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19 Fun & Best Things to Do in Idaho Falls, Idaho

19 Fun & Best Things to Do in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Idaho Falls has a sweet mountain-town charm, due in part to both its location with the stunning Snake River that runs through it and because of the lovely people who live and work here. It is the heart of eastern Idaho culture and commercial spaces with a healthy number of galleries, museums, activities, and fun places like zoos, parks, and the Melaleuca Field Stadium.

Just outside of the city, agriculture and outdoor sports thrive. For National Park lovers, Idaho Falls is about two hours from Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

More than 60,000 people live in this robust city in Southeastern Idaho. Visit Idaho Falls for welcoming cultural experiences, good shopping and dining, and even better outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hiking, skiing, and camping. The city is inclusive of all, and you’re sure to find several things to do in Idaho Falls during your visit.

Whether you’re with family or friends, there’s something in Idaho Falls for everyone. Here are the fun and best things to do in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Destinations Inn Theme Rooms
1. Destinations Inn Top Recommendation

Looking for something out of the ordinary for your next vacation? Check out Destinations Inn Theme Rooms! This unique hotel offers themed rooms that are decorated to transport you to a specific destination. Each room is equipped with surround sound, a DVD player, and individual lighting controls to create the perfect ambiance. Plus, you'll have all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, including a microwave, refrigerator, and hairdryer. And after a long day of exploring, relax in the 2-person chromatherapy bubbler bath tub.

Best Western Plus CottonTree Inn
2. Best Western Plus CottonTree Inn

This luxurious Idaho Falls hotel is just 1 mile from Highway 15 and boasts gorgeous, destination-themed rooms complete with a drop-down projection screen TV and in-room jacuzzi. You'll love the unique decorations, surround sound, DVD player, and individual lighting controls in each room - not to mention the 2-person chromatherapy bubbler bath tub! Other thoughtful amenities include a microwave, refrigerator, and hairdryer. We can't wait to help you relax and escape the everyday at Destinations Inn Theme Rooms!

Downtown Idaho Falls Home
3. Downtown Idaho Falls Home

Looking for a peaceful family vacation in Idaho Falls? This charming vacation rental house is the perfect temporary home for your crew! This 3-bed, 2.5-bath abode boasts a sleek contemporary style and features a fully equipped kitchen, downstairs den, and modern amenities that will make your stay comfortable as can be. Plus, you'll love the downtown location - walk to restaurants, bars, shops, and more!

TLDR

  • Most significant landmark – Eagle Rock Fountain
  • Best park – Russ Freeman Park
  • Best free activity – Snake River Greenbelt
  • The best activity for kids – Idaho Falls Zoo
  • The best activity for adults – Idaho Brewing Company
  • Best food – Park Avenue Grill
  • Best nightlife – Samoa Club
  • Best all-around accommodationDestinations Inn

Fun & Best Things to Do in Idaho Falls, Idaho

1. Snake River Green Belt

Snake River Green Belt
image by BCofOC/TripAdvisor

Address: 525 River Pkwy, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

The Snake River Greenbelt is a five-mile expanse that covers both sides (shorelines) of the river, which runs through Idaho Falls, Idaho. This greenbelt is protected and maintained by the City of Idaho Falls and the Idaho Falls Rotary Club.

Not only does this space exist for beauty and wildlife, but residents and tourists also frequent the area for hikes, the Saturday morning Farmers Market, the Annual Great Snake River Duck Race, car shows, boat races, Melaleuca Freedom Festival, and other events and festivals.

If you’re up for a scenic walk, there are two pleasant trails to take:

  • Northern Loop (Temple Loop) Pathway – It’s 2.3 miles and will take you to the Idaho State Vietnam War Memorial. In the summer, you can cross the floating walkway on the river. You’ll also see Diversion Dam and Keefer Island in the middle of the river. This island was once a gold mining claim in the 1930s and 1940s. The mining cabin still stands there to this day.
  • Southern Loop Trail – This 2-mile path passes Pedersen Sportsman’s Park, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, a children’s playground, South Tourist Park, Gem Lake, Ryder Park, and Taylor’s Crossing, which is a footbridge.

People of all ages will love and appreciate the Snake River Greenbelt. It is a beautiful space and gives great walking access to many local attractions, restaurants, and shops.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Boise, Idaho

2. Idaho Falls Zoo

Tiger at Idaho Falls Zoo

Address: 2940 Carnival Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Idaho Falls Zoo, located in Tautphaus Park, has over 300 animals and 130 exotic animal species from all over the world. It’s often called the “best little zoo in the west.” When you visit, you’ll immediately see why.

The Zoo is organized into six categories: Africa, Asia, Australia, New Guinea, North America, South America, and the Children’s Petting Zoo. Their most visited animals are the African lions, zebras, and lone alligator.

I am truly amazed by how well-kept all of these creatures are, especially in such a compact zoo. All of the enclosures are neat, clean, and thoughtfully designed. Zookeepers are very present, constantly tending to visitors’ questions and the animals’ needs.

This place also has wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons available for rent, making it accessible for all. A lot of thought has been put into this property and its operation, which makes it a great experience. Even though the Zoo is small in acreage, it is perfect for families with small children because it contains enough excitement while not being too exhausting of an experience.

3. Eagle Rock Fountain

Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest
image by Charliebones69/TripAdvisor

Address: 1075 S Utah Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

This gorgeous Eagle Rock Fountain, also called the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest, features two mature eagles, an eagle chick, and a mountain lion. It is beautiful all year round, too.

In the warmer months, water cascades down the sculptured mountain and into a pool, splashing a refreshing mist in all directions. In the cooler parts of the year, it freezes over and looks almost crystal-like in appearance.

Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest is in the middle of a roundabout on Utah Street, called the Utah Avenue Roundabout, but is surrounded by a sidewalk so pedestrians can get a better view of it. This statue will only take a few moments of your time, but it’s worth a view.

4. Idaho Brewing Company

Idaho Brewing Company Beer and Tables
image by Bugqueen/TripAdvisor

Address: 775 S Capital Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Idaho Brewing Company has a welcoming and cozy atmosphere that encourages you to relax and enjoy yourself. The Tasting Room is filled with natural elements, especially wood accents and giant houseplants all over. In the winter, they light the fireplace for ambient comfiness.

In the summer, you’ve gotta walk outside to enjoy the beer garden. Dogs are also welcome in the beer garden on the patio but are not allowed inside the Idaho Brewing Company building for health reasons. Food trucks and live music are a regular part here too.

Of course, their brews are simply delicious; it’s unlikely for you to find a drink here that you won’t enjoy. They offer year-round and seasonal brews.

Some of the favorites are Highland Scotch Ale, Wolf’s Oatmeal Stout, and Pear Lager. Stay a while because you’re sure to meet some fun and interesting people here. The Idaho Brewing Company just has a way of bringing the best individuals together.

See Related: Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

5. Museum of Idaho

Museum of Idaho
Jcarr29, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 200 N Eastern Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Walking into this museum is truly an experience. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by this larger-than-life mammoth in the center of this giant high-vaulted great room. From there, the adventure heats up.

The Museum of Idaho has several long-term and rotational exhibits on the regional history of this area, plus science and important archives. Hunt a mammoth, explore a detailed town from the Old West, and learn what Idaho and Yellowstone looked like more than 10,000 years ago.

Your kids will love checking out the Marie Putnam Discovery Room, which lets the little ones conquer mountains, wiggle through caves, play in a tipi, and explore an old-fashioned settler’s cabin. They also have numerous books, puzzles, experiments, helpful displays, and more. Don’t forget to look down at your little one’s face as they walk into this room; it’s going to light up when they see everything that lies before them.

While you’re here, you should consider staying at Destinations Inn. The hotel is a 1905 world-class-themed hotel that has 14 themed suites to transport you to different places all across the globe. From Alaska, Athens, Egypt and England, to Hawaii, Morocco, Paris and Rome, there’s a theme for everyone.

6. Idaho Falls Scavenger Hunt

Idaho Falls Scavenger Hunt
image by Viator

This scavenger hunt will take you all over Idaho Falls, showing you the best of the city and giving you several opportunities to meet kind people, learn about the area, pick up cool historical facts, experience the culture and art, and make some unforgettable memories.

You’ll get your starting address when you book and are emailed all the clues. From your starting point, you’ll have to follow 20 clues to different locations all across downtown Idaho Falls, the scenic Snake River, and the surrounding areas.

It should take you about three hours to complete your quest, and you’ll end up right where you started. You can move at your own pace, starting and ending the hunt at your own leisure.

See Related: Best Cheap Places to Travel in the US

7. Sportsman Park and Japanese Friendship Garden

Address: 600 W Broadway St, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

The Japanese Friendship Garden and the Sportsman Park are both on an island in the middle of the Snake River, right by Broadway Street Bridge. The Idaho Falls Greenbelt hiking trails run right by here too.

Many maps identify the park as Sportsman Park due the fish hatchery built by volunteers in the 1950s. There is a nearby fish hatchery, so the island was commonly used by sports fishermen on the river.

Now though, the island is a Japanese Friendship Garden. While anglers may line the shores and edges of the Idaho Falls River Walk, it is primarily called the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Idaho Falls participates in an international Sister City Program, paired up with Tokai Mura, Japan, to promote international friendship and understanding. On odd years, a foreign exchange student travels to Idaho Falls from Tokai Mura to stay with American students.

For even years, an Idaho Falls student travels to Tokai Mura. What’s interesting about this partnership is that both cities are located in agricultural areas that specialize in growing and harvesting potatoes.

The park and Japanese pavilion are open all year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Restrooms are available on-site and are clean. The park has many attractive water features, a deck, a garden gate, thoughtful landscaping, a gazebo, and a viewing platform.

While you’re here, check out the nearby luxury hotel, Residence Inn by Marriott Idaho Falls. It is in downtown Idaho Falls, close to the Idaho Falls Riverwalk and the Snake River, and conveniently overlooks the Japanese Friendship Garden. It is a suite-only stay with great accommodations and amenities.

8. Park Avenue Grill

Address: 1480 Fremont Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Objectively speaking, Park Avenue Grill is the best restaurant in all of Idaho Falls. This family business has mouthwatering tailgate charbroiled burgers, street tacos, burritos, sandwiches, paninis, and great appetizers like chips and salsa, onion rings, nachos, and hand-cut fries.

They have the best prices in town, and the food is so darn good. The lengua taco and brisket tacos are always a hit, but I’m drawn more to their classic carne asada tacos.

While you’re out and about in downtown Idaho Falls, you may come across their food cart too. It specializes in tacos and cold beverages, so don’t pass by it without stopping!

See Related: Best Father Son Trips & Vacation Ideas

9. Idaho Potato Museum and Potato Station Cafe

Idaho Potato Museum
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

Address: 130 NW Main St, Blackfoot, ID 83221

Just outside of Idaho Falls, about a 30-minute drive, you’ll find the Idaho Potato Museum. The museum offers a wealth of information on the history and cultivation of Idaho potatoes. Kids are always delighted to see that this museum has an accompanying gift shop and cafe in an old train depot.

It will probably take you an hour to make your way through the entire property. While you’re here, you’ll learn about the early native history of potato farming, the development of the plant, important people in the industry, how potatoes are processed, how the land is developed and irrigated, technical development, and Idaho’s World Potato Exposition.

The friendly environment has many interactive exhibits designed to keep you entertained and engaged. Parking is generous here and RV-friendly. Admission is cheap, and you’ll be gifted free potatoes on your way out.

The Potato Station Cafe serves baked potatoes, french fries, Paisley Cakes Potato Cupcakes, Papa’s Chocolate Potato Chips, Reed’s Dairy Ice Cream, and Reed’s Dairy Chocolate Milk.

10. East Idaho Aquarium

East Idaho Aquarium
image by cecilyJ/TripAdvisor

Address: 570 E Anderson St, Idaho Falls, ID 83401

The East Idaho Aquarium prides itself on being Idaho’s most interactive experience. It is a non-profit organization that intends to educate and inspires people to learn about water ecosystems in Idaho and worldwide. You’ll have the chance to feed birds, fish, stingrays, and iguanas. They also have a friendly porcupine named Rufus.

It’s very evident that the animals are well-cared for here and that their health and happiness are the priority. Even though there are dozens of tanks, all are well-maintained with filters in each and appropriate heaters in the tropical fish tanks.

The tanks are also well-matched to meet the necessary space requirements of each species.  The aquarium has ocean life exhibits featuring sharks, eels, crabs, fish, and jellyfish. They also have freshwater tanks with a river giants exhibit.

The East Idaho Aquarium has several land animals too. While you’re here, be sure to visit the birds, iguana, and bearded dragons feeding stations.

You may touch a caiman and a toucan. Oh, and you’ll meet their mascot, Wookiee, who is a very friendly (and unbearably cute) sloth.

I love how transparent and helpful the aquarium is. They even explain the process of shipping the fish, sharks, and other animals to their aquarium. If you have a spare hour (or two), you should definitely stop at the East Idaho Aquarium.

See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit

11. Shop Downtown Idaho Falls

Downtown Idaho Falls Streets
Steven Pavlov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Location: Shoup Avenue, Park Avenue, A Street, B Street, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402

If you’re looking for that small downtown charm right on the river, each one of the shops here brings exactly that. Each shop has kind owners and helpful staff who will make you feel welcome and do a great job of informing and entertaining their patrons.

Lily’s has some of the best-ever thrift store finds. This shop specializes in affordable yet well-made clothing and jewelry that will last a long time.

The Handmade Idaho Shop has artisan goods that are locally handmade by artists in Idaho Falls. You’ll find handmade clothing, paintings, jewelry, candles, handbags, stuffed animals, glass art, signs, and more.

The delicious Nice Spot Mercantile and Coffee Bar has fragrant hand soaps, pottery, wicker baskets, mugs, dishes, home decor, and more, including some of the best coffee in town.

Ravens Hollow is an herbal and health shop with a super knowledgeable owner who is happy to teach you all about plants, herbs, teas, and their healing properties.

The outdoorsmen (and women) will instantly fall in love with Idaho Mountain Trading. This store has everything you could possibly need for all of your mountain sports, from all types of bikes to skis to snowboards, and even accessories like car and truck racks. They have it all!

12. Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
image by backpacker31/TripAdvisor

Address: 300 S Capital Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

This family-friendly art museum shows off the contemporary art of local emerging artists. It’s operated by the Idaho Falls Arts Council. They have regularly rotating exhibits and interactive art projects. Throughout the year, the Art Museum hosts classes, events, competitions, and poetry slams. Some of their most cherished events are:

  • Art and Ale – Drink good, cold beer while painting growlers on the eve of the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest.
  • Art of Golf – Sign up for this golf tournament, and you’ll get a continental breakfast, plus a free art print, and chances to win some fun raffle prizes.
  • Beaux Cadeaux Artisan Fair – This is an annual fundraiser where artists share their works with the community. Art pieces are for sale, live music plays, and hors d’oeuvres are served. All art displayed is original and handmade; commercially made pieces are forbidden.
  • Family Days and General Classes -Bring your kids to enjoy the children’s interactive art area, view current exhibits, and then make your own museum masterpiece with the help of museum staff. They also have several classes for all age groups.

Admission to the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is already inexpensive, but they still host free admission days on the first Saturday of the month for all and free admission for seniors who are 65 or older on the first Tuesday of the month.

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13. Hell’s Half Acre

Hell's Half Acre

Location: 20 Miles Southwest of Idaho Falls

Hell’s Half Acre is a geologic formation caused by an old lava flow. A paved 3/4 mile hiking trail that meanders around this island of hardened lava, allowing visitors the chance to get a better look at the area.

Molten lava was pushed up 30 to 50 miles through the Earth’s crust. The lava just solidified a few thousand years ago. Eventually, the soil will be blown over it, and the lava rock will be fully covered by soil and plants.

Hell’s Half Acre has several picnic areas here too. Of course, since it is situated in a rest area, there are vending machines, restrooms, drinking fountains, and trash bins available all over the property as well.

It’s managed by the State of Idaho and the Bureau of Land Management. Look around, and you’ll see pinion trees, sage, buckwheat, prickly pear cacti, junipers, lichens, and more.

14. Collectors Corner Museum

Collector Corner Museum Exhibit
image by Travel0n5/TripAdvisor

Address: 900 John Adams Pkwy, Idaho Falls, ID 83401

The Collectors Corner Museum is an eclectic collection of toys and memorabilia. Jim and Nida Gyorfy married in 1960, opened a Tupperware store on the corner, and sold Tupperware from 1975 to 2003. In 2003, they retired and turned the corner store into a place for them to display all of the collections they had amassed since their wedding.

They have more than 125 galleries of completely separate (unrelated) collections. Their collections include Ron Lee Clowns, coins, stuffed animals, troll dolls, model airplanes, Precious Moments figurines, mechanical monkeys, commemorative plates, toy pistols, hubcaps, PEZ dispensers, “Funny Money” bills, Avon bottles, Barbie dolls, military and war artifacts, patches, shells, knives, pistols, vintage bullets and gun oil, Beanie Babies, and so much more.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be amazed by how much stuff they’ve packed into this space. Oh! And don’t be afraid to open the drawers, you’re supposed to do that, and you’ll find all kinds of hidden treasures inside.

See Related: Best Tourist Destinations in the World

15. Melaleuca Field

Melaleuca Field
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Address: 900 Jim Garchow Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

This is a field that is mostly used for baseball and is home to the Idaho Falls Chukars, an independent team of the Pioneer League. The stadium, built in 2007, can hold 3,600 people. They have 1,350 box seats and eight luxury boxes.

Idaho Falls has a history with baseball; the first baseball diamonds were created here in 1919. In 1926, the first baseball club, called the Idaho Falls Spuds, was created, as were the first bleachers. In 1940, covered wooden grandstands were built.

In 1975, those grandstands burned to the ground. The very next year, they were replaced, and the year after that, it was renamed McDermott Field. In 2006, McDermott Field Stadium was demolished. Melaleuca Field Stadium was built in 2007, and Ballpark Digest called Melaleuca Field “America’s Best Ball Park Renovation of 2007.”

When you come out to visit Idaho Falls, you should look into their schedule to see if you can go, because this is such a memorable space with a fun vibe.

16. Fly Fish on the Snake River

Snake River

The Snake River runs through the center of Idaho Falls, so if you really want to immerse yourself in the city, you need to spend some time on the river. Consider fly fishing.

The river currently has one of the most robust populations of native cutthroat trout left in the Rocky Mountain region. In this region, you’ll mostly catch Fine Spotted Snake River Cutthroat Trout and some Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.

Anglers may also get a few rainbow trout and brown trout here too. If you catch a rainbow trout, keep it and harvest it. Rainbow trout directly compete with the native cutthroat, and conservationists want to reduce their impact and competition as much as possible.

See Related: Best Fishing Spots in America to Visit

17. Camp at the Snake River RV Park

Snake River RV Park
image by specialklc/TripAdvisor

Address: 1440 Lindsay Blvd, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

The Snake River RV Park can be its own destination simply because of how large and well-rounded the space is. Here you can bring your own tent or RV (up to 85-feet long) or stay at one of their convenient camping cabins.

The campground has a playground for small kids, a gift shop for all ages, laundry facilities, restrooms, hot showers, a small on-site grocery store, free wifi, fire pits (and firewood), two pet spaces, a swimming pool, and all kinds of events that are hosted year-round.

This RV Park is right on the river, just steps away from the Idaho Falls Greenbelt Trail. If you’re an avid fisherman, you’ll delight in the riverbank and how easy it is to fish here.

If you happen to catch any rainbow trout, please keep it and harvest it. Rainbow trout are plentiful in the river, but they are invasive to this river (though not invasive in other parts of Idaho) and are too competitive for the native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.

18. Samoa Club

Samoa Club
image by Neal S/TripAdvisor

Address: 339 Park Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Samoa Club is the place to go to get a delicious, cold craft beer and meet cool new people. Idaho Falls is a relatively small town, so you’ll probably be surprised by how many people are in this club in the evenings. The service is fast and friendly, the food and drinks are high-quality yet inexpensive, the patrons are great, and you can usually count on live music or open-mic karaoke and friendly bar games being in progress.

Walking through Samoa Club’s historic building’s wooden door will unveil a friendly, cozy space that feels hometown-like yet welcoming for tourists. The aesthetic is bright and colorful, and yet somehow a bit moody and eclectic too.

Neon signs compliment the hand-carved wooden accents and grand bar station. There’s a jukebox in the corner too, so if you come on a quieter evening, you should fire that thing up.

Ask the bartender about Bob’s food. Bob regularly grows, supplies, and prepares produce for the bar.

Your bartender can tell you all about the process and let you know which items Bob just freshly brought in for you to enjoy. While the bartenders are great, make sure to turn to say hello to your neighbors at the bar, you’ll have no idea where the conversation may lead, and sometimes, that’s where the fun lies.

See Related: Best Father Daughter Trips & Vacation Ideas

19. Russ Freeman Park

Russ Freeman Park
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Address: 1290 Science Center Dr, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Russ Freeman Park sits on over 60 acres and is adjacent to Idaho State University, Idaho Falls.

Inside the park, you’ll find beautifully manicured lawns, with a crystal-clear creek running through it to add a few water challenges to your disc throws. Disc throws? Oh, did we mention there’s a disc golf course?

This great course is well-maintained with long drives, rolling terrain, and open holes. Put simply: lots of fun.

The Russ Freeman Park also has a bike and running path all around and through it. They have rental scooters you can try out and lots of playground areas for the kids.

In addition, there are pavillions to reserve for events or parties. And if you aren’t up for disc golfing, you can just sit by the river and relax. It’s no wonder this is the highest-rated park in Idaho Falls.

FAQ

What are the best tourist attractions in Idaho Falls, Idaho?

The best tourist attractions are the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, the Idaho Falls Zoo, the East Idaho Falls Aquarium, Hell’s Half Acre, and Melaleuca Field.

What are some fun things to do in Idaho Falls, Idaho?

Go for a stroll on the Idaho Falls River Walk. It’s a great way to see the Snake River, Downtown Idaho Falls, restaurants, shops, and other Idaho Falls attractions. The Idaho Falls River Walk is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area while taking in the beautiful scenery and natural wonders of eastern Idaho. You can also cheer for the Idaho Falls Chukars at Melaleuca Field.

What is the best thing to do with kids in Idaho Falls, Idaho?

Take your kids to the Idaho Falls Zoo or on a hike to Hell’s Half Acre. Kids may enjoy fly fishing on the Snake River or camping in the Snake River RV Park. For sports fans, bring the kids to a game or event at Melaleuca Field. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho and East Idaho Aquarium are usually big hits with the kids too.

What are some things to do in Idaho Falls, Idaho, when it’s raining?

Idaho Falls has some excellent indoor attractions, such as the Idaho Falls Aquarium, Idaho Potato Museum and Potato Station Cafe, and the Collectors Corner Museum. They also have great restaurants and breweries, like the Park Avenue Grill and Idaho Falls Brewing Company.

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