The annual holiday school break can leave parents scrambling to find activities for their kids. (Meridian students return to school Tuesday, Jan. 3. Boise students are back Wednesday, Jan. 4. )
But rather than watch them turn into TV zombies or go berserk, get them involved in something fun. Here are some ideas to keep the kids engaged:
Never miss a local story.
▪ Wahooz Family Fun Zone, 1385 Blue Marlin Lane in Meridian, recently expanded its collection of rides, games and things to climb with eight new indoor attractions.
Along with its traditional features, such as Pinz Bowling Center and the XD Dark Ride movie experience, new features in the Indoor Adventure Park include carnival-quality rides Twister, bumper cars and The Frog Hopper; the new Clip ’N Climb system of eight climbing apparatuses; the 32-foot-high Sky Trail Ropes Course (some areas are 3 feet off the ground for younger adventurers); and the Mission Impossible Laser Maze.
Wahooz/Indoor Adventure Park is open 10 a.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Christmas Eve; closed Christmas Day; open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, to Thursday, Dec. 29; 10 a.m. to midnight, Friday, Dec. 30; 10 a.m. to midnight (Pinz is open until 1 a.m.) New Year’s Eve; closed New Year’s Day; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. Adventure packages are $11.99 to $43.99, or attractions are priced individually ($2.99 to $9.99). Get more details, specials and to find out about New Year’s Eve packages for kids and families at WahoozFunZone.com or 898-0900.
▪ Hit Planet Kid, 1875 Century Way, Boise, and its indoor playground for children who are old enough to walk (up to age 12). It features tubes, tunnels, ball pits, rope swings, zip lines, slides and more. Check the website for holiday hours at wingscenter.com/planet-kid-indoor-soft-playground. Holiday day camps next door at Wings Center run throughout the week with activities such as building gingerbread houses and field trips to Idaho Ice World and more. General admission: $8.50 for 4-12, $5.50 ages 1-3, free 11 months and younger. Day camps run $39 for one day to $164 for five at 376-3641 and WingsCenter.com.
Take to the ice!
▪ Try out the ice skating rink at The Village at Meridian, 3600 E. Fairview Ave. You can skate from 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays through Tuesday, Jan. 3. The rink will be closed Christmas Day but the Village fountains, tree and lights will be on. Open New Year’s Day. $7 for 13 and older, $5 for 12 and younger (includes skate rental). TheVillageAtMeridian.com.
▪ Idaho IceWorld, 7072 S. Eisenman Road, will offer its regular skating schedule throughout the holiday. There are day and night skate times for all ages, including Family Skate Night from 6:45 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, and 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. They also have a New Year’s Eve celebration skate from 6 to 10 p.m.. $7 general, $6 seniors and children 4-12, $3 children 3 and younger, $3 skate rentals. IdahoIceWorld.com.
Use your brain!
▪ You’ll find something for every age group to do at the Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise. Kids 5 to 11 can check out the Holiday Break STEM Camp at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, to Friday, Dec. 30. Each day has a different theme: Building with Legos, fun hands-on science activities, building castles out of sugar cubes, and designing your own marble roller coasters. Free.
Library hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Christmas Eve; closed Christmas Day, and Monday, Dec. 26; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, to Thursday, Dec. 29; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., New Year’s Eve; closed New Year’s Day and Monday, Jan. 2; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. BoisePublicLibrary.org.
▪ The Meridian Library, 1326 W. Cherry Lane, will be open its regular hours with arts, games and literary programs for kids of all ages, such as Creativity Unleashed, hands-on craft activities for kids 13 to 18 at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, and “Tales to Tails,” story time with Zoe the service dog, at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29. Check MLD.org for more things to do or call 888-4451.
▪ Kids can dive into the “Splatter Zone” and get their hands in the goo and slime at “Matter Splatter” at the Discovery Center of Idaho, 131 Myrtle St., Boise. The exhibit explores the world of material science. You’ll also learn about magnetizing ferrofluids, how technology mimics natural systems and more. Kids 3 to 5 can get more hands-on science fun at the Young Discoverers program, 10:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, to Friday, Dec. 30. Free with admission.
DCI hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Christmas Eve;, closed Christmas Day;, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, to New Year’s Eve. Closed New Year’s Day. $10 general, $8 veterans and active duty military. Free for 2 and younger. 343-9895, DCIdaho.org.
▪ Slide down the tubing hill at Eagle Island State Park, 165 S. Eagle Island Parkway, Eagle. If the latest storm isn’t enough, Gateway Park has four snowguns to make plenty of the white stuff. You’ll find depths up to 20 feet around the property.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily during winter break (open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas and New Year’s eves, closed Christmas Day, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. New Year’s Day). $15 for a day pass, including tube, with discounts for military and seniors. Kids 3 and younger are free. ($5 per car to enter the state park or use your state parks passport, which costs $10 per year). GatewayParks.com, or call, 800-2108.
▪ The GoldRush Tubing Hill at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area added extra sessions for the holiday break. Check out times at BogusBasin.org. Call 332-5493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. $15 per person includes a tube. It’s open daily though New Year’s Day with a variety of sessions. The resort also is in full swing for Nordic, alpine and snowboarding.
▪ The tubing hill at Twin Oaks Farm’s Winter Wonderland, 3250 N. Eagle Road, Eagle, is in full swing. The working farm turned agri-theme park offers tubing, hay rides, a bunny hill (where you can play with actual bunnies), farm animal petting zoo, holiday lights tour and other activities. $12 admission, $15 additional to tube (includes tube).
Tubing hill hours: 11 a.m. to dusk, Friday, Dec. 23; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Christmas Day (advance ticket sales only). 11 a.m. to dusk Monday, Dec. 26, to Friday, Dec. 30; 11 a.m. to midnight New Year’s Eve; noon to 8 p.m. New Year’s Day; noon to dusk Tuesday, Jan. 3. $15. Find more details for the rest of the attraction and buy tickets at IdahosWinterWonderland.com.
Do it all!
▪ The Treasure Valley Family YMCA offers a wide range of Holiday Break Camps for kids of all ages at all three of its facilities from Monday, Dec. 26, to Friday, Dec. 30. Kids can learn to be a Jedi Knight (and about science and space) at Jedi Galaxy Camp at the Downtown and West Ys and learn to build Battle Bots at the Caldwell YMCA. There are camps for sports, swimming, climbing, cooking and other activities. Camps are $165 for nonmembers, $110 for members.
▪ Fort Boise Community Center, 700 Robbins Road, Boise, offers two holiday camps Monday, Dec. 26, to Friday, Dec. 30. Camp Rec’Em will take kids ages 7 to 11 to Boise parks and other facilities for fun recreational activities ($63 for residents, $93 for nonresidents). At Rock Climbing Camp kids can tackle the Asana Climbing Gym,, 4977 Chinden Blvd., Boise ($101 for Boise residents, $150 for nonresidents).
More indoor activity centers for kids
Check with each venue for holiday hours and special events.
Big Al’s, 1900 N. Eagle Road, Meridian. 780-6118, ilovebigals.com. Large venue offers a full bar and food with projected sports TV, a bowling alley, arcade and billiards. Fun Card available for purchase for food, drink, bowling and arcade.
Bodies in Motion, 729 W. Diamond St., Boise. 381-0587, bodiesinmotionidaho.com. In addition to adult programs, also offers open play, junior martial arts, after/before school programs, camps, more. Costs vary.
Chuck E. Cheese’s, 6255 W. Fairview Ave., Boise. 322-1833, chuckecheese.com. Video and arcade games, sing and dance with Chuck E., rides, entertainment, food. Buy tokens for games.
Danik, 547 S. Locust Grove Road, Meridian. 846-8311, danikgym.com. Parkour, developmental and competitive gymnastics, tumbling, parties, more. Costs vary.
Dart Warz, 501 E. Scenery Lane, Meridian.(855) 717-3278, dartwarz.com. Indoor foam dart battlefield. $8 per hour on weekdays, $10 per hour weekends. Parents play free on Mondays. Party packages available.
Dave & Buster’s, 546 N. Milwaukee St., Boise. 901-3800, daveandbusters.com. Family-friendly chain offers a sports-bar-style setting for American food and arcade games. Power Cards available for purchase.
Gem State Gymnastics Academy, 5420 W. State St., Boise. 853-3220, gemstategymnastics.com. Open gym, recreational and competitive gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline, cheerleading, dance and Taekwondo. Costs vary.
Jabbers, 1210 N. Galleria Drive, Nampa (Nampa Gateway Center). 442-5482, jabbersplaydate.com. Active and imaginative play center with free Wifi and upscale lounge area for parents. Day passes are $7.54 + tax for ages 4 and older, $6.60 + tax for 12 months to three years, free for newborns to 11 months with paid child, two adults are free with paid child. Also, monthly/yearly membership and group rates.
JumpTime, 1030 W. River St., Boise. 342-5867 and 1375 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian. 855-5867, jumptimeidaho.com. Indoor trampoline park with foam pits, slam dunk basketball and video games. All-day pass is $30. Also hourly pricing depending on day of the week, kid jump (up to 5 years) is free to $7.50, weekly specials.
Nampa Rollerdrome, 19 10th Ave. S., Nampa. 466-9905, namparollerdrome.com. Roller skating facility with roller hockey leagues, skating lessons, birthday/private party packages, special events, more. Admission is $7; $2 skate/rollerblade rental.
Nerfed, 5878 W. Franklin Road, Boise. 342-0342, boisenerfed.com. Family-friendly alternative to paintball or airsoft with dart and disk based Nerf Guns, hand-built obstacles and barriers. $6 unlimited Wednesdays, $8 unlimited Thursdays, $10 per hour or $12 unlimited on Fridays-Sundays; monthly unlimited plans available.
Pojos Family Fun Center, 7736 W. Fairview Ave., Boise. 376-6981, pojos.com. Arcades, games, indoor bumper cars, indoor carousel, soft play area for small children. Daily specials for game tokens and ride tickets.
Tumble Time Gymnastics, 1379 N. Cloverdale Road, Boise. 375-0063, tumbletimegymnastics.com. Children’s facility houses not only gymnastics classes, but preschool, before and after school, open gym and camp programs. Costs vary.