Nampa, Idaho, often gets shadowed by its larger cousin Boise only 20 minutes to the east, but the city has its own great attractions that Idaho visitors shouldn’t miss. From one of the largest water parks in the area to excellent museums and beautiful parks, the best things to do in Nampa gives the state capitol a run for its money.
The Warhawk Air Museum
The Warwick Air Museum in Nampa is a fun place filled with aircraft memorabilia and even full-sized planes.
The museum’s founders, Sue and John Paul, began their collection when people began to bring them air history artifacts while John was working on restoring planes in his hangar. After they had achieved a sizable collection, they opened the Warwick Air Museum and continued to acquire items, such as medals, uniforms, and photographs, from veterans to fill their museum.
Nampa Historic Train Depot
Write smack in the middle of downtown Nampa you’ll find the train depot. The Nampa Depot, which opened in 1903, hasn’t had train activity for almost a century. Nevertheless, it remains a significant historical site with a museum that allows visitors to experience Idaho’s early days.
The Canyon County Historical Society deserves credit for keeping this remarkable piece of Idaho history alive and thriving. Run entirely by dedicated volunteers, this non-profit organization is committed to preserving Nampa’s historical heritage for future generations.
Sawtooth Winery and Tasting Room
Located in Snake River Valley, Sawtooth Winery has received national acclaim for its excellent varieties, including Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Merlot.
If you love wine tasting with a beautiful view of the Idaho countryside, come to one of the state’s most beloved wineries and stand in awe of the almost 500-acre fields and estate as you sip delicious wine.
Wahooz Family Fun Zone
The Wahooz Family Fun Zone is one of the best places to take the family for a full day of fun. The huge complex has both indoor and outdoor games where young and old alike can explore tons of different attractions.
Wahooz numerous activities include:
- Laser tag and a laser maze challenges
- An arcade
- Bumper cars and bumper boats
- A climbing wall
- A rope course
- Bowling (with food and a full bar)
- Go-karts (plus a track that is only for younger kids)
- Batting cages
Here are some more great things to do with kids,
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Rusty Retro Antiques and Oddities
One of Nampa’s most beloved shops, Rusty Retro Antiques and Oddities contains tons of fun and exciting items. Whether you are looking for vintage furniture and jewelry, crazy oddities, or local artwork, you can find a fun trinket at Rusty Retro.
The store even allows you to rent some of the items as photography props.
Labyrinth Escape Games
Labyrinth Escape Games isn’t just any old escape room destination. Here, you can not only try your hand at escaping from puzzle rooms of all difficulties, but you can do so while immersed in an intricate environment that includes special effects.
When you get to the building or take a look at their website, you can browse through the rooms they have available and read their descriptions to figure out which one is best for you and your group.
Ridgecrest Golf Club
If you are a golf lover, then playing at Ridgecrest Golf Club is one of the best things to do in Nampa. Designed by renowned course architect John Harbottle III, Ridgecrest is one of Idaho’s best 18-hole courses.
The club also offers such amenities as a full-service clubhouse and championship practice facilities. And beginners have no need to worry since they can access private lessons or clinics to help them learn the game.
Lake Lowell Park
Lake Lowell Park is a 20-acre park with a large array of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Opened in 1909, Lake Lowell is one of the largest off-stream reservoirs in the Western United States.
At Lake Lowell, visitors can:
- Have a picnic
- Play disc golf
- Go boating
- Go fishing
The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge also borders the park giving visitors endless choices for things to do.
Are you looking for a little exercise?
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Ford Idaho Center
One of the main pulls of Nampa is the Ford Idaho Center. The massive complex allows visitors to see many different types of shows, including sports and live music shows, trade events, and equestrian expos.
The Ford Idaho Center is one of the leading entertainment complexes of the Pacific Northwest partly because of its terrific location between Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland, and Reno.
The center also has lots of room so they can host different events. The grounds hold an arena, an amphitheater, a horse park, and the Nampa Civic Center.
Nampa Farmers Market
The Nampa Farmers Market in downtown Nampa’s Lloyd Square Park is a weekly farmer’s market where visitors can find locally-produced foods and crafts.
The market runs every Saturday from April to October, with an average of 109 vendors. Guests can find a plethora of products made within a 100-mile radius, including produce, specialty foods, homemade dishes, and arts and crafts.
A local favorite, the market has grown from just three vendors in 1989 to a bustling event where people from all walks of life show up every Saturday morning to see what’s for sale.
Roaring Springs Water Park
Just a few miles outside of Nampa lies Roaring Springs Water Park, a colossal water recreation ground where everyone can have a blast while cooling off from the summer heat.
The park contains lots of attractions, such as:
- Snake River Run – A double explosion loop with a 180-degree turn
- Bearfoot Bay – An area with six slides, six cabañas, and a shallow wading pool for kids
- Corkscrew Cavern – A drop-down slide where riders move at 38 feet per second
- Viper’s Vortex – A four-story flume
- White Water Bay Wavepool
- The Avalanche – A half-pipe type water ride
- Endless River – A slow-moving lazy river
Crescent Brewery proudly refers to itself as a “diamond in the rough.” Though not the fanciest place, The Crescent is a laid-back brewery, and they welcome everyone from all walks of life.
Their tasting room offers great and fun beers, like Highlander Hammer Wee Heavy Ale, Searbh IPA, and Skull Splitter IPA.
Only a 12-minute drive from the heart of Nampa is the Meridian Speedway, where car lovers of all ages can come to soak in the adrenaline of the fastest attraction in the area.
Plus, when you come to Meridian Speedway, you can also get some of the best food around at their food stands like Walking Sombrero Tacos.
Fans can even stay at the track for as long as they want, thanks to the RV lot only two blocks from the arena.