Picture a charming town surrounded by lakes, meadows, and mountains with a scenic bridge welcoming you into historic downtown. Sandpoint delivers upon this promise of an easy-going location with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy and rustic lodging that make you feel at home among gorgeous woodlands. Make your trip a breeze by renting a Sandpoint vacation rental then don’t miss out on these 10 great ways to give your kids an unforgettable trip.
Nonstop fun awaits at Silverwood Theme Park, a large regional attraction located about 30 minutes away in nearby Athol. Test your mettle through death-defying plunges and terrifying twists on thrilling coasters, such as the Corkscrew, After Shock, and Panic Plunge, or take it easy in classic bumper cars and Ferris wheels. Treat your little ones to low-intensity excitement on antique car rides, carousels, and kiddie copters. Live performances and stunt shows provide laid-back entertainment if you need a break from park rides.
Get a two-day pass for Boulder Beach Bay and Silverwood. It’s hard to explore these joint parks in one day. A host of water rides keep you cool in the summer sun, whether you prefer splashing around in wave pools, coasting along Elkhorn Creek, or getting tossed down speeding rapids in a raft. While your teens are speeding down water slides headfirst, let small children play on mini obstacles in Polliwog Park and Toddler Springs.
3. Sandpoint City Beach
Plan at least one beach day while you’re in town. City Beach is just east of downtown Sandpoint, serving as a one-stop destination for boating, picnicking, and sports. Build a sandcastle kingdom when you’re not swimming and splashing by the shore, or organize tennis and volleyball matches. Make a meal at your vacation rental, and try to claim a covered seating area to enjoy a family lunch. The park also has a concession stand and BBQ pits for convenient dining options, and the playground is always a pleaser among children who love climbing, crawling, and sliding on fun obstacles.
4. Movies in the Park
Skip the classic movie theater outing, and spend a warm summer evening watching popular family flicks in Lakeview Park. In late summer, the Bonner County History Museum sponsors free screenings after sundown, but you can show up early with folding chairs or blankets to claim the perfect seats. If you love snacking at the movies, pack a picnic dinner or grab some take-out in downtown Sandpoint on the way to the park. Dates change annually, so check the museum website for announcements.
Liven up a winter vacation with an afternoon of ice skating, once the local lakes transform into shimmering frozen wonderlands. Lace up your skates, and head to the Third Avenue Pier on Sandpoint Beach to perfect your gliding and turns on a stretch of Lake Pend Oreille. For more flexibility, drive about 15 minutes to skate at Round Lake State Park in Sagle, which often has a longer season.
Leave your fears at home, and use your vacation to try out relaxing and heart-pumping activities on the water. Across the street from City Beach Park, Action Water Sports offers equipment rentals, lessons, and lake tours for a memorable experience that suits your skill level. Imagine gliding on a wakeboard or water skis with sea spray at your back or peacefully drifting on a paddleboard or kayak as you admire the sparkling water. If you prefer to chill out on the open water, rent a pontoon boat to explore, fish, or tow your own wakeboards.
Few kids turn down a chance to go on a horseback riding excursion through the lush and beautiful valleys and foothills of Sandpoint. Check out local trail tours from Western Pleasure Ranch or Mountain Horse Adventures to get a crash course in riding while enjoying the beautiful woodland scenery, native wildlife, mountain streams, and lake views. Most trail rides accommodate young children between six and eight; but if you don’t have little ones along, test your riding skills with a longer trail through tougher terrain.
Less than an hour from Sandpoint, Kootenai is home to a diverse sample of Idaho wildlife in wetland and woodland habitats. Get a close look at bald eagles and harriers soaring overhead, and spot mother geese leading their babies to water. Deer grazing and moose wading in the water are common sightings, and you might spot a Grizzly bear or coyote stalking through the trees. Whether you join a bird walk or take a self-guided hike through the pristine terrain, be sure to bring your field guide and camera to capture everything from candid animal scenes to rushing waterfalls.
When you want to escape rough weather, get day passes to Triple Play for all-ages entertainment, including climbing walls, bumper cars and boats, laser tag, go karts, and mini golf. Master an exhilarating three-level rope course as you travel between platforms in a harness, or guide your toddler through the tykes course. Team up for a round of bowling after dining at the Garden Fresh Grill, or put on your suits and enjoy the water slides and hot tubs at Raptor Reef.
10. Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center
Airplanes are certainly the main attraction at Bird Aviation Museum, but the venue is also an interactive tribute to legendary inventor Forrest M. Bird. Exhibits chronicle major advancements in aviation and the contributions of brave pilots, such as the first women in the Air Force. As a small, intimate museum, Bird is known for its incredibly passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, who make it easy for children to get immersed in the experience. See vintage planes, helicopters, and cars up close, and walk the hall of inventors to hear amazing tales of science and medical discoveries that changed the world.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Sandpoint vacation rentals on Tripping.com.