One of the most obvious "Boise With Kids" activities is the Children's Museum of Idaho, located in Meridian. I think it's important for every community to have a special place made just for kids so was thrilled to know that the Boise area had one. It was one of the first places we went to when we were here as tourists a few years ago and a membership was at the top of my list for Christmas for the kids this year. Plus! It's a great spot to take the kids when it's too cold or dreary to play outside - something I know a lot of you are looking for.
The Children's Museum of Idaho is actually a non-profit! It's been around for just 3 years and in addition to memberships they rely on local sponsors like Zamzows, Trader Joe's and Idaho Pizza Company to keep it up and running.
There's so much you could say about the museum that I'll keep it short and sweet and encourage you to get over there and try it out for yourself. There are many different areas, each with their own activities so there is something to pique each of your kiddos' interests. Here's some tidbits about our last visit and which areas we explored. You can also check out the little slideshow video on the museum's website to get an inside peak at what's inside the museum.
Up front there is a fun Idaho Pizza Company "restaurant" where you can sit at a little table, look over a menu and place an order for your kiddos to make up a deliciously fake pizza and salad.
My personal favorite is right next door - "Trader Joe's"! Complete with shopping carts and Hawaiian shirts, you can pretend shop for all your TJ's favorites and even practice checking out. Working at Trader Joe's used to literally be my dream job so I get so excited when the boys want to play in this area!
Around the corner there are neat airplane, space and train areas for your travel and transportation loving kids. The train table is HUGE!
There's a small area made with little littles in mind - a nice safe space for them to crawl and explore away from the hustle and bustle of older kids.
My boys loved pretending to be vets at the little Pet Hospital. There are all kinds of animals to pretend to groom or take care of and lots of fun props.
I didn't take pictures but another highlight for our boys was the really fun pirate type ship that kids can climb on and a neat little fake cave they can explore with headlamps.
Around the corner is another cool area with a lot of pretend outdoor and animal activities like milking a cow, fishing in a fake pond and a fun dress-up/play area. There's even an incubator where there are real, live baby chicks ready to hatch!
Next to this area is a little classroom where they hold regular events, activities and crafts. I need to get back there for one of their "Let's Get Messy" and "Early STEM" events! (See the schedule below and we'll meet ya there!)
We also went outside to the back area (even though it was super cold) and the kids loved all the hands on activities that were there - especially the LEGO building and digging sections.
We probably stayed for an hour and a half and didn't even get to all of the exhibits. That's FOR SURE one of the best parts of having a membership. You really don't have to make a whole big ordeal out of it to have a good time. It's also great for when you and/or your kids just need to get out of the house - which was definitely the case for us and our last visit!
Here are some regular events to keep in mind:
Most days there is a Storytime + Project at 11:30am and 2:00pm
Tuesdays 10:30-11 - Early STEM (ages 6 months-2 years)
Wednesdays 10-11 - Let's Get Messy
Thursdays 10:30-11 - Early STEM (ages 3-5 years)
Put these upcoming February special events on your calendar!
2/10/22 - GoTeam therapy dogs visit at 1pm (they come every 2nd Thursday of the month)
2/13/22 - Clifford's Valentine
2/15/22 - Dolls Day Out - bring your favorite doll and look at the museum's huge doll display
2/18/22 - West Valley Humane Society visit at 11am
2/21/22 - Presidents Day - open all day!
2/21/22 - Local Children's Book author, Heather Davis, visits at 2pm to read aloud her book, "Into Justin's World"
2/22 and 23 - Local Children's Book author, Sara Rodewald, visits at 11:30am to read aloud her "Nomi and Brave" books
A new "Sensory Hour" from 12-1 on Sundays is starting for special needs kids to have a more low key experience at the Museum.
They have options for Birthday Parties and Field Trips and more - check it all out here!
Children's Museum of Idaho Details:
Address: 790 S Progress Avenue, Meridian, ID 83642
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm, Sunday: 1-5pm *Closed Mondays*
Members-only hours: Monday through Saturday one hour before opening
Admission: Guests ages 2 to adult: $9, Under 2: Free (Discounts for active Military with ID and EBT card holders). Memberships and punch cards available for purchase here
What are your kids' favorite areas? Tell us!