Some destinations you just know will be a hit with your kids (i.e. Orlando, Anaheim, etc.) and others you know are more places you want to go and not so much a destination for the kids (i.e. that vineyard you’ve always wanted to visit in Napa Valley). On our recent trip to Idaho though, I really didn’t know what to expect and how it would tailor to our kids’ needs and interests. I knew we had some great kid-friendly activities planned, but I wasn’t sure how much they would like Idaho as a destination.
Early on in the trip though, we realized not only did they love everything Idaho has to offer, but also couldn’t contain their excitement to see more. Since this was a destination they became passionate about after our visit, it only seemed fitting for them to not only help me write this post, but also contribute their favorite parts of Idaho and what they would tell other kids to go see and do!
When I spoke to my daughter about her experiences she had a pretty long list of favorites, but she was quick to realize and point out that we are writing a post and not a book and decided to narrow it down to her three favorite things about Idaho. Lol
1. Kayaking the Snake River – She says she doesn’t have a top favorite, but with how much she talks about her experience kayaking and the look of pure joy while she was doing it, I’m pretty sure this was her absolute favorite thing in Idaho. It was a bonus too that afterward we went over to the Shoshone Falls and she saw a rainbow as well. She can’t wait to go back so she can kayak to the falls.
2. Bear Lake – If you have been to Bear Lake then you can perfectly understand why it would be on any kid’s “must see” list. The water is blue, the sand is cool to play with and it’s one of only a handful of lakes with seashells! The lake has fresh water clams and snails that fill the beach area with shells. She has a shell collection that was started years ago and contains shells from the east and west coast and even Colombia! She was so excited to add shells from a lake to her collection.
3. Tubing down the Portneuf River – As soon as she saw other people doing this, there was no way she was going to miss out! She couldn’t wait to jump in a tube and head on down the Portneuf River. We have been tubing before, but the rivers were usually pretty calm and as she puts it “boring”. The Portneuf River is far from boring, it has small rapids and little drop offs.
She squealed and laughed with excitement every time we would go splashing through the water. If you head to Lava Hot Springs this definitely needs to be on your list! Can you tell that she loves water? There was definitely plenty of it in Idaho! If you love watercraft or just spending some time outdoors with the family, you will love all your options in Idaho.
While we have one child that is super adventurous and loves nature, our son has completely different interests and is definitely more timid when it comes to adventure. Even with different interests, he was able to find many activities that he loved and could really appreciate. Here are his three favorite activities in Idaho:
(He was less than thrilled for this before pic, because he was bummed that he couldn’t just walk in the cave without having to wait for a guide)
1. Minnetonka Cave – While my youngest has a deep fascination with caves, we have unfortunately found that eventually he gets tired of walking through them and inevitably asks us to carry him. As much as I love snuggling and hugging him, carrying a six year old around a dark cave with tons of stairs definitely isn’t my idea of a good time.
(It's so gorgeous around the cave, you definitely want to plan some extra time to soak it all in!)
So when we decided to head to Minnetonka Cave he was super excited, but I was a little apprehensive. Luckily, this cave had his undivided attention the whole time and he didn’t once ask for us to carry him. Instead, once we were done he was asking if we could do it again! The caverns were fascinating to him and I had to keep reminding him that we couldn’t linger forever. As he pointed out though, if he could put his bed just between the stalagmites he could stay the whole night. Lol
2. Chuck Wagon Adventure – This is what he calls it, I’ve corrected him about a thousand times saying “It’s a chuck wagon dinner” but he likes to think of it as an adventure, and for him it really was. When we arrived at the Baker Ranch my son was immediately drawn to all the animals. They have goats, sheep and horses on the ranch and the kids can get right up close to them all.
Before climbing on board the wagon, my son was asked if he wanted to sit right up with the horses, of course he jumped at that idea (as long as I did as well lol) and we climbed on in! After a minute he was in awe of the horses and he just kept asking questions about them and made sure to learn their names. He can sometimes be a picky kid when it comes to eating, but I think he downed pretty much everything on his plate during dinner and even asked for more. It was a meal fit for a cowboy or in this case little cowpoke.
3. City of Rocks – I think every little 6 year old boy loves rocks, and mine is no exception. Little did he know though that there were rocks the size of houses! As we drove up to the City of Rocks I heard a loud “Whoa!” from the backseat followed by “Are those really rocks?” By his reactions and excitement you would have thought he had found a dinosaur. These millions of year old rocks make for an amazing landscape and will really surprise the kiddos. If you head here I would highly recommend taking the first turnoff for the overlook, from here you can get an amazing view of the rocks and the beautiful valley below.
Our kids loved every minute of our Idaho trip and they now know it’s somewhere they want to head back to again. Our kids’ favorite activities above are just a tip of the iceberg to be found in Idaho, and while every kid’s version of the “ideal” vacation is different, there are more than enough crowd pleasers in Idaho to make the whole family happy and coming back every year for more Idaho adventure!
We received hosting to facilitate this review, all opinions and information are my own.