Six Budget-Friendly Activities in Idaho

Well, it’s tax day.  Whether or not you expect to receive a refund this year, saving a few dollars when you can makes everyone feel good.  We’ve put together six budget friendly activities that are high on fun and low on cost.

Julia Davis Park Rose Garden.

Julia Davis Park Rose Garden.

There are plenty of pocket- book friendly pursuits in Boise in southwest Idaho.  Visit the MK Nature Center, walk the Boise Greenbelt, stroll through the Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park or hike the foothill trails from Camels Back Park, listen to free outdoor concerts, tour the Idaho State Capitol and Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, watch kayakers and paddleboarders at the Boise River Park, or peruse the goodies and goodness at the public markets, all at no cost.  There are many more attractions in the area with admission fees under $10.

Hot soaking pools and water slides are popular in Lava Hot Springs.

Hot soaking pools and water slides are popular in Lava Hot Springs.

The eastern Idaho resort area of Lava Hot Springs has a lot to offer. Take a leisurely soak in the hot pools or splash around with the family at the indoor pool, Portneuf Kiddie Cove and water slides. Admission options are varied and affordable. You can also tube the Portneuf River. Single tube rentals range from $4 per person per hour, to $12 for a day at TPD Tubes.  Lodging in Lava Hot Springs is plentiful, offering family-friendly locales, as well as quiet getaways with private soaking pools, massage services and fine dining.

 

Learning to flyfish.

Learning to flyfish.

Fishing is a fun option. If you’ve got the gear, all you’ll need is an Idaho fishing license. Family Fishing Waters – choice spots geared toward families and the likelihood of catching fish – are located throughout the state. These waters are easy to reach and accessible by anglers of all ages.  In the summer months, look for “Take Me Fishing” Trailers at local ponds. If you’re itching to spend some of that refund, outfitters and guides are ready to show you the ropes and take you to Idaho waters best known for trout, steelhead and chinook.

 

The Bruneau Dunes near Mountain Home, ID

Hike, sandboard, fish, and frolic at Idaho’s Bruneau Dunes State Park.

Idaho’s 28 State Parks offer endless recreation opportunities, and it’s just $5 to enter with an additional fee if you want to camp.  Fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, climbing, biking, wildlife/bird watching and photography are popular pastimes, and each State Park offers a unique experience, for instance:  sand dunes and an observatory at Bruneau Dunes State Park, naval history at Farragut, Union Pacific railroad history at Harriman, gold mining history at Land of the Yankee Fork, an underground river at Thousand Springs and lots more.

View along the Teton Scenic Byway.

View along the Teton Scenic Byway.

Take a drive on one of Idaho’s 31 scenic byways. For the price of a tank of gas and maybe a few admission fees, depending on your route, you can see majestic waterfalls, raging rivers, historic sites and trails, sparkling lakes, fish hatcheries, memorials, murals, historic  towns, pioneer and Chinese cemeteries, roadside interpretive exhibits, hiking trails, wildlife, impressive canyons, rafters and kayakers, ghost towns, lava moonscapes, hot springs, towering mountains, vineyards and orchards, picnic areas, petroglyphs, monuments, ranches, wildflowers, opal mines, ice caves and even a captive geyser.  Pick your favorite byway, pack a cooler and hit the road to explore Idaho.

Rollercoaster at Silverwood Theme Park

Rollercoaster at Silverwood Theme Park.

Silverwood Theme Park in northern Idaho begins weekend hours on May 3 and on Opening Weekend May 3 & 4, everyone gets in for only $19.88 per person, per day, when purchasing a ticket at Silverwood’s front gate (a savings of $26!).  Enjoy the park’s 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions, roller coasters,  and steam engine train. Full summer hours begin May 24. Boulder Beach Water Park opens on May 31.

 

Great room at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

Great room at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

Lodging is plentiful throughout Idaho, with options to suit every budget.  Whether you choose a luxurious resort, lakeside cabin, mountain condo, scenic campsite,  historic hotel, rustic guest lodge, family-friendly hotel, trailside yurt, charming bed and breakfast or cushy glamping (glamorous camping), you’ll be close to the action.