October is the official beginning of autumn and brings brilliant colors and seasonal fun to the Treasure Valley. As we begin the fast slide into the holidays, Boise’s calendar is full to the brim with local favorites and popular annual entertainment including many fun things to do with kids. From fall festivals to restaurant week, this month is a busy one in the City of Trees. Add these must-do events to your calendar and make this October one to remember.
First Thursday | Downtown Boise
Experience downtown Boise in a new way with First Thursday events, specials, and discounts. Downtown merchants make First Thursdays special with product demonstrations, live music, dining specials, and more. Learn more.
Light the Night Walk | Cecil D. Andrus Park
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk event funds critical research for children and adults diagnosed with these forms of cancer. Their pioneering research is saving lives today and you can be part of it with this fun event. Learn more.
Fall Harvest Festival | Idaho Botanical Garden
Enjoy a family-friendly Fall Harvest Festival at the gorgeous Idaho Botanical Garden this month. With Adult Night starting the festivities off on Friday the 4th, you can catch a 21+ night of silent disco, a line-up of horror films, beer, wine, and more. Saturday and Sunday, bring the whole family out for the corn maze, Scarecrow Stroll, and activity stations. Learn more.
Fall Boise Parade of Homes | Various Locations
Oct 4-6, 11-13, 18-20
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October, you can see the latest in home design trends with the much-anticipated Fall Boise Parade of Homes. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or just looking for inspiration, this event features truly stunning examples in home design and architecture. From beautiful entry-level homes to top-of-the-line luxury estates, you’ll find new trends and upcoming must-haves. Learn more.
Boise Farmers Markets | Various Locations
Saturdays Oct 5, 12, 19, 26
Throughout the month of October, you can still grab fresh produce and local goods at the Capital City Public Market and Boise Farmers Market. Both of these fresh-air markets will be going strong and bringing out the seasonal goodies: pumpkins, gourds, spiced autumn food, and more. Start your Christmas shopping early or grab some locally-grown ingredients. Learn more.
Heritage Homes Tour | Warm Springs Avenue
The 17th Annual Heritage Home Tour by Preservation Idaho is slated for October 6th this year and features the Historic Central Addition neighborhood. This exciting event will trace the roots, history, and present of the Historic Central Addition neighborhood, where most homes have been carefully moved and renovated. The theme’s subtitle, “Where Are They Now and What’s Left?” invites you to trace the past, present, and future of these pieces of Idaho history. Learn more.
Ta-Nehisi Coats in Conversation with Mitchell S. Jackson | Morrison Center
The Cabin presents an evening with public intellectual and author Ta-Nehisi Coats in conversation with Mitchell S. Jackson. This event is presented in partnership with the Distinguished Lectures Series sponsored by the Honors College at Boise State University. All ticket holders will receive a copy of Coats’ upcoming novel, The Water Dancer. Learn more.
Adult Night: Murder on Myrtle St. | Discovery Center of Idaho
Oct 11 and 25
The Discovery Center of Idaho is hosting two Adult Night events this month on the theme “Murder on Myrtle St.” These incredibly popular events often sell out, so act fast if you want tickets! Featuring beer, wine, an interactive murder mystery, and much more! Learn more.
Spooktacular Evenings | Zoo Boise
Oct 11-13, 18-20
Zoo Boise’s annual “merry not scary” Halloween-themed evenings are a highly popular annual event. This fun-fest for the whole family features activities, displays, animal encounters, and more! Wear your costume and come out for a chance to experience the zoo at night. Learn more.
Hoptober Freshtival | Boise Brewing
Every year since its opening in 2014, Boise Brewing has hosted a beer fest dubbed Hoptober Freshtival. Get in on this celebration of everything hoppy with the largest fresh hop beer festival in Idaho that consistently brings thousands of people into downtown Boise. With over 30 local and regional craft breweries represented, there’s sure to be something that tickles your taste buds. Learn more.
YMCA Harrison Classic Kids Run | Harrison Boulevard
Kids 13 and under of all abilities are invited to participate in this fun annual kids run down Harrison Boulevard. Kids take the boulevard in this laid-back event. Register your youngster and watch them beam in pride when they receive a medal at the finish line and get to celebrate being an active kid. Learn more.
City of Trees Marathon | Parkcenter Boulevard
Ready for a challenge? Register for the City of Trees Marathon or half-marathon and enjoy this popular annual race. Featuring a beautiful, USATF certified course, this race is an anticipated yearly event. Learn more.
Frightened Felons | Old Idaho Penitentiary
This wildly popular night of “riot”ous fun is one you won’t want to miss! Tour the Old Idaho Penitentiary grounds and see Idaho’s only haunted cell, watch a performance of the “Thriller” dance, win a costume contest prize, and more. Actors will portray inmates of the past and beverages and food will be available for purchase. Learn more.
Dine Out Downtown | Downtown Boise
Oct 25-Nov 3
Boise’s restaurant week, Dine Out Downtown, is slated weekend-to-weekend from October 25th to November 3rd. Enjoy special menus, a chance to try new tasty treats from Boise-area chefs, and the budding culinary scene in the Treasure Valley. Learn more.
YMCA Halloween Run | Ann Morrison Park
Wear something bright and your Halloween costume for this ghoulishly fun run put on by the YMCA of the Treasure Valley! This family-friendly Halloween celebration is a favorite with locals and one you won’t want to miss. Learn more.
Boo at the Zoo | Zoo Boise
From 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on October 26th, you can bring the whole family out for a spectacular Halloween event called Boo at the Zoo. This annual event features characters in costume handing out candy, animal enrichment activities, costume contests, face painting, photo booths, and so much more. Learn more.
Scarecrow Stroll | Idaho Botanical Garden
Idaho Botanical Garden visitors of all ages will get a kick out of the creatively decorated scarecrows stationed around the grounds throughout the month of October. The scarecrows are sponsored and dressed up by local organizations, clubs, and groups. This is IBG’s eleventh year hosting this ever-popular local fall attraction. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite! Learn more.
Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | Linder Farms
Looking for classic autumn fun? Head out to Linder Farms for the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other attractions! The whole family can get in on the fun and come home with a pumpkin. Food vendors make it easy to stay for hours and eat a delicious meal while you’re at it. Learn more.
Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | The Farmstead
From enormous slides to a small tractor train, the Farmstead is a corn maze and pumpkin patch with even more to offer. Head out to the Farmstead’s new location in Kuna to check off your fall bucket list items. Learn more.
There’s no shortage of events and activities to put on your calendar this October in Boise. What will you be doing this month?
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to The North End, up to Eagle and West to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.