One of my biggest fears in taking my children into the outdoors when they were young was not knowing where to go that would be safe. Where we lived at the time, there were lots of places to go but not having been to any of them myself, I was always afraid it would be too hard for me (let alone the kids). With so many unknowns, fear crept in and prevented me from going on any trips at all. Other fears I had included seeing wild animals and not knowing how to behave, not knowing if there would be bathrooms where we were headed (and not wanting to potty in the wilderness), and much more. But rest assured, these 4 places are family-friendly, they all have public bathrooms and they will all spark your interest (but especially your kids!) You won’t see much scary wildlife around these parts and getting to them is easy-peasy.
Camel’s Back Park
Right in the middle of the North end of Boise, this park is famous for its view of the city. Located at 1200 Heron St, Boise- you will find it down the street from the restaurants and fun shops like G. Williker’s toy Store and Goody’s Ice Cream Parlor. Getting to the top of the hill is no easy feat, but good for you, there are two ways up to the top, one is much easier than the other. I wouldn’t recommend taking any strollers here but kids that can help themselves up the hill would really appreciate this climb.
Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve
This gem of a walk in the middle of town is a place that all kids need to venture to. It is amazing because it’s literally hidden unless you know where you are going. Located at 5301 N Maple Grove Rd, Boise, there is a small parking lot at the front of the reserve. A large portion of this trail is paved or easily flat, so feel free to bring those strollers on this one! Stop and smell the flowers, take your time investigating the birds and the scenery. While relatively small in size, this place packs a punch in terms of beauty. You will want to make this a regular stop on your family tours.
Another fun and hidden treasure is Quinn’s Pond. Also known as Esther Simplot Park, this area is such a fun place to take the kids. A large park structure with some unusual play pieces and a swimming hole? What could go wrong with this adventure? Look out for baby geese during the season and take your fishing poles to use while on one of the many piers. Bring your bikes and travel down the greenbelt connected to the park. Head to Idaho River Sports and rent a kayak or paddleboard for some extra fun. Located at 3206 W Pleasanton Ave, Boise, there is nothing short of fun happening here.
If you like a small-town zoo, this is perfect for you. Located right in the middle of downtown Boise, there is nothing like Zoo Boise. So much to do, you could spend half a day enjoying the play structures and seeing all the neat animals. Watch the penguins go wild and feed the giraffes! If you have the means to purchase a year membership, you aren’t only helping the zoo, you are getting out of the house and getting exercise so it’s a win-win! Make sure to take the time to read all about why the animals are there and where they came from. I never miss an opportunity to try and teach my kids something when we go out. Located right next to Julie Davis Park at 355 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, make sure to bring a lunch and picnic outside on a sunny day.
There are plenty of other places to take your littles on fun excursions through the city. Which ones are your favorites?
A few others I LOVE are:
Lucky Peak State Park
Military Reserve (Boise foothills)
So go! Quickly put these locations into the GPS and head on out! Also, rest assured these adventures are all safe and harmless, have plenty of things to do and bathrooms to spare! Ha!