Most people simply think of potatoes and farming when they think about Boise. They think that all there is to this amazing city is what comes out of the ground. Well, even though the vegetables are amazing, and our land fertile, Boise is so much more than that. Boise is a city that is dedicated to growth, prosperity, and its charming small-town nature; not to mention having an awesome amount of fun!
However, if you are new to Boise, or any part of the Treasure Valley for that matter, it might be hard to know where to go for fun, or what kind of fun there is in the first place. If that is the situation you’ve found yourself in, then this article is for you. This article is written to help you have the best time ever this year in Boise. Since we are real estate agents, we know the value of living in a fun city. So, here you have it, 16 must do activities in Boise in 2016, part 1:
1. Explore Jump
Philanthropy knows no bounds when it comes to the J.R. Simplot Company’s newest project— Jump, otherwise known as Jack’s Urban Meeting Place. It is a five-story community center that has been given to the public by the J.R. Simplot Company for the sake of giving back to the community. It is intended to be a tribute to discovery, learning, and the arts and is even outfitted with studios, cutting edge technology rooms, and much more. Its lawn is even designed to be a community park so that, during the warmer months, visitors to Jump and downtown Boise can enjoy the open air and the shade of a tree.
Simplot is a name that has been a big part of Idaho’s history for the last several decades. It all started with Jack Simplot and his potato farms. He quickly expanded into a potato mogul (if there is such a thing), covering the Boise area with his farms. It wasn’t too long after that Simplot made a deal with McDonald’s and became the largest distributor of French fries for all domestic McDonald’s restaurants.
2. Escape Boise Escape
Boise escape is a pretty unique place. There is nothing like it in the area, and it is really taking the valley by storm. But what is Boise Escape and what makes it so awesome? Well, to start off, it is a giant puzzle. If you are a puzzle person, or someone who likes mysteries for that matter, will enjoy Boise Escape. The way it works is like this: you and whoever you are with are all locked in a room with only an hour to escape. However, the only way to escape is to follow the clues, crack the codes, and pick the locks that are keeping you there. If you get it done before your time is up, then you’ve won. If you don’t get out in time . . . Well, better luck next time.
The Boise Escape is a very recent development in the Boise area. Its youth, however, has not hindered people from hearing about it and signing up to try it out themselves. At Boise Escape, there are many different ways you can play with different rooms every few months. You can go in by yourself (you may get pared up with strangers at that point though), you can rent it out for a birthday party, or you can rent it as a corporate team-building exercise. Whichever way you decide to play, however, you are bound to have fun.
3. Check Out the Boise Music Festival
What summer would be complete without music? And what better place to enjoy music than the Boise Music Festival. The Boise Music Festival is a yearly tradition in the Boise area where big name musicians of all kinds come to Boise for a concert like none other. Some of the famous performers that have made appearances at the Boise Music Festival would have to be Macklemore, Plain White T’s, Rob Thomas, Vanilla Ice, and so on. It is a huge event, well worth having to wait until summer time.
This year the Boise Music Festival, or BMF as a lot of people call it, will be held on June 25, 2016. The artists have not been announced yet, but the festival seems to get better and better every year, so there is quite a standard that the audience is expecting. BMF usually attracts somewhere around 70,000 people or so each year. It is a great time and, if you even think you want to go, nows a great time to start searching for tickets. When they first hit the market they are quite inexpensive. However, they can get a bit pricey as the days and months roll on.
4. Go to a Concert or Two
If you don’t like the idea of the Boise Music Festival, but still want to hear some of your favorite bands, never fear. Boise is also a common stopping place for many musicians. Due to its central location between Salt Lake and Portland, Boise gets quite a few artists stopping by as they make their way up north. They play at many of the venues around town like the Knitting Factory, the CenturyLink Arena, and so on. Some of the notable artists that have performed here in Boise within the last few years are Imagine Dragons, Train, Skillet, Lindsey Sterling and so forth. In 2016, some of the concerts that you can get excited for are Maroon 5, Parachute, Tech N9ne, Carly Rae Jepsen, 5 Seconds of Summer, Celtic Woman, Breaking Benjamin, Nightwish, the Piano Guys, and Blue October. Now, these are not all the people that are coming to Boise this year; there are plenty more where they came from as well as local bands that are playing throughout the year.
5. See if You Like the Gene Harris Jazz Festival
If mainstream music isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe the Gene Harris Jazz Festival will be something that will strike your fancy. As you can probably tell, music is a big part of the culture here in Boise. It doesn’t matter the genre, so long as it has a rhythm, we like it. Among the many concerts, music classes, and conventions, one that stands out from the rest would have to be the Gene Harris Jazz Festival. This amazing event has been a part of Boise tradition since 1998. It is a time to celebrate jazz and the profound effect it has had on the human race. Participants in the festival celebrate by participating in performances, workshops, classes, and other music related events.
The Gene Harris Jazz Festival started with the wonderful Gene Harris. He became a Boisean toward the end of his life and, deciding to raise the quality of life here in the valley, spent his time creating the festival that was subsequently named after him. Through his efforts, many people have come to love and enjoy jazz as he did.
6. Go to an Idaho Steelhead’s Game
Just like music, sports are another big part of Boise culture. Whether it is intermural sports, youth leagues, or the minors, we love our sports here in Boise. One sport that has quite a following in the Boise area is hockey. Now, this isn’t just youth hockey or adult amateur leagues— though we have them— we are talking about hockey that is a little more up the ladder. Downtown Boise is the home of the Idaho Steelheads, Boise’s minor league hockey team. They play in the CenturyLink Arena from fall until spring once, and sometimes even twice, a week. They may not be the most popular team in the nation, but we love them all the same here in Boise. The arena gathers large crowds almost every night, and their enthusiasm will have you chanting along with them on only your first visit.
7. Watch the Boise State Broncos Play
After you are done enjoying the Steelheads carve up the ice, then you need to take a trip down to Albertson’s Stadium to watch the Boise State Broncos play on the legendary blue turf. (Fun fact: the blue field that the Broncos play on is also lovingly known as the Smurf Turf and is one of the small handful of college fields to be a color other than green.)
Lately, the Broncos have been in the public eye, and for good reason. Since their victory in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl of 2007, the Broncos have been climbing the ladder of success winning dozens of victories and going to a bowl game at the end of nearly every season. They play during the normal football season, ending in December, and their home games are usually on Friday and Saturday nights every other week (be sure to check their game schedule for specific dates and times).
8. See the Sunrise or Sunset from Table Rock
If you are a fan of spectacular views, then you need to check out Table Rock— no matter the time of day. However, if you want a great sunset or sunrise panorama, then the beginning and end of the day are the best times to trek up to the top of the peak. Table Rock is a sandstone formation that sits above downtown Boise. It can be reached by car (up the backside) or by hiking trail (up the front) depending on what your preference is. The hike is about 3 miles round trip; the drive takes you pretty much to the top, unless the gate is closed, in which case you will need to park about a quarter to a third of a mile from the top.
Well, this concludes our part one of the 16 Must Dos in Boise for 2016. Check back for part two where we will tell you some of the other amazing places to enjoy 2016.