The fall months are some of the best times to visit Boise. Tree’s all around the city start to change, turning the city from a giant green patch to a kaleidoscope of red, pink, yellow, and orange. The weather is also quite pleasant in the fall months, nestled right between the 100 degree days of summer and the freezing, windy days of winter. Along with the city’s natural beauty, there are a number of exciting events going on during these months that are sure to please.
Spirit of Boise – Hot Air Balloon Festival
Probably the most popular fall event, as well as one of the most picturesque, is the Spirit of Boise hot air balloon festival. It is a 5-day event that usually takes place the first week of September. They do a wonderful job offering different types of events for the whole family.
It typically starts with a kid’s day where kids can take a “tethered ride” where they can experience a hot air balloon ride while still being roped to the ground, giving parents slightly less anxiety about watching their child float away. Later in the week, they have multiple flights where 20+ balloons take to the skies and float over the city and neighboring areas. On Friday night they have the Nightglow Spectacular, where they inflate all the balloons after dark and put on a light show along with music, drinks, and other fun events.
Treefort Music Festival
If music is more your thing, the Treefort Music Festival is a great opportunity to see not only great artists from Boise and the Inland Northwest, but the festival attracts big names from across the country as well. Previous years have featured artists such as Run The Jewels, Vince Staples, and Lizzo. If none of those appeals to you, there are over 100 shows every year, so you’re bound to find something that fits your taste. It’s typically a five-day event in the heart of downtown that features beer gardens, comedy shows, and plenty of food trucks to explore.
Boise Farmers Market
Every Saturday local farmers, artists, business owners, and chefs set up downtown for the Boise Farmers Market. Located in the heart of downtown, the farmers market is a great place to start your Saturday even if you don’t plan on purchasing anything. You will get the chance to see unique works of art by local artists, local and international cuisine, and tons of options for organic vegetables, beef, and fish.
Boise State Football Games
Even though Boise isn’t home to a major sports team, they still have one of the most exciting teams in college football. The Boise State Broncos rose to prominence in the early 2000s and have made it to a bowl game every year since 1999. The team is fun to watch and the environment is electric for a sports fan. Along with the great food and company at the tailgate, the stadium includes the famous “smurf turf” which was the first non-green playing field in college football history.
Boise Restaurant Week
If you consider yourself a “foodie”, or just enjoy a great meal in a fun environment, you can’t miss the Dine Out Downtown – Boise Restaurant Week. Dozens of restaurants participate in this event which includes special menus, deals on food and drinks, and fun events put on by each restaurant. Usually, this is held around the last week of October or the first of November. If you’re wanting to double down on your Boise food experience, there is also the Boise Grilled Cheese and Beer Festival held right before restaurant week.
Few things get people more excited about fall than harvest festivals, and the Boise area has plenty of them. With pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, along with numerous other activities there is fun for the whole family at any of these festivals. There are numerous festivals throughout the fall, including in Eagle, Garden City, Caldwell, Emmett, and Kuna.
Boo at the Zoo
If you’re visiting around Halloween the Boise Zoo hosts an annual Boo at the Zoo event for children and families. The event usually consists of costume contests, prize giveaways, trick or treating, face painting, and games for all ages.
If you’re in town earlier in the month you can still experience the Zoo with a Halloween twist. Every weekend in October they have Spooktacular Evenings from 6-9 PM. They call it a “merry-not-scary” event that is suitable for all ages. The Zoo will be lit up with Halloween displays and will also have activities and special entertainment every night.
Visiting Boise during a different time of the year or want to check out more of what the city has to offer, check out our other recommendations here.
Tamanoeconomico, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons