5 Great Spring Festivals to Take Kids Along
February was a record month for local ski areas and snow-sport-enthusiasts, but for valley-dwellers who aren’t into the powdery stuff, it was a loonnnggg 28 days. Dreary, grey, rainy days really drag a person down. Then, almost as if on cue, March came in with clear blue skies, lots of sunshine, and warmer temperatures!
But here’s the thing – those sunny, blue skies and warmer days introduce a yearly epidemic of spring fever. It’s almost warm enough to run outside without a heavy winter coat, it’s almost time to switch out those heavy winter blankets and fleece pajamas, and it’s almost time for the yearly spring cleaning. But not quite yet.
If you and your family are feeling the need to get out of the house and shake off some of that winter dust, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of five wonderful spring events the whole family can enjoy. From charity events to authentic Idaho experiences, we’ve got you covered.
1. Saturday, March 30: Veteran’s Therapeutic Gardens Chili Cook-Off
Whether you want to cook, eat, or judge chili recipes, this is the place to be. For $5 you can sample all chilis and vote on your favorites. Music, raffles, and silent auctions will also be included in the day’s festivities. The event wil be held at the Nampa Lighthouse Rescue Mission, 304 16th Ave N, in Nampa. Ticket sales start that day at 11:00 a.m. For more info, visit veteranstherapeuticgardens.org
2. Saturday, April 2: Spring Fling at Caldwell O’Connor Field House
For princesses, super heroes, scavenger hunts, dance performances, interactive reptile shows, live music, and Paw Patrol, head to the Caldwell Events Center (2207 Blaine St between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Also, this event is free and open to the public! For more information, visit the event page on Facebook at:
3. Friday – Saturday, April 12-13: Lava Hot Springs Folk Festival
For an authentic Idaho experience, take a weekend getaway to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, for the city’s Fourth Annual Folk Music Festival. Various businesses in downtown Lava Hot Springs will be hosting musicians, and admission to each venue is free. Raffle tickets will be available at each venue, and donations are gladly accepted, as all proceeds from the event will be donated to the Lava Hot Springs Elementary School Music Program. Also, Tahra Charmaine Waller, star of PBS childrens’ program TAHRA*TIME will be headlining the festival this year. While you are there, take some time to listen to a whole passel of folk artists from Idaho and beyond. For more information, visit the Lava Folk Festival page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LavaFolkFestival/
(BONUS TIP: on your drive to Lava Hot Springs, take the scenic route through the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway. At Bliss, get on Highway 30, and follow it until it connects back up with I-84 around Heyburn)
4. Friday – Sunday, April 12 – 14: Idaho Horse Expo
If you’ve got cowboys or cowgirls in your household, ditch the folk music festival and get to the Horse Expo at The Ford Idaho Horse Park in Nampa. Ages 12 & under get in for free, and adult tickets are $10. The event will be jam-packed with everything to satisfy even the deepest horse-craving! Plenty of shopping opportunities, various performing groups and drill teams, various cowboy competitions, America’s Got Talent contestant Dan Mink, the Rhinestone Roper, and even Endo the Blind Horse. There will also be a kids’ corral with stick horse competitions in the various equine disciplines, scavenger hunts, and a wide array of games, including Pin the Horn on the Unicorn, and an Easter egg hunt – the rodeo way, of course. Saddle up your buckaroos and trot on over to check it out! For more info, visit idahohorseexpo.com
5. Friday – Saturday, May 31 – June 1: 38th Annual Greek Food Festival:
At Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church (2618 W Bannock St, Boise) you will find a GIANT Greek food festival. It’s not really just at the church, it’s honestly more like a block party. Children under 12 get in for free, and they only ask for a $2 donation as admission. This event isn’t just food though! There will be live entertainment all day both Friday and Saturday, including free Greek dance lessons and various performances. For more information, visit: boisegreekfestival.com
BONUS! 6. Saturday, March 23: Kidfort Puppet Show:
If you are headed to the Treefort Music Fest, have your little sidekicks check out the Kidfort puppet show. Oregon Shadow Theatre will be presenting Jack and the Dragon, and American Fairy Tale. This show is the only ticketed event at Kidfort, and the tickets are $10. The puppet show will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, at 11:00 a.m. both days. El Korah Shrine will be hosting the Oregon Shadow Theatre show at 1118 West Idaho Street, in Boise. For more info and to purchase tickets (which are currently only $8!) visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kidfort-puppet-show-treefort-music-fest-2019-tickets-55230472831?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
We hope this list gives you a good start on spring-time adventures! From charity events, to music festivals, to authentic Idaho experiences, there is something for everyone on our list. Happy Spring!