. 

Float the Boise River

Grab your rafts, tubes, kids and head to the Boise River. This leisurely six-mile float takes two to three hours. It’s got rope swings, minor rapids and is a blast for adults and kids alike. Put in at Barber Park and take out at Ann Morrison Park. You can rent tubes and rafts at Barber Park, and a continuous shuttle service is available to take you to and from your car.

Wahooz Family Fun Zone & Roaring Springs Water Park

Inside Wahooz you’ll find an 80-game arcade with a state-of-the-art virtual reality ride, as well as laser tag, bumper cars, bowling, a ropes course, climbing walls and more. Mini golf, bumper boats, batting cages and go-karts are outside.

The Northwest’s largest water park, Roaring Springs, is right next door. It has more than 20 water attractions, including a wave pool, a large water playground for kids and family raft rides. The park was recently ranked 8th best waterpark in the nation by Tripadvisor.

Bogus Basin

Famous for skiing in winter, Bogus Basin is also known for its family-friendly summer activities. Visitors love the mountain coaster, scenic chairlift rides, mountain biking, summer tubing, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, hiking, horseback riding and more.

Eagle Island State Park

Just outside of Boise, this public recreation area covers 545 acres and is surrounded by north and south channels of the Boise River. It has a large swimming beach, playground, ziplines, water slide, equestrian trails and picnic areas. Bring your canoes, kayaks and SUPs (stand-up paddle boards). Or rent a SUP while you’re there. 


Zoo Boise, Museums & Discovery Center 

Zoo Boise – Started in 1916, this open-air zoo has over 300 animals from 100 various species. It’s located in Julia Davis Park along the Boise River Greenbelt and has zebras, giraffes, otters, sloth bears, penguins and native Idaho animals. You can buy food in the park or bring your own picnic lunch.

Boise Art Museum – For the past 70 years, this family-friendly museum has enchanted visitors with vibrant, thought-provoking exhibits. It features an airy sculpture garden and 15 galleries. 

Idaho State Museum – The museum’s interactive exhibits about the history of Idaho are designed for all ages. Find out how Idaho’s diverse landscape shapes the lives of Idahoans.

Discovery Center – This interactive science museum has more than 40 hands-on exhibits and displays. Come learn why soap bubbles have iridescent colors, how machines and devices work, and much more.

For Couples/Friends:

The warmest season of the year is here, so get outside and have some fun. There’s no better way to build bonds than by having new experiences together. And there’s no better time than summer in Boise. Enjoy microbreweries on nearly every street, surf a man-made white water rapid in the middle of town or take a leisurely mountain hike just outside of town. 

Garden City Pub Crawl

Garden City is the perfect place for a brewpub crawl. Most of the breweries use locally sourced ingredients and are within close proximity to each other. The area is one of the city’s most up-and-coming pub locales, with a new brewery popping up every couple months.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin is a year-round recreation destination. Along with riding a scenic chairlift, you can mountain bike, hike, climb a rock wall and ride horses all summer long. Bogus has 23 well-marked, accessible trails. Not to mention a bungy jump, disc golf course and summer tubing with a conveyor lift that takes you back to the top.

Wine-tasting Downtown and at Nearby Vineyard

As Boise continues to grow, so do its wineries. The city is home to many unique and flavorful local wines. Sip your way through Boise at tasting rooms throughout the downtown area.

Within minutes of downtown, Telaya, Coiled, Cinder and Split Rail are winning palates and awards with everything from robust Merlots to refreshing riesling. 

Want to go farther afield? About 30 to 45 minutes from Boise, homegrown wineries like Scoria, Fujishin, Huston and Sawtooth Estate offer sweeping views of the rolling hills across the Snake River Valley and wines that have gained international acclaim. Winemaking in this region goes back generations.

Hit the Water

Float the Boise River - Every year 125,000 people float the Boise River — it’s an easy six-mile trip and the perfect way to spend a summer day. Start at Barber Park and take out at Ann Morrison Park two to three hours later. You can rent tubes and rafts at Barber Park, and a shuttle service is available.

Surf at Boise Whitewater Park - Located between 34th and 36th streets, this whitewater park has one of the world’s first adjustable waves. It was made for kayakers but has become a favorite spot for river surfers. The man-made wave shaper can adjust the wave depending on water levels, and the park is open between March and October. If you’re more of a surfing spectator, the park is near cafes, restaurants and open-air bars. Watch the surfers and then grab a drink. 

Paddle board at Quinn’s Pond - This giant 22-acre pond has fishing docks, beach areas and sheltered picnic spots. It’s the perfect place to kayak, SUP (stand-up paddle board) or canoe. It’s just north of the Boise River between Fairview Avenue and Veterans Parkway. You can rent kayaks, rafts and SUPs on site. 

Shopping Around Town

Boise has all your favorite stores, from independent boutiques to the national chains you know and love. Whether you want to shop downtown or at the Boise Towne Square Mall, the City of Trees is also known as the City of Shopping. While you’re out, don’t miss the shops at Boise Spectrum Center and out in The Village in Meridian.

Shop Downtown - Downtown Boise has a vibrant shopping and dining scene. From Boise Centre, a large convention center in the heart of the city, you can stroll to more than 80 restaurants and 100 shops that include a mix of local stores and national retailers.

Check out The Village at Meridian - Designed with European-style architecture, The Village is an upscale outdoor shopping mall that offers designer apparel, specialty retail, casual dining, outdoor concerts, a movie theater and an elaborate fountain with hourly shows.