The temperatures have dropped, the snow is finally starting to fall, and we are on the countdown to the much-anticipated date in December on the calendar! Idaho, in itself, is an extraordinary place to live. Still, the wonder of winter invites us to explore our child-like dreams of festive celebrations and curious cravings of getting lost in nature’s splendor.
There are memories to be made, and there’s no time to waste. We have created a short list of our favorite Idaho holiday experiences!
The Magic of Lights
Christmas lights draw us in and bring a welcomed calm into the chaos of a fast-paced season. Bundle up and wind your way through a symphony of lights, or experience a light show from the cozy comfort of your warm car!
Check in advance for ticketing information.
The botanical garden is transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland. 600,000 lights are gracefully strung across the garden landscape. You will find Santa’s cottage display and enjoy shopping at the local artist’s stocking stuffer station– everything you could want and more for a memorable evening under the lights!
Santa makes an appearance for pictures, so check the calendar before you go!
One of the biggest and brightest light displays in Idaho! Located in the heart of Meridian, the Scentsy Commons is a vibrant display of lights, free for anyone to experience!
Indian Creek Village, located in downtown Caldwell, brings winter to life with over one million lights. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and wander through a spectacular glowing exhibit!
When it’s too cold outside, head to the Expo Idaho and drive through millions of lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. Drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways, and more!
Winter Wonderland Sleigh Ride
Dash through the snow on an open sleigh! Idaho offers some of the most picturesque winter landscapes, and we can’t think of a more unique way to experience them than on a horse-drawn sleigh. Escape for a day or a weekend, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Check in advance for reservation information.
In the heart of the mountains in central Idaho, an experience unlike any other, Hap and Florence Points Sleigh Rides take you through the rustic setting of Long Valley, situated next to the Gold Fork River. Bundle up under a blanket and move among Rocky Mountain Elk!
Glide through the winter wilderness of Garden Valley, Idaho, in an old fashioned sleigh. End your ride enjoying a complimentary hot drink and a snack at the lodge! Or turn your sleigh ride into a complete dining experience with live music and a slow-cooked Dutch Oven meal!
Ice Skating & Tubing
We know the kids love Christmas break, but they will love it more when they go ice skating under the stars or race tubes down a hill!
Located in the heart of The Village at Meridian, enjoy a day of shopping, dining, and ice skating! Or let your kids take a turn on the ice while you relax by the fire!
Skate into winter on Idaho’s only, and one of the nation’s seven, ice skating ribbon and ice rink! In the center of the plaza– surrounded by shops, restaurants, and firepits– you can skate laps, refuel and warm up, and skate some more!
If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, you still have a reason to put your snow clothes on and head outside! You will feel exhilarated when you slide down the 800-foot tubing hill. A conveyor belt at the bottom takes you to the top so you can ride as many times as your heart can handle it!
No need to drive up the mountain when you can drive to Eagle Island park in Eagle! Even though it doesn’t always snow in the valley, the Gateway Parks provide the snow, so tubing and sledding are always available.
Soak Up the Hot Springs
Where do we begin with over 130 soakable hot springs in Idaho? There are so many amazing hot springs to explore, and they are another reason why Idaho is so spectacular!
Soaking in the heat as the cold mountain air kisses your face is as incredible as it sounds. These hot springs make for the perfect day trip or weekend getaway!
Check in advance for hours of operation and reservations.
Located just a short 45-minute drive northeast of Boise, The Springs is a spa-like retreat in a mountain setting. Seldomly crowded, with a large hot springs pool and reservable private hot tubs, you can easily take advantage of these hot springs to relax and soak in comfort.
Gold Fork Hot Springs is located just south of McCall in the small town of Donnelly in the beautiful foothills of the North Fork Range. There are five pools to soak in, ranging from very hot to cool. Remotely situated, the sky will blanket you with stars while the water keeps you warm.
Miracle Hot Springs is a geothermal oasis located in the southern Idaho desert. Every family can enjoy the luxurious hot water during a soak in one of the private hot pools or outdoor hot pools. Turn a day trip into a weekend getaway by staying in one of the Miracle Hot Springs geodomes!
Winter in Idaho is the one time of year when the twinkle of Christmas lights brightens entire neighborhoods. When ice skating is as enticing as cozying up by the fire. When the silence of the falling snow quiets even the busiest mind. When the cold mountain air brings you closer to the people, you love.
And with that, we at the Mike Brown Group know we are blessed to call Idaho home. We hope you love where you live as we try to provide fun activities and adventures for you to try. And if you are considering making the move to this beloved state, we will be here when you are ready to make Idaho your home too!