10 Best Ways To Keep Kids Happy And Learning This Summer In Idaho
Summer is a catch-22 when you become parent to school age kids. We love summer but our kids are home all day and they get bored super easily. You can only threaten them for a short time with chores if they say they are bored before they just don't care. Lucky for you this is Idaho and the adventures and learning opportunities are basically endless. This list will save your brain this summer so print it off and paste it to the fridge in your house. These are the 10 best ways to keep your kids entertained and educated this summer in Idaho.
Twin Falls Library Events
The library isn't just books anymore. They have activities almost every day for kids and families. Check them out for story time, movies, teen game nights, and music.
Camping and Hiking
In Idaho you can step out your back door and enter a world of adventure. But, if your family needs more than what is in your yard don't be afraid to go hiking or camping. Not all the camping in Idaho is rugged and there are loads of hikes that anyone can do.
You may find your new favorite place on one of your adventures. That's how we found Hayspur. We came across it by accident and now we go there a few times a year. There are also great and easy camping sites at Salmon Dam, Bruneau Sand Dunes, and a bit further away in Pine.
If you are up for an amazing hike that isn't easy, I have to recommend Box Canyon before it gets too hot and the bugs come out.
There are even some really cool waterfalls around the Magic Valley that you may have never seen.
Free Summer Lunches
The free summer lunches in Twin Falls are probably the best way that my wife keeps her sanity. She can take the kids to the park and they can eat and play and she usually gets together with a group of friends.
There are multiple locations in Twin Falls too so they can mix things up and go to a different park if they feel like it.
Visit The Weirdest Towns In Idaho
If you want to entertain kids you have to get weird sometimes. So why not take the family to the weirdest sounding towns in Idaho. If for no other reason than so that the kids can say they went to Slickpoo or Dingle.
Kayaking is fun and relatively inexpensive. As long as you don't have a massive family you can get kayaks for everyone and they don't take up a ton of space.
We finished our fleet of kayaks two years ago after a visit to Walmart where they had them for less than $100. Obviously you can spend more since I've seen kayaks go for more than $1,000. But if you are looking for cheap and fun, you can do it with kayaks. Then you have your pick of great places to play.
Some of our favorites are the Twin Falls Power Plant, Centennial Park, and of course since we love it up near Pine - the Anderson Ranch Reservoir is great.
You can also rent kayaks if you head to Centennial Park.
Go To The Park
Twin Falls is full of hidden parks and it will get the family outside and enjoying the sun. We will sometimes pick a random street and drive down it until we hit a new park and have the kids play there for some of the afternoon.
You also can't go wrong by heading to the First Federal Bank Park and splash pad up by the soccer fields.
Adventure Somewhere New
I know I haven't even scratched the surface of places to visit in Idaho. I still need to go to the Bruneau Sand Dunes and the Tea Kettle and Dead Horse Caves.
Other great places that are off the beaten path and worth a visit are The Drops in Shoshone and the T-Cave if you can find it near Mammoth.
Visit The Herrett Center
The Herrett Center is a really cool place for the whole family. Between the solar viewings, planetarium shows, museum, art shows, and educational classes there is something for everyone.
Play Games As A Family
Summer fun doesn't have to involve going out of the house and melting in the sun. Sometimes you just need to entertain your brain and not be bored, and that is where the board games come in.
In my house UNO and Monopoly are the go to games. Though I haven't played UNO since they announced the actual rules for the game. You can even come up with your own games or versions of existing games like we did with Twin Falls Monopoly.
Find Your Favorite Hot Spring
Hot springs are everywhere in Idaho. You can head to Hagerman and find three within a few miles of each other. My favorite place to soak in warm water is up in the river near Pine (if you couldn't tell, I love it up there). There is also a semi-hidden hot spring called the Goldbug to the north of us and of course Lava Hot Springs near Pocatello is easily a day trip worth taking.