July Family-Friendly Events in the Boise Area

In what seems like the blink of an eye, summer is halfway through. There is still plenty of fun to be had in July before the rush of back to school. Don’t forget to hydrate while you’re out around town checking out what’s happening in Boise this month.

For even more fun for this month’s holiday, check out our Guide to the 4th of July here.

Below are some family-friendly events in the Boise area during the month of July.


July 1, 2024

4:00 pm Lego Club

July 2, 2024

10:30 am Music & Movement
10:30 am Music & Movement
2:00 pm Baby Stories & Play

July 3, 2024

10:30 am Baby Stories and Play
10:30 am Family Storytime
10:30 am Toddler Storytime
11:30 am STORYTIME ADVENTURE CLUB ON THE GREEN
12:00 pm Feel Good Yoga

July 4, 2024

July 5, 2024

July 6, 2024

10:00 am Kids Clay Play
12:00 pm Silo Saturdays
3:00 pm Beer Expo

July 7, 2024

July 8, 2024

4:00 pm Lego Club

July 9, 2024

10:30 am Music & Movement
10:30 am Music & Movement
2:00 pm Baby Stories & Play

July 10, 2024

10:30 am Family Storytime
10:30 am Toddler Storytime
11:30 am STORYTIME ADVENTURE CLUB ON THE GREEN
12:00 pm Feel Good Yoga

July 11, 2024

7:30 pm Kenny Chesney

July 12, 2024

6:00 pm Eagle Fun Days

July 13, 2024

9:00 am Eagle Fun Days
10:00 am Kids Clay Play
12:00 pm Silo Saturdays

July 14, 2024

12:00 pm Paint N Mimosas

July 15, 2024

4:00 pm Lego Club

July 16, 2024

10:30 am Music & Movement
10:30 am Music & Movement
2:00 pm Baby Stories & Play

July 17, 2024

10:30 am Family Storytime
10:30 am Toddler Storytime
11:30 am STORYTIME ADVENTURE CLUB ON THE GREEN
12:00 pm Feel Good Yoga

July 18, 2024

July 19, 2024

July 20, 2024

10:00 am Kids Clay Play
12:00 pm Silo Saturdays

July 21, 2024

July 22, 2024

4:00 pm Lego Club

July 23, 2024

10:30 am Music & Movement
10:30 am Music & Movement
2:00 pm Baby Stories & Play

July 24, 2024

10:30 am Family Storytime
10:30 am Toddler Storytime
11:30 am STORYTIME ADVENTURE CLUB ON THE GREEN
12:00 pm Feel Good Yoga

July 25, 2024

7:00 pm Chris Stapleton

July 26, 2024

July 27, 2024

10:00 am Kids Clay Play
12:00 pm Silo Saturdays

July 28, 2024

7:00 pm Violent Femmes
7:30 pm Neil Young

July 29, 2024

4:00 pm Lego Club

July 30, 2024

10:30 am Music & Movement
10:30 am Music & Movement
2:00 pm Baby Stories & Play

Do you know of any other events happening this month? Feel free to add them to our calendar.

Northwest Boise Moving Guide

Northwest Boise Moving Guide

Thank you to Alana McCarraher for bringing us this Northwest Boise Moving Guide.

ALANA MCCARRAHER, BOISE REALTOR

Alana McCarraher, your dedicated residential real estate specialist, focuses on selling homes in the Treasure Valley and mountain cabins. As a licensed agent with Silvercreek Realty Group, Idaho’s leading brokerage, Alana leverages her background in news reporting and public relations to ensure clear communication and seamless transactions. Detail-oriented and organized, she’ll expertly guide you through every step, prioritizing your goals and providing the personalized attention you deserve.

Alana is passionate about Boise’s community spirit, outdoor accessibility, and blend of small-town charm with big-city amenities. Beyond work, she enjoys skiing with her two daughters, yoga, hiking with her golden retriever Sugar, giving back to her community, and morning coffee dates with her husband.

Trust Alana to make your real estate journey a rewarding experience. Contact her via email or phone.


General Neighborhood Info

Northwest Boise runs north of State Street from 28th on the east to Idaho 55/Eagle on the west. While this area extends into the foothills, most of the neighborhoods, including Quail Hallow, Quail Ridge, John’s Landing, and Collister neighborhoods, run along State Street. This older area of Boise has tons of trees, beautiful houses, and a well-loved neighborhood feel.

» » »  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Meridian Moving Guide  « « «

Hidden Springs, also considered Northwest Boise, is a 1,844-acre master-planned community about 25 minutes from downtown Boise. This gorgeous community has over 800 acres and permanent open space, over 1,000 homes, and its own elementary school, Hidden Springs Elementary. While it’s technically part of Northwest Boise, it’s feels like it’s own town.

Since it is a master-planned community, it has a different, newer feel than much of its neighboring areas. This well-planned area also has a gas station, physical therapy office, dentist, and local library. When you live in Hidden Springs, you can find pretty much everything you need nearby.

Northwest Boise Street

Parks, Recreation, and Family Fun

This area has plenty of well-established parks and outdoor recreation. With large, mature trees and plenty of outdoor activities, this neighborhood has a lot of things to do. We love the many outdoor activities that are nearby.

Flying Trapeze

Fly Boise Trapeze in Northwest BoiseNorthwest Boise boasts its own neighborhood flying trapeze location at Fly! Boise. When the weather is good (generally Spring, Summer, and Fall), this is an amazing adrenaline rush. If you or your kids are adventurers, this can be a great activity right around the corner. While it can seem intimidating, it is beginner-friendly and the staff is very patient.

Bonus: Boise Brew Putts

A bonus activity for adults only is Boise Brew Putts! Located right next door to Fly! Boise, this mini golf for adults (alcohol is available, so it’s 21 years and up only) is a great place to relax. When you are looking for a date night or a fun evening with friends, this can be a fun place to mini golf.

Polecat Loop

Polecat Loop is a 5.4 mile trail popular for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Dogs are welcome on leash. The trail is open year-round and is considered moderately challenging. If you have a hiking, outdoorsy family, this can be a fun trail to explore.

Velloti’s Chess School

If your kiddo is looking for some mental stimulation, Northwest Boise has a local chess school for your kids to hone their skills. Check out Velloti’s Chess School for more information about this great program.

Optimist Youth Sports Complex

Optimist Youth Sports Complex is a 51-acre park with a pond, art, and plenty of sports. With its wide open space, you are sure to spend hours enjoying the beautiful Boise weather.

This sports complex has activities for the entire family, even your dog! With an off-leash dog park, Fido can even join you for some fun. The complex has a large, grassy, open play area for everyone to run around and burn energy. We love the open, unstructured space that is available here.

Parks in Northwest Boise

Wherever you live in the Northwest Boise area, there is going to be a park nearby with a variety of play structures and activity courts, like basketball and tennis. You and your kids will definitely stay busy. Here are some local parks in the area:

  • Castle Hills Park
  • Pierce Park Greens
  • Catalpa Park
  • Hillside Park
  • Sunset Park

Schools

Since Northwest Boise is a large area, there are a variety of schools in the area.

Public Schools

Northwest Boise is part of the Boise School District.

  • Lowell Elementary School
  • Taft Elementary School
  • Collister Elementary School
  • Pierce Park Elementary School
  • Shadow Hill Elementary School
  • Cynthia Mann Elementary School
  • Hidden Springs Elementary School
  • Hillside Junior High
  • Hillside High School
  • Treasure Valley Math and Science Center (High School)

Charter Schools

Private Schools

As of this writing, no private schools are noted within the Northwest Boise boundaries.

Drawbacks

This a fantastic area to live and recreate in. It is close to downtown Boise but also has plenty of land to explore. Many of the properties in this area are older, so they may have more repairs and upkeep than the newer neighborhoods. In turn, these neighborhoods definitely have personality.

Northwest Boise Moving Guide
photo credit: depositphotos.com

Why I Love It Here

I love the Northwest Boise area for its well-developed neighborhoods. Many of the neighborhoods are well-established with personality and well-maintained properties. This neighborhood has plenty of parks, outdoor activities, and businesses nearby. When you live here, you don’t have to go far to find everything you need.

If you are looking for city living, you can definitely find mature neighborhoods with people around. As you travel to the outskirts of this area, you can find larger lots with fewer people. You can also find the fully master-planned Hidden Springs community that is definitely worth visiting.

Regardless of where you live, anything you need is within a short drive in this gorgeous area.



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

5 Parenting Podcasts I Can’t Live Without

5 Parenting Podcasts I Can't Live Without

Let’s face it, life as a parent is busy! Listening to podcasts while on the go has been the best way for me to absorb information at this stage of life. I’ve discovered a collection of parenting podcasts that help me feel more equipped to deal with the firehose of behaviors and emotions that pop up in everyday family life.

Here are my top 5 favorite parenting podcasts:

1. Ask Lisa – The Psychology of Parenting with Dr. Lisa Damour and Reena Ninan

If you are a parent of a teen or tween, this podcast is for you. Dr. Lisa Damour is an author of some fabulous parenting books about the teenage years. In this podcast, she takes questions from real parents and breaks down the topics with thoughtful and empathetic answers. Literally all of the possible topics are covered: friendship issues, social media, pornography, skin care, moving, divorce . . . and the list goes on.

A couple of my favorite episodes are #170: How Should I Deal with My Angry, Disrespectful Son? and #141: How Do I Stop Riding My Kid’s Emotional Roller Coaster? If you are looking for a realistic, insightful perspective of what to expect during the teenage years, look no further.

2. Good Inside with Dr. Becky

Parents of all aged children can benefit from this one, but it is geared a bit more towards younger kids. Dr. Becky Kennedy is a psychologist and master at helping parents determine scripts to help improve communication with their children. She operates from the assumption that all kids are good inside, even when their behaviors on the outside are less than ideal.

She specializes in what she calls “DFKs” or Deeply Feeling Kids. These are kids who might appear on the surface as rude or disrespectful, and common parenting strategies are often thwarted with continued pushback. However, Dr. Becky offers a refreshing and hopeful approach. She understands these kids in a way that can be validating and healing for both the kids and the parents.

5 Parenting Podcasts I Can't Live Without
photo credit: depositphotos.com

3. This Is So Awkward with Dr. Cara Natterson and Vanessa Kroll Bennett

This podcast has allllllllllll the information about puberty and the changes that occur for kids between the ages of 8-18. It is a great guide for parents to not only understand what their child is going through physically, socially, and emotionally but also how to talk to them about it. If you are looking for some great guidance through the most awkward conversations you will have as a parent–give this a listen. They just re-released a must-listen three-part series on how to talk to kids (school-aged, tweens, and teens) about sex. Other episode topics include disordered eating, neurodiversity and puberty, stress management, and more!

4. The Screenagers Podcast with Dr. Delaney Ruston

The filmmaker of the Screenagers movies, Dr. Delaney Ruston, created a podcast to help parents navigate raising kids in tech culture. She offers helpful guidance on how to find a balanced approach to screen time while also keeping kids safe. Many of the episodes are designed to be listened to along with your child, so you both are getting the same information that can then fuel further conversations.

5. Fluster Clux with Lynn Lyons and Robin Hutson

Lynn has been a child therapist for over 30 years and shares her in-depth knowledge of parenting young people. She focuses specifically on anxiety in kids, but also how to handle typical big emotions found in developing youth. Her confidence is inspiring and contagious.

Parenting is a full-time job, and so often we feel like we are winging it! Learning from professionals who have dedicated their careers to understanding the dynamics between kids and parents can be so comforting and rewarding. Hopefully these podcasts can help you in your parenting journey. If reading is your preferred way of learning, most of these podcast hosts are also authors of phenomenal books.

»  RELATED READ: How to Break Up with Your Child’s Grades  «

Either way, equipping yourself with an educated approach to parenting can result in more peaceful interactions for you and your child.



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise River

Floating the Boise River

Everybody who lives in Boise should float the Boise River at least once (if not more). It’s a great way to beat the heat and cool down while also making lasting memories with the family.

Before my mom era, I didn’t really have to plan much. I just found friends to go with, two cars (preferably one pickup truck), and some sort of flotation device. Nowadays with a little one in tow, it’s a little different.

Here is everything you need to know about floating the Boise River with kids.

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise RiverWhen to Float

Mark your calendars! Every year the Boise River opens on a different day depending on how fast the water is flowing and the water level. This year the Boise River officially opens for floating on Thursday, June 27th. This means you can start planning your trip down the river, enjoying the scenic views, and soaking up the sun.

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise RiverThe Route

The most popular floating route starts at Barber Park and ends at Ann Morrison Park. This journey typically takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the river’s flow and how often you stop to enjoy the scenery.

Preparing for Your Float

Depending on how old your kiddos are, you can decide which kind of float to use. Using a tube is fun for the older kids and allows them to be fully submerged and stay cooler. The con is you have to work on rallying them back closer to you after every rapid or every time they drift off a little too far. Pro tip: Use a flip flop for a paddle or even bring one paddle for the tube riders. It makes for easier maneuvering.

I’ve also seen a lot of people use a paddleboard for floating down the river. Just make sure to take off your back fins. I am not very coordinated with my paddleboard, so I have personally never braved that, but if that’s your thing, just know people do it.

I personally prefer a raft with kiddos. It keeps my stress level low, and if the little ones need anything, I’m right there with my dry bag of supplies. We also tie a waterproof Bluetooth speaker and bump some tunes.

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise RiverImportant Things to Know

Bring Your Own Air Pump

Gone are the years when they provided free air pumps at Barber Station. It’s important to bring your own pump to inflate your raft, kayak, or tube. If you don’t have a pump, consider renting a raft which often includes the necessary equipment. I can usually blow up a 4-person raft with a battery-powered pump or a pump that plugs in to the car for power. The battery-operated pumps work especially well for the smaller tubes. #bringbackfreeair

Rent Equipment

If you don’t have your own floating gear, several local shops rent out rafts, tubes, and kayaks. Be sure to reserve your equipment in advance, especially on weekends and holidays. The main shop is at Barber Station.

Safety First
  • Life Jackets: Make sure everyone in your group, especially children, wears a properly fitted life jacket. They are mandatory for 14 and under.
  • Supervision: Always keep an eye on kids and stay close to them to ensure everyone’s safety. The river current can be strong.
  • Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear hats, and bring sunglasses to protect against UV rays. The reflection from the water never fails.
  • Education: Educate the kiddos about the hazards of moving water. If they do become a swimmer, make sure they know to get their head and feet to the surface and point their feet downstream.
What to Bring
  • Waterproof Bag: Keep your valuables and electronics dry. I usually put my phone or my key fob in a ziplog bag in my dry bag to ensure that those things stay dry. Having your cell phone in a dry bag can be useful in case of emergency.
  • Snacks and Water: Stay hydrated and bring along some snacks to keep energy levels up.
  • Footwear: Wear water shoes or sandals that can get wet to protect your feet. When the water gets more shallow, you might have to hop out of the raft and give a little push and the rocks can hurt your feet. When pulling over and taking breaks, it’s good to have shoes to get out and guide the boat to the shore.

Renting Rafts or Tubes

Check out more info here: Boise River Raft & Tube

All equipment is rented on a first-come-first-served basis. They do not accept reservations and a credit card and matching photo ID are required for all rentals. Check their website for pricing information.

A nice thing about renting is that you don’t have to pump up the raft or tube. It’s easiest to just park your car at Ann Morrison and then take the shuttle for $4 to Barber Park. You can pick up your rental and start floating. Then when you finish the float, you can just drop off the raft at Ann Morrison, get in your car, grab some pizza, and go home. Renting removes the hassle of having two cars and needing an air pump.

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise River

Parking & Shuttle Service

The shuttle service is a very convenient and helpful aspect of floating the Boise River. The shuttle runs from Ann Morrison Park (where you typically end your float) back to Barber Park (the starting point). This service makes it easy to get back to your vehicle without hassle.

Otherwise, people usually drop off one car at Ann Morrison, grab everything they need and get into the other car, and drive down to Barber Park. Then when finishing the float, the car at Ann Morrison can drive back to Barber Park to pick up that car.

Barber Park has a parking fee of $7 and Ann Morrison has free parking wherever you can find a spot.

Shuttle Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday – shuttle departs Ann Morrison Park every hour on the hour
  • Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays – the shuttle departs Ann Morrison Park every 20 minutes

Environmental Responsibility

Help keep the Boise River beautiful for everyone.

  • Pack It In, Pack It Out: Make sure to bring all your trash with you.
  • Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from any animals you encounter.

What our contributors have to say about floating the Boise River with kids:

“Bring SNACKS!!! If the river is slow, it can be a long two hours. Bring sun protection as you’re exposed most of the time. Discuss potential hazards: raft under low branches (duck!) or water safety protocols beforehand. Water shooters are fun to have as well. A dry bag for essentials is great. Make stops along the way where they can play along the river bank. “I spy” games to track different animals you see are fun. If you have older kids, it’s nice if you have an individual tube (with or without mesh bottom) they can float from to be closer to the water rather than being in dryer raft.” – Thy | Social Media Manager

“We like to bring water squirters. Rafts like to squirt water at each other and it keeps the kids entertained! You can also bring a little bucket and the kids’ job is to bail water out of the raft.” – Alana | Site Manager

“Our tip is have a plan if someone falls out. Long story short: my kids freaked out when my husband got hit by a branch (he was preventing the boy from getting hit) and it knocked him out of the raft. It was a pretty funny story afterward, but the kids were not prepared. They assumed falling in the river meant death, poor things. Also be willing to lose any flip flops or sunglasses you wear because sometimes it happens.” – Kassandra | Contributor

Floating the Boise River is a fantastic family activity that combines relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty. By following these tips and being prepared, you can ensure a fun and safe experience for everyone.

»  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Family-Friendly Hot Springs Adventures Near Boise  «

Enjoy your time on the river and create unforgettable family memories!



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Guide to 4th of July in the Boise Area :: Fireworks, Parades, & More

4th of July in Boise

Hot dogs, baseball, apple pie, and fireworks. These are a few of my favorite things, and they define the 4th of July. We rounded up a list of activities in Boise for you and your family to enjoy!

Don’t forget about driving up to Bogus, Tablerock, or 8th Street for a great view of the fireworks. This is a classic way to celebrate 4th of July in Boise.

Check out these 4th of July activities in the Boise area in 2024.

Events are listed below in order by date. Click on each event to get more details. Looking for more fun this month? Check out all the family-friendly activities around town here.


At-Home Activities

Free Coloring Pages

Check out these printables for an afternoon of coloring fun.


Tie-Dye Patriotic Family Shirts

Tips on how to make the perfect tie-dye here.


Toddler-Approved Chalk Fireworks

Draw them inside or outside. Read more here.


Painted Lawn Stars

These are great as long as whoever is in charge of the grass-growing approves.


Nighttime Glow Stick Dance Party

Cover yourselves head to toe in glow sticks. Then turn off all the lights. Bonus points if you turn it into a family TikTok. Watch some funny videos here.


Family Sack Races

Nothing like a good old sack race to celebrate the day. Bonus points for red, white, and blue decorated sacks.


Outdoor Games

Think corn hole, ladder ball, basketball, football, anything goes.



Food for the Fourth

Fourth of July Strawberries

Chocolate-dipped strawberries with a twist.


Hot Dog Bar

Chili cheese, ketchup and mustard, all the fixings for a perfect DIY hot dog.


The Perfect Blueberry Pie

Made-from-scratch blueberry pie recipe.


Fruit Kabobs

Star-shaped watermelon, blueberries, kabob sticks, voila!


Fruit and Pretzel Flag

Blueberries for the star portion, strawberries and white chocolate pretzels for the stripes.


6 Easy Fourth of July Desserts for Your Celebration

Your red, white, and blue will fly high with these six dessert ideas.


We hope you all have a happy 4th of July. Stay safe and have fun!

Do you know of other events in the Boise area not listed here? We’d love to know about them. Please email us the details at [email protected] or feel free to add them to our event calendar yourself.

5 Things Helping Me Love the Summer Season with My Toddler

5 Things Helping Me Love the Summer Season with My Toddler

It’s my first summer with a walking, talking, little human, and I am soaking it all up. I’m savoring the trips to the park, afternoons at splash pads, vacations, and staycations. Here are five things that are helping me lean into all of the wiggles, giggles, and milestones this season. 

»  RELATED READ: Cherishing the Seasons of Motherhood  «

Crocs

Throughout the day, my little guy can be found slamming his hands on the sliding glass door or trying to open the front door. “Do you want to go outside, Luca?” The bangs continue. “Okay, grab your Crocs!” “Ocks!”, he repeats. Together, we put on my sandals and his adorable camo Crocs. They’re drama-free to put on and easy to clean no matter where they’ve ventured. 

High Five Kids

I don’t know about your kids, but my kid has lots of energy to burn. The classes at High Five Kids enable me to enjoy community with other moms while my son is dancing, climbing, singing, playing, and making music in a safe place. Luca has a blast learning with little ones his age. It’s adorable to see him interact with new friends. Also, it’s indoors which means AC. It also means that rain or shine he has that time and place to play. Add it to your summer to-do list because the first class is free! 

5 Things Helping Me Love the Summer Season with My ToddlerBrush-On Sunscreen Powder 

Remember how I said the Crocs made putting on shoes drama-free? Brush-on sunscreen powder has made sunscreen application drama free too. I quickly dust him, and then we’re out the door. Currently, we’re both using my Supergoop Mineral Powder. However, I’m in the process of researching other brands. If you have a brush-on mineral powder sunscreen you love, drop it in the comments below. 

barre3 Play Lounge 

It’s hot out and mama needs a work out. I treasure and value the 45-60 minute workouts at barre3. During that time, I have complete peace of mind knowing that Luca is taken care of so that I can take care of me. He has a blast playing with toys and making new friends. Recently, he’s having so much fun that he runs away from me when it’s time for us to go. Depending on our schedule, we love taking a walk together after the class or getting a snack from one of the surrounding eateries. 

Doona Liki Trike 

I debated buying the Liki Trike. Obviously, I did so much research and went through all of the options with my husband. We ended up buying it for my son’s first birthday, and I am so glad that we did! My son LOVES taking trike rides. “Do you want to go for a trike ride Luca?” “Go go ike go go.”

As our neighbor says when we ride on by, “Well would you look at him, having all the fun!” It’s great for afternoon walks around the neighborhood. It folds up so easily which makes it a dream for outings. We’ve taken the trike to the zoo, different parks, and on vacation with us. I get to listen to my audiobook and Luca gets to pretend he’s biking in the wild. 

Enjoy your summer, mamas!



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Tips for Successful International Travel with Toddlers

Tips for Successful International Travel with Toddlers

At the time of writing this, I am still battling the jet lag from my most recent travels. My family and I spent the last three weeks traveling around Italy and, while it was absolutely amazing, traveling with young kids requires a different kind of preparation.

Beyond “what to pack lists” and “kid-friendly itineraries,” I learned several things from this trip that hopefully help your family on your next trip overseas.

Set Realistic Expectations

Traveling with young children is amazing. I truly believe it to be one of the greatest things we have prioritized for our family. I have seen my young children grow in resiliency and flexibility, they have been exposed to new cultures and foods, and hopefully, we will instill spirits of wander in them from a young age.

But I wouldn’t say a trip with young children is a relaxing vacation per se.

Rather, it’s a time of heightened attention in an unknown place, making sure everyone is safe and happy. It’s harder to find diapers and wipes, your schedule is inconsistent, and sometimes, it’s just plain hard.

So if you are planning a trip with your family, go in with the correct expectations. Unless you have special accommodations, odds are you won’t have a whole lot of downtime.

» » »  RELATED READ: Great Big Boise Summer Bucket List  « « «

If you are traveling to a different time zone, you can expect a couple of days of wonky sleep times and nap schedules.

Pack Light

Like, lighter than you think.

For two and a half week trip, my family of four squeezed our stuff into two carry-on suitcases and two backpacks. Plus we packed along our two car seats and a stroller.

The two car seats were checked, the stroller came with us to the gate, and the two carry-ons were packed in the overhead bins. Our two backpacks went under the seats and were packed with snacks and toys to use as distractions during flights. If you pack as light as possible, you’ll have fewer things to keep track of or pack around and more hands free to snuggle a baby or hold a toddler’s hand.

Some easy tips for packing light:

  • book accommodations that have laundry
  • pack in a color scheme that can easily mix and match (this means more outfits with fewer things to pack)
  • pack versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion

Picnics Are a Fail-Safe

For any parent of young children, you know that eating out can sometimes be a special sort of excitement. And depending on where you travel, each place has its own culture and customs when it comes to eating out.

For our trip to Italy, eating at a restaurant is a much longer and later affair than we typically would choose for two young kids. Many dinner places don’t even open up until 7:30 to 8 p.m., which is nearly bedtime.

Picking up meats, cheeses, breads, and other local treats and taking them to a local park is a perfect alternative for easier meal times. You can also cook at home, making it more convenient and more affordable as well.

Tips for Successful International Travel with ToddlersLimit Your Plans

When I was younger, I would jam pack every possible thing into my travel itinerary. I wanted to see as much as I possibly could.

When my daughter was one, we took a similar mindset on a trip to Spain and quickly found ourselves exhausted. This time we were a lot more strategic.

For starters, we limited our days to only one main attraction or part of the city to explore. We avoided any booked tours or commitments, preferring to keep our schedules open to the needs of our family. And most importantly, we adopted the pace of my daughter (who is currently three) and took time to look for all the local kitty cats, smell flowers, and take impromptu photos any time she asked.

We might not have seen “everything,” but our time was so much more enjoyable and memorable.

Prioritize Rest

When I say to limit your plans, make sure you are scheduling breaks for rest and naps. This may look like a walk from point A to B so your little one can take a stroller nap. Or stopping in a park for a snack break.

I have found that most tantrums or meltdowns (myself included), come when someone is tired or hungry.

There are few things that cannot be fixed by a snack or a nap–so schedule them preemptively.

Travel with toddlers is so special. You get to see how other cultures interact with children, see your kids discover new things, and create special memories as a family. While it may not always be easy, I know that for our family, it will always be worth it.

I hope these tips can help your family on your future adventures!



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Middleton Moving Guide

Middleton Moving Guide

Thank you to Alana McCarraher for bringing us this Middleton Moving Guide.

ALANA MCCARRAHER, BOISE REALTOR

Alana McCarraher, your dedicated residential real estate specialist, focuses on selling homes in the Treasure Valley and mountain cabins. As a licensed agent with Silvercreek Realty Group, Idaho’s leading brokerage, Alana leverages her background in news reporting and public relations to ensure clear communication and seamless transactions. Detail-oriented and organized, she’ll expertly guide you through every step, prioritizing your goals and providing the personalized attention you deserve.

Alana is passionate about Boise’s community spirit, outdoor accessibility, and blend of small-town charm with big-city amenities. Beyond work, she enjoys skiing with her two daughters, yoga, hiking with her golden retriever Sugar, giving back to her community, and morning coffee dates with her husband.

Trust Alana to make your real estate journey a rewarding experience. Contact her via email or phone.


About Middleton

Founded in the early 1860s, Middleton, Idaho, boasts a rich history steeped in agriculture and community. Originally settled by pioneers in search of fertile land and opportunity, Middleton has grown into a thriving town while preserving its rural charm. Named after its founder, John Middleton, the town served as a crucial midpoint for travelers on the Oregon Trail, offering a rest stop for those heading to Keeney’s Ferry. Middleton’s historical significance is marked by the establishment of a stage station during the Oregon Trail era, a post office in 1866, and a water-powered grist mill in 1871.

» » »  RECOMMENDED READ: Star Moving Guide  « « «

Today, Middleton is a city in Canyon County, Idaho, and a suburb of Boise. It’s located in the Treasure Valley, 20 miles from downtown Boise, and has views of two mountain ranges, The Owyhee Mountains and the Boise Mountains.

General Information

Middleton is a small town, yet one of Idaho’s fastest-growing communities, with a 2024 population of 11,744. Currently experiencing an annual growth rate of 4.89%, Middleton’s population has surged by 22.87% since the most recent census. Homes and properties in Middleton are highly sought after due to the low cost of living and convenient commute to Boise. The town is booming with new construction, and home values have appreciated significantly in recent years. Located about 8 miles west of Star on Hwy 44, Middleton is close to the Boise River and approximately 6 miles east of Caldwell, making it a desirable place to live.

Middleton Moving Guide
photo credit: depositphotos.com

Parks, Recreation, and Family Fun

Middleton, Idaho, offers a variety of family-friendly activities, parks, and recreational opportunities. Here are some suggestions:

Parks

Middleton Place Park

Amenities: Playground, open green grass, walking path, basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, picnic area. Location for the seasonal Middleton Market.

Foote Park

Amenities: Lots of grass for soccer and baseball, picnic areas, concrete tube slide, walking path, sand volleyball court, water features, shade trees. Location for summer concerts, 4th of July celebration and fireworks, and Harvest Festival.

Roadside Park

Amenities: In town, covered picnic tables, BBQ grills, horseshoes, playground, nearby creek, museum, and library.

Hawthorne Park

Amenities: Play structure, baseball fields, bathrooms, covered picnic area with benches. Location for annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Piccadilly Park

Amenities: In town, splash pad, skate park.

Fun Activities

Schools

The Middleton School District, home of the Vikings, is comprised of six schools and serves nearly 4,000 students. The schools are:

Potential Drawbacks

This small town is rapidly growing and undergoing a significant transition. While this brings exciting opportunities, it also presents challenges, particularly with traffic congestion on Hwy 44 during rush hours. Some of the drawbacks include limited roadways, fewer retail and dining options, and concerns about the pace of expansion.

Middleton Moving Guide
photo credit: depositphotos.com

Why Your Family Will Love It Here

Middleton is a charming, small farming town near Boise, perfect for those who appreciate a small-town feel, farms, and great Mexican restaurants. It offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, making it ideal for families and nature lovers. With a low cost of living and an easy commute to Boise, Middleton’s real estate market is highly attractive with home values appreciating significantly in recent years, making it a smart investment for homebuyers.



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

I Love Coming Home to a Clean Home Thanks to My Housekeeper

Housekeeper

I love coming home to a clean home. Especially one that I didn’t have to clean. I wish I could say the all-consuming initiation into motherhood caused my need for a house cleaner. However, that would be a lie. Confession: I’ve had quarterly cleans for over three years because I truly cannot be bothered. I’d rather do so many other things than clean my house. Before my son, it was working a gazillion hours, girl trips, and quite literally anything else.

Then came pregnancy. Who has time to clean when all you do is puke and sleep? 

During the postpartum planning process, our midwife asked us to fill out a worksheet. One of the questions was “Who will be doing the cleaning?” It was a no-brainer for me. I wrote “our housecleaner.” It was such a relief and a weight off my shoulders knowing it wasn’t going to be me. As soon as we left the appointment, I texted our cleaner and scheduled biweekly cleans after the birth of our son. 

»  RELATED READ: Spring Cleaning :: 5 Ways to Get Started  «

Now that I have a 14-month-old son, I’m out here every day, multiple times a day, vacuuming up snack dust and chunks of banana.

My husband mops our floors each night where puree, banana, or noodles have fallen to the floor. The spit up, the milk spills, the bodily fluids, the sticky food puddles–it’s a constant effort of wiping. So the last thing I want to do when I have a second is scrub a toilet, wipe down a mirror, or deep clean my sinks. I treasure those precious “free” moments.

Housekeeper
photo credit: depositphotos.com

And this is why our house cleaning company is a monthly visitor to our home. Not only for the routine cleans but for the times when . . .  DANG my fridge has some horrific spills, my oven is a grease trap, my baseboards need love, or my blinds have a layer of film. And I have no time or energy to even get started. 

Walking in and seeing those crisp vacuum lines on the carpet and the spit-free mirrors fills me with joy and a sense of relief. I’m able to take a deep breath because the internal pressure of needing to clean has been removed from my shoulders. Having my home cleaned when I was freshly postpartum was such a blessing to me. When I’m invited to a baby shower, I skip the registry and instead give a gift card from my house cleaner. Because seriously, who has time to clean when you have a newborn to snuggle?

With the weather heating up, I want to be outside soaking up the sunshine. 

I want to spend every ounce of my free time walking, hiking, swimming, playing, and enjoying the summer with my toddler. I want to eat on a patio, and I want to explore Farmers’ Markets. This summer, I want to play with my son in splash pads. I want to go on vacation and have loved ones stay with us. And I want to enjoy all of it without the stress of having to deep clean my home. Having help with my cleaning enables me to be more present where I am. 

Let’s face it, you’re busy!

You’re constantly juggling and multitasking with a never-ending to-do list. Give yourself a break and hire someone to deep clean your home. We love and adore locally-owned and operated Miss Mack’s Cleaning! We’ve been using Miss Mack’s for almost two years. They’ve completed deep cleans, routine cleans, move-in cleans, and everything in between. I trust them to make my life easier. Other highly-rated cleaners include Boise Cleaning Fairy, Fabulously Clean Boise, The Cleaning Authority, ProTouch Cleaners, and many more.

Find a cleaning company that you trust, and check deep cleaning the toilets off your to-do list. 



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Guide to Birthday Parties in the Boise Area

birthday parties Boise Treasure Valley

If you have a kid whose birthday is coming up and want to celebrate outside of your house or backyard, somewhere you don’t have to do the cleanup, you’ve found the right place! Check out this guide to Birthday Parties in the Boise area. It’s your one-stop shop as you plan your child’s next birthday party.

This guide will make finding the best place for your kid’s next birthday easy! Whether your kid is a problem-solver or craft enthusiast, daredevil or animal lover, there are many different birthday party venues in the Treasure Valley. These Boise party locations offer options for a wide variety of ages, interests, and budgets.

birthday parties Boise Treasure Valley

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Fly! Boise

Fly! Boise birthday party

Elevate your thrill seeker’s birthday with an exhilarating flying trapeze party! Perfect for tweens and teens, this unforgettable celebration takes place at a professional trapeze school! Guests will receive expert instruction from trained professionals, ensuring safety while learning to swing, flip, and soar through the air like pros.

Whether a first-timer or a seasoned flyer, everyone will have a blast with this challenging, gravity-defying experience. It’s an adventure that promises laughter and fun.

Make this birthday one they’ll never forget with a flying trapeze party that’s all about excitement, laughter, and soaring fun!

Ceramica

Ceramica Boise

A stress-free birthday party! Come to Ceramica and choose from their selection of bisque figurines or housewares to paint with your child’s friends and family.

  • 2 hours in the Party Room
  • Dedicated staff to help
  • FREE, custom-made Birthday Plate for the birthday child
  • 8 guests minimum, 20 guests maximum

Ask us about their special hand building or wheel throwing clay birthdays. Email [email protected] or call 208-342-3822 to reserve this fun event for your child’s special day.

Writer's Recommendations

Indoor Birthday Party Ideas in Boise

Regardless of when your child’s birthday is, these venues are open year-round!

Movie Theater

Does your kid love the movies? There are many different movie theaters like Cinemark, Overland Park Cinemas, or Cinema West at The Village that offer birthday parties in the valley. Depending on your location and theater preference, you can find just what you are looking for including a private movie, snacks, and a party room.

Lego Party

If your child loves Legos, you can go to Bricks and Minifigs or Bricknowlogy where they can have an amazing birthday experience. This party is great for those that don’t want to buy favors because the kids get to take their project home.

Rock Climbing

If your kid is adventurous, a climbing birthday party could be the way to go. Asana Climbing Gym and The Commons Climbing Gym both offer birthday parties for little adventurers.

Escape Room

When your curious kid wants to solve puzzles, an escape room like Amazing Escapes and Labyrinth Escape Games will be the perfect place for a party. These locations both offer different rooms depending on the size and age of party goers.

YMCA

Downtown Boise, Tomlinson South, and West Boise YMCA all offer birthday parties. Depending on the location, you can choose a swim party, rock climbing party, or Family Adventure Zone party. If you already have a membership, you get your party at a discounted price.

Humane Society

If your kid loves animals, the Humane Society might be the perfect place for a birthday celebration. Activities are adjusted to the group size and are age appropriate.

K1 Speed Go-Karts

Does your older kid love speed? Go Karts? Racing? K1 Speed Go-Karts will be the perfect party location. For kids greater than 48”, you can set up a private racing party that the kids will never forget.

Nerfed

If your kiddo loves Nerf guns or has a ton of energy, Nerfed can be a great party place. They offer Nerf Wars in a 4,000 sq ft area perfect for your kids’ battle.

Ceramica Arthouse

Ceramica is a fantastic birthday option if your kid loves to paint or just craft in general. There are multiple crafty options from painting a ceramic figurine to creating an item out of clay. I love this option because the kids get to keep their work of art after it’s finished.

Wahooz

If your child loves Wahooz, games, or a high-energy party, Wahooz is the place to go. The first half of the party includes food, cake, and entertainment by the staff. For the second half of the party, the kids get a game band and additional activities based on the package you choose. They get to join the many games and activities.

Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas in Boise

Here are some outdoor, summer birthday party venues that your kid will love.

Flying Trapeze

If you have an adventurer, a fearless kid, or an acrobat, Flying Trapeze may be the perfect party idea. Kids can learn to swing and learn a trapeze trick on day one. Fly Boise and Circus Vision Collective both offer private parties where your kids and their friends can learn a new sport.

Roaring Springs

When your kid has a summer birthday and you want to enjoy the water, Roaring Springs Water Park is the perfect place for a birthday party. They have a variety of packages which include admission, food, and a free return ticket for the birthday kid with additional options available.

Bonus Idea

Tubing

Ok, so this isn’t technically a “birthday party package,” but it was so fun, I have to include it on the list. My son has a winter birthday, so for his 12th, he had a sleepover and we took the boys to the Eagle Island Tubing Hill. We took the boys for 2 hours of tubing right down the street at Eagle Island. They do have community tables available, so you could open presents and have cake there as well.

Birthday Pizza Ideas

If you are looking for a great pizza place for your party, check out these Pizza Spots in the Treasure Valley.

Planning a birthday party can be stressful when you don’t know where to start. These birthday party venues in Boise will be the perfect way to make the celebration a success!

Additional Birthday Party Locations & Vendors

Do you want to be part of our Boise Guide to Birthday Parties?

*Disclaimer :: This post is sponsored by our featured birthday party partners. We truly appreciate the local community’s support of Boise Mom, and we choose to work with brands and businesses we believe would benefit our readers.

Part of our mission is to help connect Boise moms (and dads too!) with local businesses. Partnering with us allows your business greater visibility with a large targeted market of local families. Get in touch to learn about this and other partnership opportunities!

Do you know of a local birthday party resource we didn’t include? We’d love to add it to make this resource truly comprehensive. Send us and email at info {at} boisemom.com.

STAY CONNECTED

3,346FansLike
688FollowersFollow
151FollowersFollow

In + Around Boise

July Family-Friendly Events in the Boise Area

In what seems like the blink of an eye, summer is halfway through. There is still plenty of fun to be had in July...
Northwest Boise Moving Guide

Northwest Boise Moving Guide

Thank you to Alana McCarraher for bringing us this Northwest Boise Moving Guide. Alana McCarraher, your dedicated residential real estate specialist, focuses on selling homes...
Floating the Boise River

Family-Friendly Guide to Floating the Boise River

Everybody who lives in Boise should float the Boise River at least once (if not more). It's a great way to beat the heat...
4th of July in Boise

Guide to 4th of July in the Boise Area :: Fireworks, Parades, & More

Hot dogs, baseball, apple pie, and fireworks. These are a few of my favorite things, and they define the 4th of July. We rounded...
Middleton Moving Guide

Middleton Moving Guide

Thank you to Alana McCarraher for bringing us this Middleton Moving Guide. Alana McCarraher, your dedicated residential real estate specialist, focuses on selling homes in...