Entertaining a variety of ages on a summer vacation can be a challenge, but fear not. Check out this list of all-ages, kid-friendly activities to help you make the most of your vacation time in Idaho.
Zipline Your Way Through Idaho
Shake off those road trip wiggles with a little — or a lot — of ziplining. High-flying zip line experiences can be found throughout Idaho including Lava Hot Springs, Heise, Twin Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Coeur d’Alene, Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Tamarack Resort and Farragut State Park. Depending on your preferred style, try out the Treehouse S’mores & Zip Tour with Timberline Adventures or race side-by-side down the 700-foot line at Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint. Elevate your aerial game at Tree to Tree Adventure Park, which offers adult and kid courses to keep everyone moving.
Jet Boat Tours
Did you know North America’s deepest river gorge can be found in Idaho? Deeper than even the Grand Canyon, Hells Canyon dishes up adventure on every rapid. Climb aboard a jet boat tour to bounce over the rapids of the Snake River, spot bears, bighorn sheep and bald eagles, and learn about the settlers of this rugged area at historical stops along the way. Outfitters like Hells Canyon Adventures, Killgore Adventures, and Snake Dancer Excursions offer a variety of half- or full-day tours that can fit into any vacation itinerary.
Lake and River Cruises
Kick back and let someone else do the driving with a lake or river cruise on Idaho’s pristine waters. Enjoy scenic views of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Lake Pend Oreille or Payette Lake aboard a cruise. Choose from a variety of options that include scenic, sunset dinner or brunch cruises. You can also opt for a river cruise to explore the St. Joe River (the highest navigable river in the world) or take an easy journey down the Snake River to enjoy waterfalls and wildlife. Many of these cruises offer climate-controlled areas and food so it’s easy to keep the whole family happy.
Horseback Rides/Guest Ranches
Horseback riding and Idaho’s guest ranch experiences provide a bit of the Wild West with modern-day comforts. Dude ranches like Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint and Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Harrison offer a multi-day stay with all the amenities including activities such as horseback rides, archery, waterfall hikes and three homecooked meals a day. If an overnight stay isn’t on your agenda, check out a variety of ride options with outfitters around the state like Linn Canyon Ranch, Mystic Saddle Ranch or Sun Valley Stables.
Amusement and Water Parks
Laugh, splash and play all day at any of Idaho’s awesome amusement or water parks. Silverwood Theme Park, the Northwest’s largest theme park, is just a short drive from Coeur d’Alene and doubles down on the fun with its Boulder Beach Water Park. Find rides and roller coasters for little kids, big kids and kids at heart as well as a historic steam engine train ride that is known to spot the occasional train robber. Boulder Beach will help you cool off with a wave pool, a splash-and-play area perfect for little ones and a lazy river. If you’d like to add a water park to your lodging mix, check out Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort at Silver Mountain. Spend a day relaxing in a cabana or trying your surf skills on the Flow Rider Surf Wave. Wahooz Family Fun Zone and Roaring Springs Waterpark in Southwest Idaho offer a side-by-side play experience. Wahooz features bumper boats, go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, bowling at Pinz and much more! Head next door to take a dip at Roaring Springs Waterpark which features a multitude of slides, a lazy river and Bearfoot Bay for little ones.
With more than two dozen dazzling and diverse state parks, Idaho has plenty of options for little explorers. Head to Priest Lake State Park for a beautiful beach day on the shores of this 19-mile long lake. Enjoy the stars at Bruneau Dunes State Park in Southwest Idaho where you’ll find an observatory with a massive telescope that hosts star parties throughout the spring and summer months. Climb and conquer the unique rock formations found at Castle Rocks State Park and the neighboring City of Rocks National Reserve. First time journeying into Idaho’s outdoors? Take advantage of the Idaho Loaner Backpacks and Junior Ranger Programs, which inspire a sense of adventure for the whole family.
For other fun and affordable Idaho trip ideas, check out 20 Budget-Friendly Idaho Adventures to keep the fun going.