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Photo by Dusty Parnell


Boise Whitewater Park at the west end of downtown features two state-of-the-art waveshapers.

and then get your chance to check out that two-headed calf. This is the museum’s first renovation since 1950. If you just can’t wait for a trip down history lane, then ponder a day trip to the old mining communities of Silver City or Idaho City.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES Here is where you get to use Idaho and Shakespeare in the same sentence. The Idaho Shakespeare Festival in now in its fifth decade as the state’s premier professional repertory theater company. The outdoor amphitheater sits beside the Boise River and is a relaxing way to spend a summer evening. The Boise Art Museum (BAM) in Julia Davis Park is another spot to put on your list, as is the extremely popular Art in the Park every September, which has raised money for the museum for more than 60 years. The three-day event features almost 260 artists from around the country. The Boise Philharmonic can trace its roots back to 1891, when the state of Idaho was only one year old. Its 2018-2019 season runs from September to May. Ballet Idaho and Opera Idaho are both more than 45 years old and offer full seasons every year. Idaho Dance Theatre is another organization that calls Boise home. It is closing in on its 30th anniversary. The Velma Morrison Center for the Performing Arts on the Boise State University campus is a beautiful venue that is arguably the best place in town to catch a concert or event. Everyone should check out its latest calendar of events. It’s one of the top university venues in the country. 50


This past April, Boise celebrated the 21st Annual Gene Harris Jazz Festival named for the late Boise musician (1933-2000). It’s three days of performances, clinics, lectures, workshops and more.

FAMILY FUN With all that to contemplate, it’s obvious why Outside Magazine calls Boise a “Top 10 City for Active Families.” But sometimes you just want to get out and do something just for the kids — or the kid in all of us. When you drive down I-84 past Meridian, you can’t miss the waterpark, miniature golf courses and other inviting distractions. Roaring Springs Water Park and Wahooz Family Fun Zone (with go-kart tracks, bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag, laser maze and arcade games) is the largest water park in the Pacific Northwest, but that’s still not good enough for them. They’ve got a $6 million upgrade in the works. This is one-stop family fun at its wildest. Discovery Center of Idaho is another great place to take active and curious kids. This interactive science center in Downtown Boise has an ever-changing rotation of traveling exhibitions that are never dull. ZooBoise is in the heart of the city at the popular Julia Davis Park. With 350,000 visitors a year, the zoo is expanding its physical size for the first time since 1981 with a new African exhibit that will open in the summer of 2019.

SPORTS If you’re here in football season, you’ve got to experience a game on the famous

blue football field of the Boise State Broncos. Known by locals as “The Blue,” you can count on one thing: It’s going to be loud! Albertsons Stadium is also home to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which joined the list of post-season college football bowls back in 1997 as the Humanitarian Bowl. It pits a team from the Mountain West Conference against a team from the Mid-American Conference and is never a low-scoring affair. Only four times in its history has the winning team scored less than 30 points. The 2018 bowl will be Friday, Dec. 21. The Albertsons Boise Open has been a prime golf event since 1990, with one of the top purses on the Tour. The event recently received the Tour’s Best Pro-Am Experience Award. The 2018 tournament is Sept. 13-16 at Hillcrest Country Club, and ALL ticket sales go directly to charities. The Boise Hawks have been hitting the diamond for more than 30 years now with six league titles over that time. Affiliated with the Colorado Rockies, the team plays the A-Short Season in the Northwest League. The Idaho Steelheads play minor league hockey in the ECHL and are affiliated with the Dallas Stars. The team has qualified for the playoffs every year since it was founded in 1996. That 21-year streak is the longest active playoff streak in pro hockey. For those who feel the need for speed, there are two good choices. Meridian Speedway has been around for more than 65 years and still attracts 2,500 fans a year. Now sanctioned by NASCAR, the Speedway can boast more than 350 racers who hit the asphalt every year. Outside of town, on Idaho 16, Firebird Raceway is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. This classic drag racing track has more than 50 events a season and is a member of the National Hot Rod Association. Don’t forget you’re also in cowboy country. Than means you’re going to find not one but two world-class PRCA rodeos at the other end of the valley. Both rodeos regularly make the Top 25 list in the country. The Snake River Stampede is more than 100 years old and happens every July in the air-conditioned comfort of the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Just a few miles farther down the road, the Caldwell Night Rodeo bills itself as the rodeo

Profile for Boise Metro Chamber

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...

2018 Boise Valley Spotlight Magazine  

The Boise Valley Spotlight magazine is our annual membership directory. Together with our publishing partner, the Idaho Statesman, we share...