There are plenty of free things to do in Boise, Idaho. One of the most popular free activities is wandering around downtown and checking out the local businesses and restaurants. The Basque Block is a great place to start with colorful buildings, unique shops, and tasty restaurants.
Exploring the city’s parks is another freebie. There are almost a hundred parks in Boise, so there’s bound to be one near you. The parks in Boise provide a range of activities, including playgrounds, walking paths, picnic areas, basketball courts and ponds.
Ann Morrison Park is my personal favorite because it has a huge pond, the river and Greenbelt run through it and it has super awesome dog park called Treasure Valley Dog Island.
The great thing about Boise is that many of the parks and popular attractions are linked via the Boise Greenbelt trail. A stroll or bike along the Greenbelt can get you to many of the best sites in Boise.
Historic Hyde Park in Boise- Our Favorite Free Thing to Do in Boise
The North End of Boise is home to our favorite area of Boise. Don’t come to Hyde Park expecting to see an actual “Park”; you’ll have to go to Camels Back Park for a park experience. Hyde Park is a neighborhood in Boise known for its history, architecture, and active community.
The historic homes, lively restaurants, and specialty shops give Hyde Park its quaint character and make it a great area to visit.
Idaho State Capitol Building
Located right smack dab in the middle of downtown, the Idaho State Capitol is a must-see for tourists interested in seeing the city of Boise. This magnificent structure, which houses the Idaho legislature, contains historical exhibits and artwork that showcase local history.
There are a few sights inside the Capitol worth seeing (be sure to watch the video in the welcome room on the garden level about the building’s construction). The garden level also has excellent exhibits with a summary of Idaho’s history which we found very interesting. It’s neat to wander through the other floors and see the structure of state government.
The Capitol is open to the public seven days a week, and visitors are urged to come in and explore it for themselves. Yes, of course, certain rooms may be off-limits or inaccessible during the legislative session, but the Capitol is free and open for the most part.
Download your Self Guided Idaho State Capitol Tour and be sure to take some time exploring the capitol building.
Boise River Greenbelt- One of our Fav Free Things To do in Boise
Consider exploring Boise River Greenbelt’s trail system if you’re searching for a fun outdoor activity that the whole family will enjoy! There are almost 25 miles of trails to choose from, so everyone in the family can find something that suits them. The pathways are well-maintained, making them ideal for walkers, bikers, and joggers.
Several locations along the Greenbelt are worth seeing, including museums, parks, and historical sites such as the Anne Frank memorial. The greenbelt gives a unique view into the city’s distinctiveness. Here’s a link to the Boise River Greenbelt map.
The best part about the Boise River Greenbelt is that it’s located in the city’s center. The trail system may be accessed from almost any area of Boise, making it a fantastic choice for city dwellers who don’t want to travel far for a nice walk.
If you’re searching for a new outdoor activity to do this summer, check out the Boise River Greenbelt’s trail system!
Boise Train Depot
The Boise Depot, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, is a gorgeous Spanish-style building that serves as a beautiful historical backdrop for weddings, corporate parties, business dinners, luncheons, meetings, and other gatherings.
The Depot station offers a spectacular view of Boise and the city’s skyline. The panoramic view from the Depot patio is a beautiful glimpse of downtown Boise and the mountains. The 96-foot bell tower is lit up in floodlights at night, revealing it throughout the city.
You can tour the building on Sundays and Monday and I think you’ll appreciate seeing some of the old relics and the original paint on the ceiling beams. I recommend taking the elevator ride to the top of the bell tower for fantastic views of the Owyhees and the city of Boise.
Freak Alley-Unique Free Thing to Do in Boise
Some people may believe that Boise, Idaho is a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. However, if you know where to look, you’ll discover all sorts of unusual and fascinating things going on right under your nose.
Freak Alley, a secret treasure tucked away in the center of downtown Boise, is one of my favorite places to go exploring, and the best part is it’s a free thing to do in Boise.
Freak Alley is a public outdoor art gallery that includes the work of local artists. New murals are added over existing ones every six weeks, or artists update old murals. It’s a wonderful location to go for a stroll in downtown Boise and enjoy the sights and sounds. The alley is ever-changing, so there’s always something new to see.
Boise State University Hall of Fame Blue Turf
The stadium hall of fame is one of the highlights of a trip to Boise State University. The hall of fame honors the football team’s achievements and features exhibits that trace the team’s history. There is also a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs. Created in 2005, the Bronco Stadium Hall of Fame at Boise State University honors the school’s greatest players, coaches, and teams.
The hall of fame is in the Albertsons Stadium east end zone and consists of a rotunda with three stories. The top-level honors all of Boise State’s national championship teams, while the middle level honors the school’s greatest players. The Bronco Walk of Fame contains bronze plaques honoring every player who has ever played for Boise.
Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center
The Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center is a great discovery for anybody fascinated by insects, birds, and wildlife. It’s also an excellent spot to learn about the conservation efforts in this region.
It has some fantastic educational programs for children and families. The huge underwater windows that provide face-to-face encounters with native Idaho fish will appeal to kids.
Hike Table Rock Trail- Active Free Thing to do in Boise
The popular hiking destination of Table Rock is located just above Boise, Idaho. The hike to the top is a little over 3 miles and provides stunning views of the city and neighboring mountains.
The hike to Table Rock Boise begins near the grounds of the Idaho State Penitentiary. There is a tiny parking lot at the park, but it usually fills up on weekends, so you may have to park along the side of the road.
Enjoy Camels Back Park
Camel’s Back Park is a well-known area for locals and tourists alike. A playground, tennis courts, and a large open space that’s ideal for picnics, frisbee-throwing, and dog-walking are all everyday occurrences around the park.
In the fall, the park is excellent for watching the fall leaves change colors, and in the winter, it becomes a sledding hill.
Anne Frank Humans Rights Memorial
One of the most moving attractions in Boise is the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. It is a memorial to Anne Frank, who wrote her famous diary while hiding with her family from the Nazis during World War II. The Anne Frank Memorial in Boise, Idaho, is the only one in the United States and one of the few places on earth where the complete Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is permanently displayed.
The main feature of the plaza is a large metal artwork depicting people standing up for human rights, which is inscribed with portions from Anne Frank’s diary. A museum in the tower recounts Anne Frank’s life and death and human rights abuses around the world.
The memorial is a moving experience and a powerful reminder of the importance of human rights. It’s well worth the trip to Boise if you’re in the area!
Julia Davis Park-A Great Free Thing to Do With The Whole Family
Julia Davis Park is a great location to go if you’re searching for something to do in Boise, Idaho. This vast park has everything for everyone, from playgrounds and picnic areas to rose gardens and fish ponds.
Tom Davis, the husband of Julia, donated 43 acres for the park’s creation. The park also has several distinctive features, including the Boise Zoo, the Boise Art Museum the Idaho Black History Museum, and the Idaho Historical Museum.
Oregon Trail Historic Reserve
The Oregon Trail Reserve is a 77-acre site in Southeast Boise. The picturesque view of the city of Boise and the historic Kelton Ramp, a route cut by original pioneers seeking to descend the rim to the Boise River, are among the features of this area.
The reserve is open from sunrise to sunset, and it provides ample opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and animal viewing. Visit the information kiosk near the entrance for more information on what you can discover and do at the park.
The Village in Meridian
This popular mall is only a short drive from the city. It has everything, from cutting-edge businesses to an outside entertainment center. The facility transforms into a winter wonderland in November and even has an outdoor ice rink.
Boise Public Market
The city’s main public market, which has 150+ local businesses, is a fantastic spot to go for fresh food and live music. It’s an intriguing and free experience in Boise that lets you enjoy yourself while you shop.
Additional Things To Do Around Idaho
There are plenty of other areas to explore around Idaho check out some of our favorite hikes near Boise and the best things to do in Twin Falls. We’d love to hear about some of your favorite free things to do around Boise, drop a comment below if there’s something you think should be added.