Discovering winter charm is as easy as opening your front door in Boise. However, breaking away from routines and trying new experiences can be challenging. While holiday traditions have a special place in our hearts, it’s important to remember that the traditions we love and cherish started when our family ventured into trying something new and loved it.
Lifestyle Magazine encourages the community to try something unfamiliar and create a new tradition. You may be thinking "I’ve lived here forever; I’ve done it all.” However, there is always something out there to try. Boise and nearby towns hold treasured gems of lesser-known winter activities waiting for the community to enjoy.
Here are 14 hidden Idaho gems to help you create new memories and begin a family tradition for the years to come.
Blooming Blossoms to Bright Bulbs
You may have strolled through the Boise Botanical Gardens during the spring or summer seasons, admiring the magical blooms. However, don’t miss out on the garden in the winter months at the Boise Botanical Garden Winter Aglow. The previous summer garden is transformed into a winter wonderland, with snow blanketing the ground, creating a new experience. The garden is filled with holiday decorations and 600,000 bright, colorful lights. Walking around may be chilly; take a break, stay warm by a fire, and treat yourself to delicious snacks and hot chocolate. @idahobotanicalgarden
Bogus Basin Cosmic Tubing Hill
Located at Bogus Basin is another family-friendly adventure for all ages: Cosmic Tubing. The tubing hill has 800-foot-long lanes, offering an exciting ride. Tubers can take in the breathtaking views of the mountain ranges. @BogusBasin
Spin Around at Indian Creek Ice Skating Ribbon
Take a spin in Caldwell at the Indian Creek Ice Skating Ribbon, the only skating ribbon in the Gem state. Unlike most ice rinks, skating at Indian Creeks promises a unique outdoor experience for guests due to its central and fun location. Enjoy the winter wonderland lights and venture into one of the many surrounding restaurants to enjoy a bite. Stay warm by the heated viewing space. If you’re a beginner, don’t let that stop you; you can try a lesson to build your confidence or start in the beginner-friendly subsection of the rink! @IndianCreekPlaza
LaBelle Ice Palace: A phenomenal venue
Escape town and go on a team-building adventure, family trip or craft the wedding of your dreams at LaBelle Ice Palace. Located in Rigby, Idaho, LaBelle Ice Place is worth the journey. The venue features a 7,000-square-foot cabin tucked in seven acres of pure natural beauty and mystifying ice formations. LaBelle Ice Palace contains a lake, ponds, an abundance of fish, nature trails, and wildlife. Enjoy various outdoor activities such as sleigh rides, sledding, special events/shows, canoeing, paddle boating, tomahawk throwing, exploring impressive ice features, and more. @icepalacelabellelake
Stargaze Backcountry Yurt
Located an hour from Boise, the Stargaze Backcountry Yurt offers an unforgettable opportunity. Begin your adventure from the parking lot and snowshoe or ski 1.3 miles to reach one of six Backcountry yurts. The Stargaze Backcountry Yurt has an elevation of 6,569 feet, creating perfect telemark skiing, surrounded by gorgeous mountain ranges. Enjoy Nordic skiing and snowshoe trails while admiring breathtaking views. The yurt is available year-round for all to enjoy. @Stargaze-Yurt-Idaho-City
Dash Through the Snow on a Sleigh Ride
Get in the holiday spirit with a Garden Valley sleigh ride. Enjoy the winter air while being pulled by Spotted Draft Horses on an old-fashioned sleigh. Experience elk up close in their natural habitat and indulge in complimentary food and drinks by the lodge’s fire. In the evening, enjoy a home-cooked meal from the Dutch oven while listening to festive music. @idahosleighrides
Bump Around In McCall with Ice Bumper Cars
Visit the Manchester Ice and Event Centre in McCall, Idaho, for a perfect opportunity suitable for everyone. Get ready to bump into friends and family with McCall’s ice bumper cars for 13 minutes of zany fun! @manchester_ice_event_center
Ice Fish for Trophy Trout at Henrys Lake
According to Idaho Fish and Game, located 15 miles from Yellowstone National Park, Henrys Lake is considered the best location to ice fish in the state. Currently, it holds two state records. While ice fishing, enjoy the high mountain scenery. All you need to get started is a fishing pole and ice chisel for this winter fun! @idahofishandgame
Edwards Greenhouse Pop-Up Park
Edwards Greenhouse offers a fun solution for community members facing the winter blues. The greenhouse created a pop-up park providing warmth and entertainment. This park consists of grassy areas, colorful blooms, a playground, vendors, artwork, live music, and story time for the children from the Public Library. Edwards is dog-friendly, allowing the perfect getaway for an afternoon picnic. @edwardsgreenhouse
Fire and Ice Winterfest Lava Hotsprings
Join Lava Hot Springs each February for Fire and Ice Winterfest. Participate in a costume contest, quarrying contests, hot springs, and a fire performance. This local tradition is open to everyone and an opportunity you don’t want to miss! @LavaHotSpringsPools
Shindig Farm Maze
Hay Mazes are not only for autumn! In Nampa, Idaho, the straw maze becomes a winter wonderland filled with bright lights and inflatables. Enjoy a horse-drawn ride, wagon rides, a Christmas swing, a Christmas tree farm, and a zipline. Bundle up and get ready for some holiday fun! @shindigfarms
Fat Tire Biking at Tamarack
If you are a nature enthusiast who loves the cold, grab your bike helmet and try something new. Tamarack offers 15 miles of trails perfect for Fat Tire Biking fun. This activity provides fresh winter air, exercise, and a chance to take in beautiful scenery. Don’t miss out on a unique nature loving and recreational experience. @tamarackresort
Are you a last-minute holiday shopper or craft fanatic? You may be in for a treat. Throughout the holiday season, the Treasure Valley offers an array of craft bazaars and markets. These events provide unique gifts and a way to support local artists while bringing creativity and community together.