20 Affordable Things to do in Idaho Falls
by Elizabeth S.
As the second largest city in Idaho outside of Boise, Idaho Falls is rich with history and provides a number of things to do any time of year — even after winter arrives.
If you’re like me, traveling almost always involves bringing the kids along, which can sometimes make it hard to find activities everyone enjoys. Getting the most out of each dollar can seem nearly impossible at times, too.
Fortunately, I’m here to help. Below are 20 affordable ideas for things to do in and around Idaho Falls, both inside and outdoors.
Affordable Museums and Interactive Attractions in Idaho Falls
Explore the visual arts through innovative exhibits and rotating galleries. Guests are welcome to walk the museum themselves or sign up for guided tours and occasional lectures.
Jim and Nida Gyorfy opened this unique museum in 2003, with more than125 separate groupings of eclectic collectibles that range from porcelain figurines and model airplanes to mechanical dolls, hubcaps, and vintage movie posters.
This museum is dedicated to showcasing the history and culture of the state of Idaho as a whole and includes rotating exhibits and frequent events.
An entire museum dedicated to Idaho’s most famous export — potatoes! Guests can learn the history of the industry, view the world’s largest potato chip, see centuries-old equipment, and more. Oh, and there are plenty of samples, too.
Perfect for kids up to age 12, this interactive art space provides endless ways for children to use their imagination with green screens, animation stations, music, and more. Most events and workshops are free or require a small fee.
Considered one of the country’s top small zoos, the Idaho Falls Zoo is home to more than 330 different animals, including areas dedicated to penguins, lions, lemurs, and zebras.
Perhaps the most renowned brewery in the state, Idaho Brewing Company has a convenient location and features a cozy tasting room with 12 rotating beers on tap. Guests can enjoy brews on the patio and take free tours with the staff.
Seasonal Events in Idaho Falls
The Idaho Falls Farmers Market occurs every Saturday morning along the Riverwalk just outside downtown from May through October. Fruits vegetables, meats, baked goods, flowers, and more are available from local vendors alongside live music, face painting, and other activities.
An annual celebration of agriculture, Harvest Fest has a ton of innovative and fun activities, including barn building, butter churning, and obstacle courses. Admission is free, and the event is always family-friendly.
Running from May to September, Alive After 5 is a weekly street party that includes free live music and a selection of local food and beverages.
A yearly tradition from June until August, Movies in the Park takes place in Freeman Park every Friday at sunset, with free film screenings and snacks provided.
Idaho Falls is home to the Chukars, a Kansas City Royals minor league baseball affiliate. Their season runs from April to September, with home games played in the scenic Melaleuca Field. Tickets are cheap, and the games are always well attended.
Free Outdoor Activities in Idaho Falls
The downtown portion of Idaho Falls is incredibly scenic, and home to several different shops, restaurants, and bars. Walking tours are available.
Ever walked on a field of dried lava? You can at Hell’s Half Acre. Located just minutes from Idaho Falls, this unique stop is made from 2,000-year-old lava, with two separate hiking trails.
Birthed out of the sister city relationship between Idaho Falls and Tokai-Mura, Japan, the Japanese Pavilion is on a small island in the middle of Snake River and provides a peaceful oasis with aesthetics not normally found anywhere near this part of the country.
The Riverwalk is the main part of the town’s green belt and is found on both sides of the river near downtown, totaling 5 miles. The trail has two main loops, and winds around parks, ponds, and green spaces.
This is definitely the most artistic traffic loop you’ll ever see! The Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest is a large art installation in the middle of a roundabout, with waterfalls, bronze eagles, and other alluring features. great photo op any time of year; check it out in the winter when it freezes.
As the oldest public park, Freeman Park is a local favorite. It features walking trails, wide open green spaces, playgrounds, and several Vietnam War memorials.
Located about 15 minutes west of Idaho Falls, the 17 Mile Cave is actually a lava tube underground that formed a cave. It’s only about quarter-mile long inside and has a few mini ponds, but it’s definitely a memorable experience. (It’s also a bit chilly inside year-round, so make sure you bring a jacket!)
This massive park has just about everything, including picnic areas, a skatepark, tennis courts, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits. It’s also home to the Idaho Falls Zoo, the Joe Marmo/Wayne/Lehto Ice Arena during the winter, and even an amusement park.
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