Isn't it a great time of year to ENJOY?! And shouldn’t we get out of traffic once in a while? Yet it seems a bigger challenge than the rest of the year. I’m advising myself here, but I know I’m not the only one who both loves and dislikes the squeeze on time extra commitments create this time of year.
I love this season because it’s different from the rest of the year. There is so much nostalgia in the songs and the decor and the traditions and the sweet treats. I love watching Elf with my family. I am stirred by the lyrics of the Christmas hymns. And…I dislike the panic I get about gifts and the shortened dark days and the hurry hurry hurry this sale won’t last! Anybody with me here?
Anyway, planning helps. Whether you are looking for a little something different, or an easy activity to do with visiting family, here are some suggestions.
In the LIGHTS category we have…
Idaho Botanical Garden Winter Garden Aglow
At $8-$10 a ticket, it’s not the cheapest razzle dazzle you’ll find, but it’s festive. It’s sparkly. It’s great for all ages! It’s cold. The better your winter clothes, the more you’ll enjoy it. We have volunteered with the Boise Metro Rotary Club to hand out cookies and hot cocoa. They sometimes have choirs and Santa. Last year our boys found some awesome “holiday specs” that made all the lights look like candy canes--totally worth the purchase. Be sure to check out the model trains. Learn more >>
Caldwell’s Winter Wonderland
Displays from November 16th through January 15th
I’ve never been, but I’m told it’s worth seeing this beautiful display at Indian Creek Plaza in Caldwell. The pictures are convincing! If I were to plan it for my family, I'd take a hot drink from Flying M to keep us warm as we wander up and down river. We'd park on Blaine Street between 6th and 7th street. Then after we would have pizza here and go home to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Learn more >>
Meridian Holiday Lights Parade
Friday, November 30 at 6pm
This holiday parade through downtown Meridian is at 6:30. There will be a free movie before the start at Idaho and Main and a candy cane run where people run in gaudy Christmas sweaters. Learn more >>
Special evening activities December 10-12 and lights through December 31
Scentsy likes to make it easy and measure their lights in miles. Forty-three miles actually. That’s a lot of lights! And their tunnel of lights is definitely picture worthy. Go see it. Singing, food, Saint Nick, a real camel and a live Nativity! Free! Learn more details >>
Ride with Boise Bike Project and see the lights!
The BBP is pretty special for many reasons. They empower bikers to learn how to fix their own bikes, they provide bikes for kids (including a massive drive during the holidays to give away 507 bikes), they recycle old bikes, and have made festival to eradicate goatheads. They also hold regular social rides and the first weekend in December you can meet at the shop to participate in the North End holiday lights ride. From there, riders will stop Dutch Bros. and sip some hot chocolate with like-minded folk before seeing the sights. Learn more details >>
In the Live Entertainment category:
I'll just say this is Clyde the Camel's very busy season. He's awesome and huge and sweet. Take time to learn all about how he came to Boise and how his back legs fold and unfold. Camels are amazing creatures! Here are three live nativities:
Rocking around the Christmas Tree with Darci Lynne and Friends
Dec 21, tickets are $55 at Morrison Center
The CUTEST little ventriloquist ever has a family friendly show coming to the Morrison Center. She is known for her talent debut on America's Got Talent. Here's what her site says about the show: "Accompanied by her musical friends including a divaesque rabbit: Petunia, a shy and soulful mouse: Oscar and a sarcastic old woman: Edna. Singing through her friends helped the young entertainer find a voice inside she didn’t know she had, and helped her overcome a lifelong struggle with shyness." Learn more>>
In the Sports Category:
The Steelheads play Wednesdays, Friday, & Saturday! Tickets>>
Boise State Basketball games: Tickets>>
New Year’s Eve
I have not been, but I should probably go to the New Year’s Potato Drop. I was born and raise here. My mom says that "French Fries" were my first words. I mean it just seems right. And, though the first year of the "Potato Drop" I think I rolled my eyes a bit, it doesn't seem too bad. Why? Let me list the reasons...
• Food truck deliciousness
• Rail Jam Competition
• Live music
• Ice Sculpting
• Heated tents
In the Races Category
The Christmas Run
December 22nd at 10:15am
The most hearty, fun-loving runners sign up for this. OR, if you're like me, you are fun-loving, but you forgot how bitingly cold it feels mid-December mornings. It's crazy cold! But it does make that end-of-race soup even tastier. This YMCA race is fun, for the costumes, and for the course--- it is NOT on the greenbelt. I mean, I love the greenbelt, but so many races run there-- probably because we don't have to shut down roads. Wise Men, Frosty, Cindy Lou Who, Elves, Santa, and Reindeer are often seen running up 15th and back to Boise High School. There is a 1 mile, 2 mile, and 6 mile distance. For the 6 mile you'll get some nice uphill/downhill. Learn more >>
Stay in and watch movies OR see classic Christmas Movies at the Egyptian.