Caldwell, Idaho is a small town outside of Boise, Idaho that has reinvented itself over the last decade. Although they have always had their own personality, including one of the best universities in Idaho (the College of Idaho) they have recently added plenty of family-friendly things to do. Here are my favorite things to do in Caldwell, Idaho.
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Indian Creek Plaza is fairly new to Caldwell, but the main attraction in the small town these days. During the summer, the plaza holds concerts and plenty of other events. During the winter, they install an ice skating rink (well, an “ice skating ribbon”). There is hot chocolate (from nearby Flying M), Christmas lights, and plenty of people out there ice skating in Caldwell.
The ice skating ribbon is an outdoor ice skating rink, which means its opening is dependent upon the weather and temperature. The ribbon holds up to 180 skaters (and sometimes it feels like there are that many out there!), however if you go during the day you may have the whole thing to yourself.
They also do skate rentals, which is included in your skating fee.
Learn more about Indian Creek Plaza’s ice skating ribbon.
Caldwell’s Winter Wonderland is an amazing landscape of Christmas lights. You can walk through the area, across a couple bridges, and along Indian Creek to view the beautiful lights setup.
Although Caldwell has always had great restaurants, they have been mostly for locals and overshadowed by nearby Boise. But in recent years, as Caldwell has become important on its own, many restaurants have popped up across town. The city is known for its Mexican cuisine (my favorite is Acapulco, just off of Indian Creek), and now has burger restaurants, Italian, and a great steakhouse.
If you are headed to Caldwell, plan your trip downtown and you will find plenty of amazing food.
The current Caldwell Train Depot was built in 1906, although a previous depot sat on the site beginning in 1883. That year, Caldwell was established as a stop on the Oregon Short Town Line railroad.
Although official restoration began in 2002, my mom worked for the city of Caldwell when I was a child and I remember helping clean up inside the Caldwell Depot at least 10 years before that. The restoration was done beautifully and is well worth a visit. It is only a block from the Indian Creek Plaza.
While visiting Caldwell, consider driving just a little further because the city is surrounded by some of the best wineries in the state. Take a wine tour on the Snake River Scenic Byway, which includes wineries like:
- Bitner Vineyards
- Hell’s Canyon Winery
- Huston Vineyards
- Koenig Winery
- Sawtooth Winery
- Ste. Chapelle Winery
- Williamson Vineyards
Caldwell has always been forgotten in the shadow of Boise, but as more people move to the area, more people are calling Caldwell their home. It is a great place for family, culture, and food and also makes a great day trip from Boise.