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Top Picks: Back to School Fun

By Adrianne Goff,

Basque Museum and Cultural Center:

611 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702 (208) 343-2671

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center was established in 1985 as a small museum in the historic Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga House at 607 Grove Street. Located in scenic Boise, Idaho, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center provides a look into the heritage of the Basque communities not only in Idaho, but in the American West. Through hard work and the support of many individuals, businesses, foundations, and Basque communities and organizations, the Museum began to interpret the rich and colorful history of the Basques, their origins, and their new life in America.

The mission of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. Boiseko Ikastola, the only Basque language preschool outside of the Basque Country, has been established as part of this mission.

Boise Art Museum:

670 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, ID 83702 (208) 345-8330

The Boise Art Museum (BAM) is part of a series of public museums and cultural attractions in Julia Davis Park. It is the permanent home of a growing collection of contemporary realism, modern and contemporary ceramics, as well as the largest public collection of works by acclaimed Idaho outsider artist and bookmaker, James Charles Castle. The museum also features major traveling exhibitions and installations throughout the year.

The museum began as the Boise Gallery of Art, opening in 1937 through a partnership between the Boise Art Association, the City of Boise and the Federal Works Progress Administration as a space for people living in the Boise area to see local artists, traveling exhibitions and artwork on loan.

Boise Public Library:

715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702 (208)972-8200

Boise Public Library improves community members’ quality of life by supporting their efforts to enhance knowledge, realize creative potential, and share ideas and stories. The library is committed to intellectual freedom, universal access, innovation, and providing a world class experience for all members of the community.

Boise Public Library traces its roots to February 18, 1895, when the women of the Columbian Club opened a subscription library and free reading room in City Hall. For 10 years, the Club kept the reading room alive while helping to secure funds from Andrew Carnegie to construct a true public library. Andrew Carnegie awarded library grants to 1406 communities in the early 1900’s with the provision that the communities supply land and on-going maintenance. Columbian Club members persuaded Boise city fathers to provide the matching funds necessary for the administration and maintenance of a Carnegie library. Boise’s Carnegie Public Library opened its doors at 815 W. Washington on June 22, 1905.

Boise Train Depot:

2603 West Eastover Terrace Boise, ID 83706 (208) 608-7600

One of Boise’s most prominent landmarks, the Boise Depot is a beautiful Spanish-style structure operated by the Boise Parks and Recreation Department that provides a unique historic setting for weddings, corporate parties, business receptions, luncheons, meetings and community events. Situated on the rim at the south end of Capitol Boulevard, the panoramic view from the Depot patio is a stunning glimpse of the city skyline and the foothills. In the evening, the 96-foot bell tower is bathed in floodlights and is seen throughout the city.

Built in 1925 for use as a Union Pacific railroad depot, the building was designed by New York architects and was heralded as “the most beautiful structure of its kind in the west.” A $3.4 million renovation completed in 1993 returned the building to its original state with beige interior walls and trim painted in red, blue and yellow. The lobby’s Spanish trusses feature decorative rail cars. Two sets of glass-paned wooden doors lead visitors from a large brick plaza on the north side of the building and also from the train tracks on the south side of the building.

Freak Alley Gallery:

210 N 9th St, Boise, ID 83702 (208) 703-5966

Freak Alley Gallery aka F.A.G is the Northwest’s Largest Open-Air, Multi-artist Mural Gallery, located between 8th and 9th street and Bannock and Idaho in Downtown Boise. Established in 2002 with the first drawing created by Colby Akers in the back alley door way of Moon’s Cafe. From there the Alley has blossomed into a true work of art, with hundreds of participants that create works of art through out the year, from the Annual Mural Project to Sunday Fundays. Without fundraising and donations the Alley would not be what it is today.

Idaho Botanical Garden:

2355 N Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712 (208) 343-8649

The Idaho Botanical Garden, one of the first and oldest botanical gardens in Idaho, is a lush 15-acre tapestry of dappled shade and vibrant splashes of color. Nestled in the Boise Foothills, it is a sanctuary in the heart of the Old Penitentiary Historic District. The Garden promotes horticulture in the Treasure Valley using native and domestic plants adapted to the intermountain region.

Lucky Peak:

9725 ID-21, Boise, ID 83716 (208) 334-2432

Lucky Peak State Park is the perfect place for swimming, picnicking, fishing, boating or biking. Sandy Point and Discovery is a 10 minute drive from Boise and Springs Shores Marina is 40 minutes away. Three distinct day use units make up Lucky Peak State Park. Discovery is a popular roadside park that is a great place to host a company party or family reunion. Sandy Point, at the base of the Lucky Peak Dam is popular for its sandy beach and clear cool water. Spring Shores offers lakeside access for water enthusiasts by providing two boat ramps, parking, a marina, on-site watercraft rentals and a convenience store.

Northwest Science Museum:

1831 Wildwood St, Boise, ID 83713 (208) 972-6288

The vision for The Northwest Science Museum is to present a “Natural History” museum from a Biblical point of view. This museum would display similar exhibits to the well known natural history museums (i.e. Denver Museum of Nature and Science, American Museum of Natural History, Chicago Field Museum) but interpreted from a Biblical world view.

Have you ever seen a fourteen foot tall mammoth? Been up close to a Stegosaurus? Tried to imagine what a Psittacosaurus (the dinosaur that rocked the scientific world in 2005) looked like? Well you can learn all about these and more at The Northwest Science Museum.

Terrace Drive-In Theatre:

4011 S Lake Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605 (208) 455-1422

The Terrance Drive-in Theatre is a family run business that first debuted in the 1950’s. For a longtime it had operated three projectors on its three screens. The Terrace was closed for awhile due to a fire in the 1980’s, in that timeframe the drive-in sat in a limbo. A woman who saw the potential invested in the Terrace Drive-in, and now thanks to her efforts the Terrance Drive-in Theatre thrives today. So long as the patrons keep coming, the Terrace plans to stay open season after season. So with all that said, go and enjoy a night out with your family and friends. Bring your lawn chairs, bring your radios, or just bring yourself.

Warhawk Air Museum:

201 Municipal Dr, Nampa, ID 83687 (208) 465-6446

The Warhawk Air Museum was brought to life in 1989 by Co-founders John and Sue Paul as a place to preserve military aviation history. The museum has since become an educational destination for over 5,000 school-age children and 25,000 visitors each year. It all began with John Paul’s passion for airplanes. In the 1950s, he watched and listened as two Corsair fighter planes ripped through the sky over his third-grade classroom. He purchased his first plane by the time he was 20: a Fairchild PT-19 WWII trainer with an open cockpit.
In the ensuing 24 years, the museum has grown immensely. What started as a tribute to WWI/WWII veterans has expanded to include veterans’ history from the Iraq War, Persian Gulf War, Vietnam War, Korean War and Cold War. Throughout the museum, donations from community members are also on display to educate future generations about national and local history. Families of local veterans and the veterans themselves have donated one-of-a-kind collections of uniforms, photos, medals, gear and written narratives describing battle experiences. You can wander the Museum on your own, but if he’s there, ask Lou for a tour and you’ll be blown away.

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