There are tons of great things about living in Idaho and a big one is that it’s undeniably a great place to raise a family. The amount of family-friendly outdoor activities is massive, but we’ve got plenty of
indoor attractions to check out, too! Here are ten free museums located throughout the Gem State that should definitely be on your radar. Pick one, stop by, and learn something new about our wonderful state for the perfect family outing.
1. Idaho Black History Museum, Boise
Housed inside of the historic St. Paul Baptist Church building in Julia Davis Park, the Idaho Black History Museum is the definition of a hidden gem. The one-room museum is definitely smaller than your average museum, but its exhibits and programs play an important role in exploring issues that affect not only Black people but Americans of all cultures and ethnicities.
2. Twin Falls County Museum, Filer
Step back to the early days of the Magic Valley with a visit to this fascinating museum in Filer, Idaho. Visitors will be treated to exhibits regarding everything from ranching and irrigation farming to emigration on the Oregon Trail.
3. Priest Lake Museum, Priest River
Hiding out in a log cabin along the shores of Priest Lake, this museum makes for a spectacular stop when spending time at the lake. Focusing on both cultural and natural history, visitors will get to know a side of Priest Lake that few know about. It's also just a beautiful place to explore!
4. EBR-1 Atomic Museum, Arco
Located way out in the middle-of-nowhere, the EBR-1 Atomic Museum gives visitors the rare chance to see an actual nuclear reactor. Science enthusiasts will be especially geeked out by exploring this old nuclear facility and research reactor, but the novelty of this destination makes it a must-see for any Idahoan.
5. Idaho Military History Museum, Boise
Located at Gowen Field in Boise, the Idaho Military History Museum is a unique museum with a focus on the branches of the U.S. military. It features exhibits on every war that an Idahoan has served in dating back to the Spanish-American War. Displays of authentic warplanes, tanks, and artifacts from the U.S.S. Boise makes this a memorable place to visit for both young and old.
6. Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center, Moscow
Learn all about the Idaho state horse and so much more with a visit to the Appaloosa Museum! This museum and heritage center is dedicated to everything regarding the Appaloosa horse breed and includes hands-on exhibits, a library, and a gift shop. After visiting the museum, you'll undoubtedly have a deeper understanding of why the Appaloosa is so special to the state of Idaho.
7. Herrett Center, Twin Falls
Located on the main campus of the College of Southern Idaho, the Herrett Center is the coolest museum that most people don't even know exists. It boasts a little bit of everything with exhibits on natural history, astronomy, art, and anthropology.
8. Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Boise
Although not a "traditional" museum, the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise has proven to be an invaluable resource to the community. The educational park is entirely outdoors and contains plaques, statues, and inscriptions that are dedicated to promoting human dignity and the spirit of Anne Frank. If you have a few moments in downtown Boise, it's always worth taking some time to peruse and reflect.
9. McConnell Mansion, Moscow
Standing proudly in a historic neighborhood in Moscow, the McConnell Mansion is a landmark home that was built by a former governor in 1886. The mansion itself in all of its historic glory is definitely a sight to be seen! On top of its charming appearance, visitors can take advantage of a guided tour, authentic period rooms, and a gift shop.
10. Wallace District Mining Museum, Wallace
Visiting the historic North Idaho town of Wallace is like taking a trip back in time, and there's no better way to get to know the town than by visiting the Wallace District Mining Museum. Displaying more than 130 years of silver, lead, zinc, and gold production, this museum tells the story of one of the country's richest mining regions.
Have you been to any of these free museums in Idaho? Did we miss one of your favorites? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
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