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Family Fun in McCall, Idaho in the Summer (2024)

McCall, Idaho is the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation and the perfect summer spot for family fun. Our family has been many times since we've lived in Boise and spending time there in the summer is always a hit. I'm rounding up our family's favorite experiences and combining them with tips, tricks and recommendations from the Boise With Kids audience. With these tips and recommendations, you’re set for an unforgettable family trip. Have the BEST time!


Things to Do in McCall, Idaho:



Enjoy Payette Lake (There are SO many options for this!)

-You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and other items from local shops and spend the day on the water. Someone recommended Backwoods Adventures but there are a handful of options just a Google search away.

-Rather enjoy it from the shores of Payette Lake? You've got lots of options for hanging out on the beach. Our family's favorite is Brown Park. We LOVE the playground and the small beach area that has a water feature for kids of all ages to enjoy. Our boys are content here for HOURS building sand castles and splashing in the shallow water right off the beach. We also love Rotary Park - again, there's a great playground and sandy area to play. The main beach, Legacy Park, is a popular spot, too. It's super close to downtown and fun to watch boaters head out onto the water and back. If you're staying on the edge of McCall then North Beach is a great option. It gets busy so plan to get there early. Definitely research the Meanders for paddleboarding, kayaking, etc. in that area.

-Someone commented on my Instagram post with this rec: "We love the first beach area in Ponderosa State Park by the visitors center. It has good sand to play in, lots of shade and close to bathrooms!" Sounds ideal to me!


Want to swim in a pool? There are a few hotels with pools or head back to Cascade and try their Aquatic + Rec Center. Find the open swim hours here


-Explore the kid-friendly trails at Ponderosa State Park! Here's a list of hike recommendations from Visit McCall.

-Have the kids become a "Junior Ranger" - check this link for details!


-Head up the mountain and see what's going on at Brundage during the summer!

-The 14 minute scenic lift ride is $20/adult and $15/kid older than 7 (kids 6 and under are free!). It's a gorgeous way to explore the mountain and the little trails at the top are super kid friendly. 

-There's fun to be had without leaving the base! There is a summer concert series on Fridays and Smoky's Bar and Grill is open during the summer months to grab some food or drink.

-There is a small disc golf course and lots of mountain biking trails.


Bike ride around town, the Lake or the State Park

-McCall is a great spot to bike around the side streets, around the lake or on the trails. We've had great luck renting bikes from McCall Sports over the years. 


Manchester Ice Rink Bumper Cars 

-How fun does this sound? Rides are 13 minutes long and start every 15 minutes during the designated bumper car times. Check the rink schedule for details! There's also open ice skating times for your future figure skaters or ice hockey players!


-A paint your own pottery studio! Would make for a great rainy day activity or hand made souvenir! 


-Play a round or hit some balls at the driving range. 


-Visit the Farmers Market for fresh produce, handmade crafts, and live music. It’s a great way to spend a morning and support local vendors. Wednesdays and Saturdays 10 am – 1 pm in downtown McCall at 2nd St. and Lenora St.2024 Dates: June 12 – Sept 28


McCall, Idaho Place to Eat/Drink:



-No summer trip is complete without a visit to Ice Cream Alley. Their "mountain sized scoops" and unique flavors are a crowd-pleaser. Note that they ONLY take cash! There is an ATM on site but you definitely don't want to lose your spot in line to use it. 


-Known for its juicy burgers and friendly atmosphere, it’s a must-visit. Plus, they have kid-friendly options that are sure to please picky eaters and they're HUGE and include an ice cream cone! It definitely lives up to the hype. They have a great grassy area with picnic tables and cornhole to play while you wait (there's almost always a line!). 


-Enjoy a laid-back meal with locally brewed beers for the adults and a tasty kids' menu. Their outdoor seating is perfect for a sunny day and they've expanded recently so there are lots of options and some fun patio yard games. 


-For a sweet treat, head to Stacey Cakes. Their cookies, pastries, and cakes are the perfect pick-me-up after a day of adventure or a fun way to start the day. Their cinnamon rolls are a must. 


-This has become our family's favorite for coffee, breakfast and lunch items. It's only open until 3:00pm so make sure to fit it into your schedule for breakfast or lunch (or both). They also have a little "provisions" shop area with a lot of local goodies. 


-We love getting big old sandwiches to-go here. FYI It's closed on Sunday so don't wait until the end of the weekend to go eat there!


-Pizza, pasta, burgers, sandwiches and more!


-If you like ALL the toppings and fun combos then you'll love the options here. There's also other treats available like cotton candy, fancy chocolates and a wall of bulk candy dispensers. 


-I haven't been yet but have heard great things about this breakfast/brunch/lunch spot, right on the lake. Open 7am until 3pm.


-There are 5 KB's across Idaho and one is in the heart of McCall. Great spot for burritos, tacos, quesadillas, chips + salsa, and so much more!


-Great coffee drinks and delicious to-go breakfast items and pastries. 


-A McCall staple for breakfast and coffee!


-Across the street from Stacey Cakes, this is a fun dining option! 


***McCall has a couple of great spots to buy groceries if you want to make any of your meals at "home" instead of eating out. There is an Albertsons right on the edge of the main downtown area and a Ridley's and Natural Grocers right as you enter into town from the south as well as other smaller convenience type stores and gas stations. 


Where to Shop in McCall, Idaho:

-This has quickly become a family fave. I love their selection and cozy bookstore vibes. There's a great selection of children's books, games, toys, etc. 


-Never been a but a follower highly recommends checking out Backcountry Boutique! 


-New and super cute! Right next to North Fork Coffee.


-A fun spot to wander around and get random thrifted items. Also a non-profit!


-Another thrift shop supporting those with disabilities. 


Other McCall, Idaho Tips and Tricks:

- DON'T TURN LEFT! For real. Don't do it.

- Early Bird Gets the Worm: Head out early for activities to avoid the crowds and the heat.

- Layer Up: Even in summer, mornings and evenings can be chilly. Bring layers to stay comfortable.

- Sunscreen is a Must: The sun can be strong, even in the mountains and in the cooler temps!

- Check the Visit McCall website for fun events here.


Check these old McCall, Idaho blog posts on boisewithkids.com for even more info!

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