1. Tour de Fat
Even if you’re upset about the changes to this year’s event, it’s hard to say no to one of the best parties in Boise (even if you now have to pay for the music and festivities). The bike parade is still free and kicks off from Ann Morrison Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, but the other activities (beer, music, etc.) have moved to the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Outlaw Field and will cost $25 to get in (begins at 4 p.m.). It’s still all for a good cause, however, as the event raises money for local nonprofit bike organizations. Plus, New Belgium makes great brews. Southern rock band Blackberry Smoke headlines the Outlaw Field event. (Bike or no bike, come show your support for the Treasure Valley biking community by attending the bicycle rally after the parade at 11 a.m. at the Idaho Capitol.)
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2. Major concerts galore
Whether you’re in the mood for punk with The Dropkick Murphys or heavy metal with Avenged Sevenfold, there’s a show for you this weekend at the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater. The weekend gets going with rising stars/folk rockers The Head and the Heart at 7 p.m. Friday with special guests Gregory Alan Isakov (we hope he sings his beautiful “Idaho” song) and indie-rock favorites Blind Pilot; tickets start at $36. The party continues Saturday with Avenged Sevenfold at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $45. Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys finish off the weekend at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $39.50.
If you don’t want to pony up for the bigger show, you can check out Songwriters in the Park: SIS Fest at the Lucky Peak Sandy Shores Amphitheater at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. This “Sisters in Songwriting” show features Kate MacLeod, Analog Sisters and Lindsey Hunt. All you have to pay for is parking ($5).
3. Catch a game
Like the physicality and fast pace of hockey and the rules of soccer? Arena soccer is probably right up your alley. The U.S. National Arena Soccer Team plays an international friendly against Brazil Friday at CenturyLink Arena. Turf is going on the ice but the boards and glass will remain, meaning there will likely be some brutal hits. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. and tickets start at $15. If soccer isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always baseball with the Boise Hawks, who host the Eugene Emeralds on Aug. 10 and the Everett AquaSox from Aug. 11-15 at 7:15 p.m. There’s also a fireworks show Aug. 12. Tickets to games start at $8. If you still need a speed fix, the Pepsi Nightfire Nationals are happening Aug. 10-13 at Firebird Raceway. Gates open at 8 a.m.
If basketball is more your style, check out the Summer BAM Jam 3-on-3 Tournament next to the state Capitol Building. The outdoor competition runs all-day Saturday and ends Sunday afternoon. Saturday also includes 3-point and slam dunk contests.
4. Free movies
All of a sudden have an urge to play with your LEGOs after seeing Jared Jacobs bring the toys to life? Are you feeling inspired to piece tiny plastic bricks together after hearing that Garden City resident Jacob Sadovich ship in a bottle would be mass-produced? Come to Fort Boise Park in Boise at 7 p.m. Saturday for Movies Under the Stars and catch a free showing of “The LEGO Batman Movie.”
You can also catch “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Goonies” at Country Club Reel on 4550 W. Overland Road on Saturday; a nonperishable food item or small cash donation to The Idaho Foodbank gets you in free. They are several show times. Check the website for details. The movies are part of the Country Club Plaza’s 25th anniversary celebration.
If you’re in Nampa at 8:30 p.m. Friday, you can catch “Zootopia” at Optimist Park for free at Silverscreen on the Green.
And if you’re in Meridian? Come watch the “BFG” for CableONE Movie Night at Settlers Park on Friday.
5. Escape the smoke
If you’re wanting to get away from the nasty air in the Treasure Valley, head to Bogus Basin. The mountain resort is open Thursdays-Sundays over the summer. Ride a chairlift to get a view, get a bite to eat at the Bogus Creek Bar and Grill, ride your bike, go hiking or summer tubing. It’s all going to be fun, and it will probably be a bit easier to breathe. There’s live music with Greg Bridges from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, and live music with Buddy DeVore and Dale Wilson from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.