It’s eye-opening to think that most parents have 18 summers with the kids at home. Where better to spend one of them than Idaho.

It’s famous for potatoes but a hidden gem when it comes to extraordinary outdoor activities that are perfect for families. It’s the 13th largest state in the union and with 70% as public land, which means there is plenty to explore.

If you’re wondering what there is to do in Idaho, here are a few fun things narrowed down from an immensely long list.

Water activities in Idaho with kids

Go Whitewater Rafting

Did you know that Idaho has more whitewater river miles than any other state in the lower 48? That is over 3000 miles of river, that families can enjoy for a half-day up to a six-day trip. And, of course, there are rivers for various ages and level of difficulty desired.

Explore State Parks

State parks in Idaho are incredibly varied, offering a wide range of activities. Explore North America’s largest single-structured sand dune at Bruneau Dunes, go rock climbing at City of Rocks, chill out by a lake at Farragat State Park… the list goes on.

Go Fishing

Picture crystal-clear water set against a scenic mountain backdrop where you can see fish swimming up to 5o feet ahead. Idaho is famous for fly fishing and a type of salmon native to the state.

Go Camping, Glamping or Stay at a Guest Ranch

Accommodations in Idaho include luxury hotels, but those who would like to experience more of the outdoors have other options. I recently read excellent reviews about the all-inclusive Diamond D Ranch located in the Frank Church Wilderness, the largest wilderness area in the lower 48. Yes, in the true wild west!

Enjoy the Wine

O.K. so maybe this one isn’t for the kids but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Idaho’s wineries are primarily located in the Snake River Valley west of Boise where the climate is ideal for white varietals like Riesling, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc though red wine production is increasing. Keep an eye out for this up-and-coming region and go taste in person before the word gets out.

Visit Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho

Silverwood Theme Park is the northwest’s largest theme park and home to over 70 rides and attractions. It’s located near the town of Coeur d’Alene and you have a fantastic resort option there below.

Other Outdoor Fun

Family biking in Idaho

There’s zip-lining, hiking, bird-watching, horseback riding, cycling, culture and so much more to do in Idaho.

Stay at Coeur d’Alene Resort

Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho

Coeur d’Alene Resort is located on stunning Lake Coeur d’Alene with a beach area, water recreation and the world’s only golf course floating green. It is currently ranked the #2 resort course in North America. The resort is easy to get to at just 40 minutes by car from the Spokane airport.

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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