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HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #9: Taking Advantage of the Great Outdoors

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So this week’s Summer Challenge is all about taking advantage of our local parks, rivers, lakes etc. Living in Boise, Idaho, we are blessed to be surrounded by some amazing country! In fact, there is a beautiful river (called the Boise River) that runs right through the city and provides a great summer activity – tubing and rafting!

My hubby and I took our 2 oldest kiddos, Ayden and Nicholas, out for a rafting trip this past week. We had a great time as the 6-mile trip down the river is extremely calm aside from 3 small diversion dams that create some fun rapids. Since we went during the middle of the week, we pretty much had the river all to ourselves. And the 2 hour trip was the perfect excursion – we got out of the house, cooled down in the water, and had some quality family time.

And the best part, there is no fee to use the river aside from the parking lot fee; however, my sister lives fairly close to the launch site so we were able to park at her house for free. And if you can borrow a raft/tube from a friend or neighbor, then you should eliminate all the extra costs.

Do you take advantage of your local waterways?! What sort of outdoor water-based activities does your city offer?!


HIP’s Summer Challenge

Every Monday throughout this summer, I will be publishing a Weekly Post centered around different activities that I have personally done with my 3 kiddos (ages 6, 8, and 11) for around $10 or less. You can check out previous Summer Challenge posts here:

HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #8: Free Dance Class
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #7: Swimming at the City Pool

HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #6: Homemade Bubbles
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #5: Homemade Slip N’ Slide
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #4: FREE Movie Night at the Local Park
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #3: Picking Strawberries at Local Idaho Farm
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #2: Making Monsters University Scarers
HIP’s Summer Challenge Week #1: Bowling for Free[/h2s_box]

Join The Discussion

Comments 17

  1. Rachael

    The outdoors is definitely a great place to entertain the kids for cheap or FREE. We actually have quite a few lakes in the mountains where I am to enjoy some water activities for FREE. We usually go at least once or twice per summer. Thanks for sharing!

  2. jhnicole

    My two youngest and i just came from outdoors.Our city baltimore has a free boat that takes you from dock to dock.We didnt ride it today i was kinda hesitant for my 2 year old maybe freaking out.I just let them feel a little sprinkle from some water sprinkers they have at the harbor.Yesterday we went bowling at amf they had kids bowl free. Thanks Collin today i got a free coolatta and free victoria secret panty.I missed all the other weeks.My city has so much free stuff we are always doing something. we did the free swimming at the pool too.They have a free zumba class i wanted to do but i forgot about it im going to check it again.

    • J

      I LOVE visiting the harbor in Baltimore! We always have fun going

  3. lauren

    In Crystal Lake, Illinois we have a lake (go figure) and an old quarry that was converted to a recreation site. Parking is free with your village vehicle sticker ($10 which is a steal in a Chicago suburb) and entry is free for residents. We love using both beaches and the splash park and playground at the old quarry. Btw, the rec area has a Culvers… Ice cream sundaes!!! (And potentially free as we got some coupons for doing the summer reading program at the library!)

    • Stacey

      Too funny! I do the same thing. Free culver’s at three oaks. 🙂

  4. Marcee

    We are lucky enough to live by a river also…and lots of creeks and lakes. We enjoy parks, hikes and frisbie golf too. Although this week we have huge forest fires around us, so no one can really go outside due to the overwhelming amount of smoke. So we hosted a Lego party! It was really fun and 100% free!

  5. Teri

    How pretty! On the Big Island we don’t have access to rivers quite as wide/long so no 6-mile rafting for us but the ones we do frequent are good for pushing the kiddos around. The ocean is right there too so surfing is available. Unfortunately we’ve only been down to the river once this summer (i know, so sad) but with a baby it’s hard to fit in the Fun sometimes. I hope we can make it down soon. Today we were expecting Flossie so definitely no outdoors for us (currently raining and windy). Thanks Collin and Team for all you do (lol for being stuck indoors today it’s amazing I haven’t spent $$$ online…Yet! 🙂

    • Candace

      Yay! Glad to see a fellow Hawaii shopper on Hip2Save! Hope Flossie wasnt too hard on you and your fam, here on Oahu, we’ll be bunkering down for the rain and wind tonight!

  6. joyce

    Hey lauren where exactly is this rec park? I live in a suburb near Chicago would love to know

    • lauren

      It’s called three oaks and it is in Crystal Lake. In my opinion, it is expensive if you don’t live in district so make sure you check that out too!

  7. rachml

    I used to live in Boise and still have family and friends up there–we used to come up every Labor Day and float The River…We haven’t been up in years–the first time my husband went with us he freaked out at the big rapid–the one where you can go to one side of the small island where its calmer or you can go down the big one where it’s funner, and he was on the wrong side and panicked and got out and walked his tube til he got passed it!! Best memory ever!
    We’ve never floated the Truckee River here in Reno, though I’ve heard it’s pretty fun.

  8. Heather c

    The beach is it here on the ca coast, I live in a still fairly rural area where there’s no parking fees, lots of great beaches, coastal hiking and tide pooling. My kids and I spend most of the summer here in our own backyard, packing a picnic for totally free fun! We just spent this am collecting things like shells and driftwood and this afternoon the kids are gluing them to dollar store frames so we can put our summer photos in them, just another idea for incorporating the outdoors into a cheap activity! ;0)

  9. anna marie

    Collin,were was Princess Piper ? How did you get away with out taking her? Glad you’ll had a great day.

    • J

      I was wondering the same!

  10. Andrea

    For once I’m blessed because of suburb living :). We have a beautiful spray park very close by. It was donated by the Joey Pizzano foundation to make sure no more children drown. Pairing it with free Wednesday night outdoor concerts and an adventure playground it’s perfect for the whole family. Completely free.

  11. Emily

    How fun! You didn’t by chance find a men’s wedding ring!?! We lost my hubby’s ring 5 years ago when we floated the Boise River 🙂 good times, good times.

  12. April

    I love floating the Boise river, It’s so relaxing.. Lucky Peak Is a fun place to take the kids too!

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