While the main purpose of my very first visit to Boise, Idaho was to meet my brand new, adorable niece, she and her parents did require some periods of rest. During these much-needed breaks, my family and I were able to explore what Boise has to offer.
We began our adventure at Zoo Boise, located in Julia Davis Park. During our visit, the zoo was, unfortunately, undergoing a LOT of construction and some of the exhibits were closed. I’m looking forward to giving the zoo another shot when the construction is complete. Despite the construction and closures, we did enjoy ourselves. Our favorite parts while visiting the zoo were saying hello to the penguins, climbing in a tree house, and checking out the schoolhouse. Our hands-down favorite animal in the zoo was the Sloth Bear, an animal I’d never heard of until visiting Zoo Boise. This bear is a true star and seriously the most entertaining animal to watch, even when it’s sitting around doing nothing. His posture, leaning against the glass and relaxing was just perfect, it’s exactly how you’d expect a sloth bear to be.
Another spot worth noting in Julia Davis Park is the Rose Garden, it’s beautiful and peaceful. The water fountains on either side of the garden, with electric blue water flowing through them, are a site to see as well.
In downtown Boise, we enjoyed a meal at Bittercreek Alehouse. Besides great food and beer, this restaurant has the best kids “menu” that I’ve ever seen. After sitting down our server brought us what looked like a vintage Candy Land lunch box filled with the children’s menu, that could be colored, crayons, dinosaurs, cars, and a container of goldfish crackers. The added touch of a snack while your kids wait for their meals was incredibly thoughtful and appreciated. I would love to see every child-friendly restaurant follow suit.
The following day we spent time in Meridian at the Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park. This part is meticulously maintained and despite being about 8-years-old, looks brand new. While the park has much more to offer than this, during our visit we spent our time watching our little one thoroughly enjoy the large splash pad.
From here, we walked across the street to grab a bite to eat at The Village, no, not the M. Night Shyamalan movie. Instead, a lovely collection of clothing stores, cafes, and restaurants. The dancing fountains are the highlight of this location and definitely worth a peek. If you can, catch them at night to see them not only dance but colorfully light up too.
On our last night in Boise, we were able to sneak in a trip to Westside Drive In’s State Street location. I knew that while in Idaho I had to do something potato related, I couldn’t find a potato farm tour so I settled for the next best thing: potato ice cream! No, this is not ice cream made from potatoes, it is ice cream made to look like a baked potato and it’s delicious. The only thing that we tasted was the Ice Cream Potato but that was enough. The presentation was so adorable and it tasted so good that I didn’t need to try anything else on the menu to be convinced to make this a regular stop during our future Boise visits. BTW Food Network fans, this particular drive-in was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It boasts a large, signed poster of Guy Fieri next to the Drive-In menu.
What are your favorite things to do in Boise and Meridian, ID? Please let me know in the comments below!