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Must-See Places in Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls is a surprising hub of activity in eastern Idaho. It may seem like a city off the beaten path, but there are plenty of things to do and enjoy here. Whether you are a local or a visitor, be sure to check out some of these must-see attractions.

Museum of Idaho

The Museum of Idaho is a wonderful place to learn about cultural phenomena. Each year they showcase two main exhibits that attract people from all over eastern Idaho. Some exhibits they’ve had are, Darwin & Dinosaurs, The Archimedes, and Steampunk! Each of these unique exhibits provides fun information for people of all ages.

The museum also includes a permanent discovery room for kids to enjoy. Here, they can experience what it’s like to climb mountains, crawl through caves, and explore a settler’s cabin. Kids can also enjoy puzzles, books, and experiments in the discovery room.

The Museum of Idaho’s mission is to educate visitors with their exhibits and collections and to enlighten them with educational opportunities in the humanities and sciences. Since the exhibits at the museum change, you’ll have to visit here often!

Greenbelt & Japanese Friendship Garden

If the weather permits it, then take a walk along the Idaho Falls Greenbelt—or ride a bike. During your walk, you will see all sorts of different art, the famous “Idaho Falls,” and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple. Bring a picnic with you and enjoy the greenbelt as you eat. The greenbelt is popular for visitors and locals alike, so you’ll probably see people running, walking their dogs, taking pictures, rollerblading, biking, skateboarding, and more. If you come by on a Saturday morning during the late spring, summer, or early fall, you’ll see the Idaho Falls Farmers Market.

Across the street from the greenbelt is the Japanese Friendship Garden. This garden celebrates the association Idaho Falls has with its sister city, Tokai-Mura, in Japan. The garden is a symbol of friendship and encourages love for people throughout the world. The garden is full of paths to adventure down, little ponds to admire, and places to sit in contemplation. The garden is beautiful and right along the snake river, which adds a peaceful sound to the ambiance. Be sure to include exploring the beautiful gardens to your greenbelt adventure.

Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

The Art Museum is the only one of its kind in eastern Idaho. It celebrates art with its exhibits and classes, encouraging all to appreciate art and to create it. Since the museum rotates its exhibits, this is another museum you must see often in Idaho Falls.

Some of the exhibits the museum has shown in the past have included “Young at Art” and “Visual Narratives of the American West.” The “Young at Art” exhibit showcased art from kids in participating schools in the area. The Art Museum of Idaho promotes all artists, but they try especially hard to find and display works done by artists in Idaho.

The museum often hosts events and workshops for people to enjoy. Some of the classes they have for the community include a kids class, pottery lessons, and studio sessions. These lessons, along with the showcased art, empower visitors to create and experience art.

If you want to see the creative side of Idaho during your trip, be sure to buy a ticket to the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho.

East Idaho Aquarium

The East Idaho Aquarium works to bring the ocean to Idaho and to educate its visitors about the importance of marine life. As a non-profit organization, its mission is to broaden awareness of aquatic and non-aquatic ecosystems to the public. The aquarium works to broaden public awareness with a hands-on approach and education programs, which is why they have multiple exhibits people can touch!

A few of the exhibits featured at the East Idaho Aquarium include a starfish touch exhibit and a stingray touch exhibit. The aquarium also has places to feed some of their animals, like iguanas, bearded dragons, turtles, and river fish. The aquarium is also home to a selection of birds, eels, and an albino boa. You and your family will love the opportunity to touch some of these amazing creatures and see them up close!

Idaho Falls Zoo

Known as the “best little zoo in the west,” the Idaho Falls zoo holds more than 300 individual animals that represent 130 species of animals from around the world. Idaho Falls Zoo has been a part of the community since the 1930s and was the first zoo in Idaho to receive accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Although the zoo is small, it is still fun for individuals and families of all ages. Seeing these majestic animals and birds up close is a neat experience! The zoo is split into different sections to give you a clear picture of where these animals are from and the habitats they are accustomed to. Some of the sections they have are Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, Patagonia, and primates.

During your visit to the zoo, you’ll see some incredible animals like wallabies, lions, tigers, otters, flamingos, and more! The Idaho Falls Zoo has a large variety of birds, too. You may not recognize all of the animals, but with the new app and the exhibit signage, you are sure to learn more about animals you don’t know.

The Idaho Falls Zoo also has a special children’s zoo where kids can get close to some exotic farm animals from around the world. If you want to visit the zoo during your trip, be sure to plan accordingly. The zoo is only open from April to October.

Downtown Idaho Falls

Something that makes downtown Idaho Falls fun and eclectic is its public art. Traffic cabinets and benches are all designed to be fun, funky art. Some of the benches look like music notes, couches, and even a fishing hook. The “Art You Can Sit On” was a collaborative project done by the Idaho Falls Arts Council, the Idaho Falls Historic Downtown Foundation, the City of Idaho Falls Division of Parks and Recreation and the City Beautification Commission.

As you take your self-guided tour of downtown, you’ll also notice murals of art, like the “Look and Listen” mural done by Kelly Sheridan on the Kress Building. If you want to see more murals, take a walk down Pugsslane, also known as Art Alley downtown. The alley is brought to life with spectacular color, fun designs, and even characters you may recognize!

Some businesses in downtown Idaho Falls help to bring in guests and locals through their events. The Downtown Event Center, the Phoenix Theater, and the Colonial Theater all host different shows and events that bring traffic into the downtown area. If you are visiting downtown for an event, be sure to stop by one of the many restaurants nearby to support local businesses.

Freeman Park

If you are looking for some affordable, easy fun for you and your family, check out Freeman Park. Freeman Park’s 60 acres are filled with fun activity areas like a band shelter, baseball diamonds, disc golf course, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, and picnic areas. While many of the park’s facilities are meant for summer use, the park is a fun spot even in the winter due to its good sledding slopes.

With the park right along the Snake River, you can enjoy the tranquil scenery and sounds of the water. This is a great place to have a family reunion or a fun day with friends. It’s even a nice spot to come by yourself to enjoy the peaceful Vietnam memorial or take a walk. Idaho may have some interesting weather, but with a park as beautiful as Freeman Park, you won’t be able to resist the outdoors!

Farmers Market

For three seasons out of the year, you can find the Idaho Falls Farmers Market flourishing on Memorial Drive, just up from the walkways along the greenbelt. The farmer’s market is open on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain, or shine. From May through October, you can find some of your favorite local goods.

The 2020 vendor list is a mixture of people selling baked goods, gardening items, jewelry, fresh fruits and vegetables, and much more! As you roam from stand to stand, you can munch on samples and food items from stands like World’s Best Corn Dogs, Twila’s Gourmet Fudge, the Crepe Station, and High Desert Kettle Corn. You’ll find even more food options as you explore all the Idaho Falls Farmers Market has to offer.

Idaho Falls may seem small, but it still has plenty to offer. These are only a few of the attractions in the area. Whether you are a local or a visitor, take your time exploring the Idaho Falls area and all there is to see and do.


(Photos were taken from business websites and/or their Facebook profiles)

Hannah Anderson

About the author

Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson, a Nevada native, moved to Idaho four years ago to study at Brigham Young University-Idaho where she earned a bachelor's degree in communication. She enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and exploring all that Idaho has to offer.

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