The first time I heard about the Idaho Botanical Gardens when I moved to Boise
was at Christmas for the Festival of Lights. This event is also known as Winter Garden aGlow. Although I didn’t make it there that first Christmas I arrived, I have since been to the Garden on many other occasions.
About the Garden
Idaho Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous 15-acre lush landscape of a variety of plants and flower nestled at the base of North Boise foothills. During spring and summer, you can tour the Garden and meander through several specialty gardens. These include an English garden, rose garden, herb garden, and meditation garden. There is a children’s adventure garden, a demonstration garden, vegetable garden, Idaho native plants garden, and even a Lewis and Clark native plant garden.
As beautiful and blossoming as these specialty gardens are, it’s the events that keep bringing me and my family back. Our first experience at Idaho Botanical Gardens was for Movie Night in the Garden. This particular night was the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The large green lawn turns into a summer drive-in atmosphere where blankets, pillow, and coolers cover the grassy field. Kids frolic and play until it is dark enough to start the movie on the giant outdoor big-screen. There are food and beverage vendors as well as a “reserved” area with tables and chairs in the back for those that don’t want to sit in a lawn-chair or blanket.
The next event was Bug Day which my then 6-year-old was ecstatic to go to. I was absolutely shocked at how big this event is! As I followed a line of cars turning off the main road toward the Gardens and saw employees directing traffic for parking, I was grateful we got there early. My daughter LOVED this event and is already looking forward to Daddy coming with us this summer. She got to release ladybugs into the garden, chase butterflies with a net, learn about the bug and creatures in the Boise River and even got up close and personal with birds of prey. Yes, the Idaho Botanical Gardens does a remarkable job at both educating and entertaining kids and adults alike at this event.
Winter Garden aGlow
Our next trip out to the Gardens was finally for the Winter Garden aGlow. And living up to the hype they didn’t disappoint. The maze of lights and colors on display are simply amazing. They even have an interactive display where the lights change color and direction which mesmerized my daughter.
There were many other events throughout the summer and fall that we missed. The live music at their Summer Concert Series and the fun Scarecrow Safari event in the fall to name a couple. But we are certainly looking forward to attending those and more this coming season!