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5 Things To Do When You Need to Get Out of the House

Updated: May 10, 2022

When I was growing up we weren't allowed to say the "B word."

"Bored?!" my mom would say, "I've got something that can keep you busy!" and she'd hand us the broom and tell us to get busy.

What do you do when your kids complain that they're bored? Or do you ever have those days when you feel like you've just GOT to get out of the house or you're gonna scream? Orrrr maybe you feel like all you've been doing since you woke up is scream and you know you gotta get a change of scenery before the entire crew has a meltdown. Where do you go?

I find it so easy to get in the car and head to "run an errand" at a store like Target, Fred Meyer, the Dollar Store - where we wander around and end up spending money on random things we didn't know we needed. You know how it goes - you run in for one thing and end up with a trunk full of stuff. Oops. We also seem to be motivated by treats. "If you guys clean up the toy room we can get a special treeeeeat!" Tell me I'm not the only one who uses this trick! 😬

It got me thinking... our need to get out of the house always ends up with me spending money! What can we do that gets us a change of scenery without breaking the bank?

Here are the top 5 ideas I came up with but please, please, please add yours in the comments!

1) Parks - Obbbbviously a great choice when the weather is nice! Check out the Park Report Card I made so that you can keep track of all the different parks you visit and which ones are worth going back to.

2) Library! - Did you know there are 5 (and a half) Boise Public libraries? I say half because there is an "Airport Digital Library Branch" at the Boise Airport. I'm planning to visit them all and do a "roundup" so keep an eye out for that. Always a big win when there is a kid's event or story time that lines up perfectly with your toddler's nap schedule or big kids' extracurriculars. Click here for the kid specific page. (How cute is the "Tiny Telephone Tales" program?!)

3) Use a membership - These are the days when a membership really comes in handy. You don't have to feel guilty if your visit only lasts 20 minutes and it can get you and your kids the reset you need. We love using our memberships to Zoo Boise and Children's Museum of Idaho. Is there anywhere else you recommend getting a membership to?

4) Go for a drive - As Piggie and Elephant famously said, "Drive! Drive! Drivey-drive-drive!" Strap the kids in their carseats, turn on some good music or an audiobook and see where you end up. You can even make it a "build your own adventure" style trip where you let the kids tell you which way to turn whenever there is a fork in the road. You might discover some awesome hidden gem or a new coffee shop! I also recommend going up Bogus Basin Road. I love the changes in scenery as you loop back and forth and go higher and higher above town.

5) Boise Art Museum - Every First Thursday of the month from 10am-7pm is a "pay what you can" admission! The ARTexperience Gallery has a space specifically for families and kids called UNPACKED For Kids. On every other day admission for children under 5 is free so can also be a cheap outing depending on your kids' ages.

I need more ideas to add to my arsenal. Drop yours in the comments or email me - after all... almost anything is better than being handed a broom!


Jan 25

Three boys, one with special needs (nonverbal but just as loud as his brothers). Ages 10 and under. I work from home! So yes, finding things to do for quick breaks during 'Boring' January that don't cost us money is crucial.

(1) Boomtown, in the basement of the Idaho State Museum. Free admission with an Idaho State Historical Society membership, which is totally worth it. And they are usually satisfied with a 30-minute stay.

(2) A brief chat with Honest Abe on the park bench near the state museum.

(3) Bethine Church Trail. We like this trail year round - it's a flat sandy path along the river so no worries about mud. The catch here is to NOT stop…


Jan 25, 2022

Thank you for visiting us at The Children's Museum of Idaho!

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