And We’re Off...Boise, Idaho

We left Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, July 8 and headed for Boise, Idaho where our first Marriott of the trip awaited. Overall, we found Boise to be a fabulous, family friendly town.  I could actually see us living here someday.


Knowing that the first day would set the tone with the kids for exploring a new town, we had to make it good. We needed to win points with Elle after pulling her away from her school, friends and family. We considered the big fancy waterpark in town that would cost over $100 just in admissions. Then, we remembered our kids are only 5 and 8 years old and both get squeamish when it comes to water slides. Therefore we explored the public pool options of which there were many! We settled on Ivywild Pool with a shallow kiddie pool and kiddie slide, and a deeper area for slightly older kids which had three waterslides. All this for $11.25 for all four of us.

Elle commonly avoids “swim tests” at public pools even though she’s a good enough swimmer to pass. So, after practicing the swim test with Ken, she built up her confidence and attempted the real thing.  Of course, she passed easily. Yay!

She kept watching the big twisty water slide and initially refused to go on it. We could tell she wanted to, but was too scared. Finally, she went down it with Ken. After the first bend, his initial thought was, “Oh no. She’s going to hate this.” But he was wrong! Half way down, she exclaimed, “This is so awesome!” Needless to say, she spent the rest of the day on the slide or waiting in the short line to go on it. She must have done it close to 20 times. Eventually, she even bribed Tag with candy Pez to go on it too. He did it twice riding on Ken's lap and had had enough.  He was too cold.

Boise water slide

Immediately after leaving the pool, we drove past a park and spent 30 minutes there.

Boise public park

We found many clean, public parks in our two days in Boise, including the well maintained, 25 mile long Boise River Greenbelt that was perfect for running.

After all this, we were hungry! Knowing that Idaho is famous for it’s potatoes and that fries are Tag’s all-time favorite food we had to try the Boise Fry Company.  They specialize in 6 different kinds of french fries. Tag hoarded his bag of russet fries, while Ken, Elle and I ate Yam and Sweet Potato ones. I wish we’d gone back and tried the purple fries. Eventually, Tag melted down completely and Ken took him back to the room screaming and crying. He was asleep in 5 minutes.


On Day Two we hit the Discovery Center of Idaho with a special Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit. Because we have a membership to the Bellevue, WA based KidsQuest Children’s Museum we get discounted rates with other science and children’s musuems across the nation.  Admission was only $12, instead of $50. It was geared more towards Elle’s age, but Tag had fun too. Eventually, Tag settled in the Market area where, once again, his hoarding behavior took over. Ken went to the rescue when he heard Tag yell, “No, these are all mine.” He had filled 4 carts with play food and refused to let any other kids play with his stash. We left shortly after.

Discovery Center of Idaho
Discovery Center of Idaho 2

We then walked to Julia Davis Park, located just across the river, and rented two swan paddle boats. Tag insisted on his boat “winning the race” the whole time. He pedaled as hard as he could with his bum hanging half off the seat so he could reach the pedals. Elle enjoyed the ride and was content to let mom or dad paddle for her.

Julia Davis Park

We embarked on a final gut-plugging Idaho drive-up style restaurant with the intention to try the ice cream dessert that looks just like a baked potato! Elle dug right in, but Tag refused. He got a milkshake with sprinkles and Oreos instead.

Ice Cream Baked Potato


Once again, we went back to the hotel for more swimming and hot tubbing. Tag made friends in the hot tub while Elle stuck to the pool.

Fellow Hot tub Dad (talking to Ken): Is that your kid? (referring to Tag)

Ken: Yes.

Hot tub guy: He’s hysterical.

Ken: Oh no. What did he tell you?

Hot tub guy:  He said he is never going to have kids and instead he’s going to get a golden retriever but that he’s not looking forward to picking up dog poop.

Later, back in the room, ornery Tag got himself in trouble, took refuge in his bed and fell asleep within 5 minutes. Elle loves this time alone with mom and dad, and we were all ready for some peace and quiet!

The kids (and us) loved Boise!

Next up...Salt Lake City.