With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around us halfway through Summer 2020, many of us are anxious to get out of the house and do something, anything, other than sit in our houses some more. The good news is that Boise’s close proximity to natural outdoor wonders as well as annual events that are social distance-friendly can help add some pizzazz to an otherwise dismal weekend.


By now, you’re probably wondering which events or activities we’re talking about, and whether or not they’re safe. All of the activities listed below are all ones you can safely socially distance while temporarily escaping the tedium of quarantine.


Old Idaho Penitentiary


The Old Idaho Penitentiary has recently re-opened and is operating under strict guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  Some of the changes include:

  • Visitors encouraged to pre-purchase admission online, as walk-ups are only allowed if the current visiting group is not at capacity.
  • Groups are limited to 50 visitors per.
  • Masks are required in indoor areas and encouraged outdoors.If you have a medical exemption, politely inform a staff member.

Go here to see the most up-to-date information regarding your visit to one of Boise’s most historic sites. And while you’re in the area…


Boise Botanical Garden


Located next door to the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Boise Botanical Garden showcases some of the flora and fauna native to the area. Even better, it’s open 7 days a week, 9AM to 5PM, and encourages visitors to practice social distancing through guided and self-guided tours.


The Garden Store is still closed, but the grounds are still available to visitors to leisurely peruse. For up-to-date information, please go here to visit their FAQ page. For more information regarding Boise Botanical Garden’s COVID-19 safety policy, please go here.


Kathryn Albertson Park


If nature reserves are your thing, then this park is for you. Located off of Americana Boulevard across the street from Ann Morrison Park, Kathryn Albertson is home to a wide variety of flora and animals. While walking the trails, do not be surprised if you cross paths with a rabbit, spot a turtle sunbathing on a rock, or see a crane perched near a pond.


The park also features natural history, such as the massive tree trunk that has been in existence since the 1600s. There is also a fountain near the entrance of the park, which is a great place to catch up with a friend or loved one.


So whether you’re taking in the ancient gallows of the Old Idaho Penitentiary or taking a walk at one of our beautiful parks, be sure to mask up, socially distance, and enjoy Boise safely during Summer 2020.