Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Idaho Falls, ID

  • Published 2023/02/27

Idaho Falls is a city in Bonneville County, Idaho.

It is the largest in the Eastern Idaho region and the third-largest metropolitan area after Boise CityNampa and Coeur d’Alene.

The city attracts plenty of tourists visiting adjacent Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks and anglers on the Snake River.

This charming city in Idaho offers a friendly-business environment, a few of the lowest utility rates, and countless leisure opportunities.

Its primary sources of income include the high-tech sector, livestock, agriculture, tourism, and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (nuclear-power testing).

According to the World Population Review, this city has many activities and sights.

Explore the free things to do in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Visit the Idaho Falls Temple

Front view of Idaho Falls Temple

Lane V. Erickson /

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple is located along Memorial Drive, sits on the Snake River banks and is the city’s cornerstone.

You’ll find a magnificent waterfall feature east of the temple and public visitors’ center that features films, multimedia presentations, displays, and an awe-inspiring reproduction of Thorvaldsen’s Christus statue.

You can park your car south of the temple, previously occupied by a Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Hospital, where you can also find a stake center.

Plants placed around the Idaho Falls Temple

Victoria Ditkovsky /

This gorgeous temple was the only temple dedicated by George Albert Smith, the eighth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Idaho Falls Temple is open to the public and allows visitors to appreciate the kaleidoscopic gardens aligned with tall trees.

You can sit by the beautiful fountain and streaming waterfall, amuse yourself in the Snake River’s panoramic view, and experience the serenity of the grounds.

Statue at the top of Idaho Falls Temple

Ingus Kruklitis /

Bring the Family to Esquire Acres Park

Do you want to see a plane take off from the ground?

Visit the 10.77-acre Esquire Acres Park situated on Moonlite Drive.

Its fantastic amenities include soccer fields and a baseball/softball field.

There’s a playground with different equipment that your kids will enjoy, such as the swing set and jungle gym.

The green grass is great for kids and dogs to run around.

You can spread a picnic blanket on the grass to lie down or eat, or you can have a picnic at the tables in the park.

Esquire Acres Park also has a gazebo-type shelter if you want some shade.

Spend Time with Family at Highland Park

Highland Park became Idaho Falls’ first amusement park located on East Elva Street.

It added a baseball diamond, boating pond, swimming pool, picnic area, and dance pavilion from 1904 to 1905.

Idaho Falls bought the park in 1920 and demolished old structures, leaving just a log structure used for church, school, and tourist accommodations.

It stands at 4715 feet high, close to Downtown and North Idaho Falls.

The 79.70-acre park has a gazebo-type shelter beside the Chukars stadium.

You can also play basketball at Highland Park.

Take a Walk on the Idaho Falls River Walk

Scenic view of Idaho Falls River Walk

Blake Crestani /

Located along the River Parkway, Idaho Falls River Walk covers five miles on both sides of the Snake River.

It’s a collaborative project between the city and its residents headed by the Idaho Falls Rotary Club.

The club’s yearly Great Snake River Duck Race contributes funds for the project’s expansion and improvement.

Stunning view of Idaho Falls River Walk

Victoria Ditkovsky /

As you stroll the walkway, you’ll see lots of ducks and geese sunbathing on the lawn close to the river, and you can even feed them.

After a leisurely walk, you can rest on the benches and eat at the picnic tables, so don’t forget to bring food.

The Idaho Falls River Walk has falls and 14 miles of riverbank that will make you and your family want to return.

Let Your Kids Play at Civitan Park

Civitan Park is a 4.22-acre park located on West Elva/Riverside Drive.

It has an elevation of 1,439 meters with lots of trees that provides ample shade for visitors.

There’s a playground for your kids to swing, slide, and climb gyms on newer rubber mulch.

There are picnic shelters where you can have a snack or lunch and benches to rest.

The whole family will enjoy playing baseball or softball on the baseball field at Civitan Park.

Teach Your Kids to Fish at Becker Pond – Ryder Park

Becker Pond is in Ryder Park.

It is a great place to bring your kids and let them learn how to fish or practice other casting methods.

The lake observes a limit of two fish, offering anglers high catch rates and a delightful experience.

Children 12 years old and under are always free to fish at Becker Pond.

The types of fish might vary from bass, brook trout, tiger muskie, and whitefish, among others.

Ryder Park prohibits motorized boats, radio-controlled craft, small watercraft, flotation devices, and swimming because of the pond’s small size.

You can bring your dog along but make sure it’s always on a leash.

Enjoy a Walk along the Snake River Greenbelt

Water gushing at Snake River Greenbelt

Marieke Kramer /

The Snake River Greenbelt encompasses five miles of space on both sides.

Ride your bike or stroll on this lovely paved trail and discover what makes Idaho a special place to visit.

With an elevation gain of 32.8 feet, it’s an easy route and provides access to the Idaho Falls Disc Golf Course.

On the river’s north end, the trail runs near University Place and through Freeman Park, which provides picnic shelters and a playground.

Elsewhere, the paved walkway heads south, safely guiding wanderers under Rigby Highway past Civitan Park and across the border of downtown Idaho Falls.

Check Out Hell’s Half Acre

Anyone who hears about this place might think it’s not worth even seeing the area.

However, not everyone knows that Hell’s Half Acre abounds in the most stunning scenery.

This tourist attraction that covers an area of 125 square miles can be easily accessed and has two well-paved trails, allowing the perfect land exploration.

One trail is only 0.5 miles long and would take a trekker to complete in almost half an hour.

On the other hand, the second trail is 4.5 miles long and usually takes hours to complete.

In 1976, Hell’s Half Acre, a basaltic lava plain, became a National Natural Landmark to preserve this unusual one-of-a-kind landscape for years.

Explore the Japanese Friendship Garden at Sportsman Park

The Japanese Friendship Garden was built to celebrate years of associating with their Japanese sister city, Tokai-Mura.

It encourages camaraderie with different races worldwide.

This graceful garden features a traditional Japanese garden gate, several water features, a deck, a viewing platform, a “Dragon’s Path” throughout the pond, and a giant Japanese lantern Tokai-Mura gave the city.

On the eastern side of Sportsman Park is a small gazebo adjoining Key bank.

Located on West Broadway Street, the Japanese Friendship Garden is inside Sportsman Park.

The Japanese Friendship Garden sits on a rocky island in the Snake River which is historically significant as the first bridge to cross the Snake River in Eastern Idaho.

See the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest

View of Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

The Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest is an impressive artificial mountain waterfall featuring two soaring eagles and a nest that lies on a roundabout.

Unveiled in 2014, it’s one of the most captured sites in Idaho Falls.

The pair of giant nesting bald eagles are made of bronze, including their eaglets.

The mother eagle feeds her chicks with salmon while the father stands on guard.

The fountain illustrates the drop from the high mountain that these incredible birds call their home.

During winter, the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest on South Utah Avenue becomes even more astonishing as the fountain freezes.

Play Disc Golf at Russ Freeman Park

Spanning 60.83 acres, Russ Freeman Park offers plenty of amenities everyone will enjoy.

These conveniences include picnic areas, a band shelter, disc golf, shelters, and a baseball/softball field.

Of course, Russ Freeman Park has a playground to keep your kids busy while you play 18-hole disc golf with your friends or other family members.

You can take a stroll or jog at the lovely walkways and check out the War Memorial afterward.

Try the Loop Trail at Community Park

Along East 25th Street lies the 30.01-acre Community Park.

It has several amenities to offer visitors, including a playground, picnic areas, soccer fields, and softball/baseball fields.

There’s a shelter next to the playground, so you can watch your kids while they play.

There’s also a 0.75-mile walking path paved with asphalt, making it smooth and accessible for trail goers that use wheelchairs or mobility equipment.

You can also try the 1.3-kilometer loop trail, an accessible route, which takes about 14 minutes to complete.

This trail is also perfect for biking, walking, and running with your dog, which should be on a leash.

Spend the Day at Tautphaus Park

Entrance to Tautphaus Park Zoo

Idahomiller, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the oldest and biggest parks in Idaho Falls is the 84.50-acre Tautphaus Park, located on South Boulevard.

The fantastic park features five ball diamonds, tennis courts, a skateboard park, four shelters, a basketball court, horseshoe pits, and playground equipment.

There are also picnic areas, so don’t forget to bring snacks or lunch for a family get-together.

The Wayne/Lehto Ice arena opens during the winter.

Likewise, the Tautphaus Park Zoo and Funland Amusement Park are inside.

In the late 19th century, Charles Tautphaus established the park by building a six-acre lake.

He supplied it with water from the Idaho Canal, which he also helped make.

Tautphaus Park became a city park in 1910.

Since then, it has become a venue for community events, including rodeos and county fairs.

Make a Splash at Reinhart Park

One great way your kids can beat the heat is to play in the park, where they can splash.

Reinhart Park is a 9.31-acre land with a splash pad with 12 different settings, running in three-minute cycles with a push of a button.

Kids can play on the playground, while teens can play on the baseball/softball field.

There are tables and a gazebo-style shelter where you can picnic for the whole family.

Reinhart Park is a beautiful place located on Washburn Avenue, so bring your family or friends.

Celebrate Birthdays at Mel Erickson Sunnyside Park

Spanning 20.38 acres, Mel Erickson Sunnyside Park is one of the ten largest parks in Idaho Falls.

Like other parks, it has a softball/baseball field, two soccer fields, and four tennis courts for your kids.

Some tables are great for having picnics with your family and friends.

The large green grass makes it perfect for kids and dogs to run around, play soccer, frisbee, or fly a kite.

Located on Mel Erickson Sunnyside Park, it’s a great place to celebrate birthday parties and enjoy the amenities.

Final Thoughts

Are you planning a quick family getaway?

Don’t forget to include the city of Idaho Falls in your travel bucket list.

Enjoy these free things to do in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and create lasting memories without burning a hole in your pocket.

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