As the early-morning sky lightens and the sun paints the horizon in purples, blues, oranges, and yellows, a fleet of balloons takes flight. These are Boise Hot Air Company’s balloons—colorful inflated vessels bedecked with purple and yellow stripes, red checkerboard patterns, and the stars and stripes of the American flag. Captains take groups aloft at 30 minutes before official sunrise in baskets equipped with seats and dividers for added safety. Flying only in fair weather and usually at speeds of no more than 8 miles per hour, the captains pilot leisurely flights low over the countryside of rolling hills from March through November.
With a five-star rating as an instructor-development center from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Dive Magic’s aquanauts impart scuba prowess to aspiring underwater explorers. During a two-hour Discover Scuba session (a $50 value), fledgling flipper-kickers are introduced to the essential elements of scuba safety, equipment usage, and how to gurgle "gesundheit!" after a subaquatic sneeze, then descend into the depths of an on-site heated swimming pool. While basking in the buoyancy, a Dive Magic staff photographer will snap a photographic keepsake (a $10 value) to memorialize the immersed moment. To make the experience as comfortable as possible, Dive Magic offers a choice between male or female instructors. All equipment is provided.
A competitive shooter since he was a teenager, Mike Wirth began teaching responsible firearms operations during college. Between bouts of studying for his degree in mechanical engineering, he showed friends and classmates the firearms basics, such as marksmanship fundamentals, proper cleaning and storage, and how to smelt each bullet by hand.
Now teamed with business partner Aaron Goodfellow, Wirth continues training clients in responsible armed defense. On the outdoor ranges shared with Parma Rod and Gun Club, he and Goodfellow lead classes focused on handgun operations, teaching guests skills from swapping magazines to courteous behaviors when on the range.
Boise Nationals Soccer Club helps develop young soccer players from their first step onto the pitch to their first step onto a college campus. Formed exclusively for boys in 1986, the club has since merged with several girls' affiliates to create one of the state's most formidable coed soccer outfits. Today, 30 competitive teams play beneath its star-emblazoned logo.
The club's programs split player development into six categories, and its youth soccer league—formed in 2008—places pint-size dribblers under the guidance of professional coaches, who provide more in-depth instruction than the volunteer parents or scarecrows that supervise many other recreational sports teams. For players who blossom under the club's stewardship, college-placement programs are available to help hoist games to the next level.
Students of all ages and experience levels are invited to cultivate their coordination at Dance Arts Academy, where expert instructors are as abundant as injured elves in a felled Keebler tree. The schedule is jam-packed with diverse boogie options held at convenient times each weekday, including classes in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip-hop. If you are the proud parent of a tater tot but wish your youngster was slightly less vegetable-like, enroll him or her in a pre-school combo class, which imparts basic ballet and tap movements to children 4–5 years of age. Or infuse stiff joints with a youth infusion during an adult tap class or an advanced hip-hop class for students 14 years and older. Take a peek at the calendar for the full schedule of upcoming classes.
At Shankz Glo-Par-Tee, larger-than-life dinosaurs, sea creatures, and volcanoes glow under black lights as guests play through 18 holes of miniature golf in the 6,000-square-foot facility. It can take about 30–40 minutes for players aged 3 and older to travel through the course’s glowing jungles, underwater worlds, and prehistoric locales, and even longer when they’re sporting Shankz’s ChromaDepth 3-D glasses, which inhibit the wearers’ ability to perceive the fourth dimension. In addition to mini golf, Shankz Glo-Par-Tee features a glowing arcade and themed party rooms where patrons can host birthday parties or private events.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.