Idaho’s Treasure Valley is an amazing place. There is always something fun, educational, or just downright amazing around every corner. From the Boise Greenbelt to Freak Alley to Babby Farms you’ll never find a shortage of things to do. The following is a list of a few of the many things you can do around the Treasure Valley. Never fear, adventure is here.
The Boise Greenbelt
The Boise Greenbelt is a 25-mile long park encapsulating the Boise River. This park and the river cuts through the middle of Boise and the adjacent Garden City. The Greenbelt is a delightful park which intersects with approximately 11 other larger parks along its path. Many people enjoy walking, biking, bird watching, or just commuting. The Greenbelt is the home to many plants and animals. It’s not uncommon to see lost deer bounding through downtown trying to reconnect with the Greenbelt.
The World Center for the Birds of Prey
The World Center for the Birds of Prey is truly the world center for birds of prey. They have nursed birds from other countries back to health and then have transported them back. At any given time you will find owls, hawks, falcons, condors, ravens and more at the facility. You can view the birds in their outside cages, then go inside for demonstrations. There is a discovery room where you can have hands-on experiences with eggs, feathers, puzzles, and more.
Old Idaho Penitentiary
Old Idaho Penitentiary has a fascinating history. The penitentiary was in use from 1872 until 1973. About 13,000 inmates passed through those doors, 215 of whom were women. What once started out as a single cell house grew into a complex of several buildings. There are a number of events hosted at the penitentiary including paranormal investigations.
The Idaho Botanical Gardens
The Idaho Botanical Gardens is nestled next to the Old Penitentiary which creates an interesting visual contrast. This lush garden is the brainchild of botanist Dr. Christopher Davidson, Ph.D. In 1984 his vision brought together a group of like-minded people to form the garden’s first Board of Directors. Over the past 34 years, the garden has grown into an outdoor classroom open for visitors, field trips, weddings, and special events.
Basque Museum and Cultural Center
Basque Museum and Cultural Center once was the social center for the Basque community. Now it still is a place where those of Basque heritage can come and socialize, but it is also a tribute to their Basque ancestors. Through their dancers, singers, and educational events they are teaching others about their rich heritage which has enhanced the Treasure Valley for generations.
Bogus Basin is a fun place to go no matter the season. When the weather is right, there is snow skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. During the warmer weather, though, you can have just as much fun on the Glade Runner, a mountain coaster, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and much, much more. This is a summer wonderland just as much as a winter one.
The Village at Meridian
The Village at Meridian is the newest gathering spot in Idaho. It features a multitude of shops to choose from as well as many places to eat. There is a bowling alley and games establishment and a movie theater. It also features events, concerts, charity activities, or you could just hang out with friends.
Freak Alley is an alley downtown where graffiti artists are welcomed to display their art. What started out as a single painting on the side of the Moon’s Cafe has grown into the largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest. Freak Alley is continually being reimagined by other artists.
At Zoo Boise
At Zoo Boise you can find out what a sloth bear is, make friends with a llama, encounter a giraffe, or cozy up to a butterfly. There’s always something fun, interesting, and educational to do at the zoo. With animal presentations, you might just get to pet a skunk. Or maybe you’d like to feed some goats, sheep, and llamas. It can all be done at the Boise Zoo.
Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Idaho Shakespeare Festival brings not just Shakespeare to the general public, but other more modern plays as well. This outdoor theater is a portal through which you can, for a few hours, take exciting adventures. You can bring your own blanket, low-back chair, or rent one from the theater. You may also bring food and beverages or you can buy food at Cafe Shakespeare. Remember to dress for the weather.
Babby Farms is much more than a petting zoo. This farm is an interactive experience dedicated to providing learning experiences for special needs children and adults. By visiting Babby Farms you are helping this non-profit organization to bring the disabled to the farm. These animals are hand raised for this purpose. Imagine petting and feeding your favorite animal. You can even get a pony ride.
Linder Farms is a family-owned business which comes to life in the fall. They offer fun, food, and finding your way. This adventure is suitable for every member of your clan. They have a pumpkin patch with the perfect pumpkin waiting for you. There is a concession stand where you can find hamburgers, dogs, fries and more. The main attraction, though, is the corn maze which has 3 trails from a quarter mile to over 3 miles. Those with an abundance of energy might want to tackle all 3 with a combined length of 6 miles. Two paintball adventures have been recently added, one with a western theme suitable for all visitors and the second has a zombie theme which is only available to visitors 8 years old and above.
The Aquarium of Boise
The Aquarium of Boise is home to more than 250 animals and aquatic life with 35,000 gallons of seawater. The exhibits also feature some freshwater aquatic life as well as a few land dwellers. The aquarium’ s goals are to help educate the public in an effort to inspire greater conservation efforts.
The Treasure Valley is never a boring place. There is always something interesting to do and learn. Educational experiences can be had at most of the locations mentioned. You just need to ask and you will be presented with the opportunity. Take some time to get to know the valley and partake of its treasures.