Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is beautiful place to live and raise kids. Our family moved to Coeur d’Alene in 2014. We’ve gone on lots of adventures and made many memories with our three kids. This Inland Northwest area is home to sparkling lakes, a great selection of hiking trails, forested camping areas and a friendly local culture. Our adventure list of best family-friendly things to do near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho includes activities for kids of all ages!
Family Bike Rides
Downtown Coeur d’Alene offers all the advantages of fine dining, gourmet treats, boat rentals, Lake Coeur d’Alene tours and more! Alongside these expected tourist attractions, visitors can also enjoy a variety of outdoor experiences. Downtown Coeur d’Alene is one of our favorite places to ride bikes. Some of the bike trails border the beautiful lakefront.
North Idaho Centennial Trail in downtown Coeur d’Alene is 23 miles long. It starts near City Park and eventually parallels the Spokane River as it runs all the way to the Idaho-Washington state line. The North Idaho Centennial Trail is a great outdoor experience for families with kids of all ages. You can take the whole crew and enjoy as much of the bike trail as you’d like!
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is another great route for a family bike ride. This paved trail is 73 miles long and it runs across the Idaho panhandle from Mullan to Plummer. I’d love to take our kids on this bike trail when they develop a little more endurance. Evidently, you can start and stop along the way at twenty different trailheads and entry points, and take a break at any of the twenty different scenic waysides and picnic sites.
North Idaho Centennial Trail goes right through downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Historic Coeur d’Alene Carousel
Next on our list of things to do near Coeur d’Alene, families can ride the historic Playland Pier Carousel. Whenever they can, my kids always want to ride any carousel. The beautifully painted horses and whimsical allure of a merry-go-round creates an enchanting experience that never gets old. For just $2 a ride, kids can pick out their very own horse and experience a glimpse of CDA’s history. This attraction was originally part of Playland Pier on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene from 1942 to 1974. More recently, the city restored the carousel in its picturesque building near Fort Sherman playground.
Fort Sherman Wooden Playground
The Fort Sherman wooden playground is right next to the lake beneath the shade of cottonwood and chestnut trees. We love going to Coeur d’Alene City Park to enjoy its paved park bike trails and lakeside pebbled beaches. Fort Sherman playground is an impressive wooden play structure that’s nestled in the center of the park. This playground is one of our favorite downtown activities for kids.
The wooden playground features lots of interesting climbing structures, wooden towers and narrow passages. Our kids love playing on the numerous swings, climbing nets, monkey bars and slides. The entire playground is surrounded by a sturdy wooden fence. It’s very helpful to know that your kids can’t wander off. Parents can sit on the many benches and enjoy the shade provided by magnificent trees surrounding the park. Of course, the play structure is adequately sized for adults to join their kids in the fun!
Tubbs Hill Hiking Trails
Active families and adventure seekers can choose from many awesome things to do in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Right next to the lake in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene, families can explore the Tubbs Hill hiking trails. Several miles of hiking trails on the hill provide spectacular scenery and views of Lake Coeur d’Alene for everyone to enjoy.
We’ve really enjoyed hiking Tubbs Hill with our kids. When our kids were toddlers, we took them on the main trail for an easy afternoon walk. Now older, they like scrambling down to the hidden beaches and climbing over rocks. Tubbs Hill has some great rock scrambling areas and part of the trail even goes over a suspension bridge!
Canfield Mountain Natural Trail
Also, Canfield Mountain is another great destination for an afternoon hike. Canfield Mountain Trails create a 5.3 mile loop trail located near Coeur d’Alene, with lots of great views and pretty wildflowers. This area is also used by mountain bikers and off-road riders on dirt bikes.
Painted Rocks Scavenger Hunt
On your hike you can look for birds and wildlife or search for colorful rocks. The local CDA Rocks community creates and hides painted rocks along the local hiking trails for others to find. Some of the rocks are meticulously painted by true artists. Many of the painted rocks are marked with the community group hashtag #CDArocks. Our own kids have also enjoyed painting rocks and hiding them along our Coeur d’Alene community hiking trails.
Hayden Discount Cinema
If your family is looking for an indoor activity, you can head over to the Hayden Discount Cinema. This family-owned discount theater shows a variety of recently released movies on the big screen, for just $3 a ticket. The Hayden Discount Cinema serves families in several ways. First, families can easily take younger kids to see a movie in a relaxed environment. It’s not disruptive for parents to take babies and toddlers out into the hall for a break if they get restless. Also, the ticket prices are very budget-friendly. An entire family can see a movie for less than $20. Finally, the Hayden Discount Cinema is a great place to go with friends to re-watch a favorite movie that you’ve already seen in the theater. Overall, our discount theater is a great resource and awesome family-friendly activity to do in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
One summer we took our three kids to see the Lego Movie 2 at the Hayden Discount Cinema. The experience was similar to going to a typical movie theater. We purchased drinks and popcorn (at lower than usual prices) and enjoyed the show in a half-full theater. The showing was excellent and the cost of our family outing was very affordable.
Silverwood Theme Park
Additionally, Silverwood Theme Park is a memorable Coeur d’Alene area destination for families of all ages! This theme park is located in Athol, a short drive north of the city of Coeur d’Alene. Our family often gets season passes to Silverwood. This allows us to go to Silverwood for the day and ride all the rides, or just visit the water park for a few hours one afternoon.
Silverwood Theme Park has 6 roller coasters, more than 70 rides, a great kids area and an expansive water park. This Pacific Northwest amusement park has an awesome collection of family-friendly things to do near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Our favorite theme park attractions include the Timber Terror wooden roller coaster, Tremors wooden roller coaster, and the Nick Norton magic show.
When our 7-year-old daughter successfully reached the 54-inch height requirement for some of the high intensity rides, she was very excited to experience them all. She eagerly conquered the SpinCycle, which sends riders 104 feet up into the air upside down with legs dangling. Her response after the ride? Huge grins and excitement all around.
Boulder Beach Water Park
In addition to riding Silverwood’s theme park roller coasters, families can visit the Bounder Beach water park. Our favorite attractions include the Elkhorn Creek lazy river, wave pool, Riptide Racer water slide, and Rumble Falls. Kids of all ages can play in the splash zone at Boulder Beach’s huge water playground. Near the wave pool, toddlers can explore a scaled-down splash pad, complete with fountains and spraying curtains of water. The Boulder Beach water park includes rides and attractions that parents, kids and toddlers can all enjoy together.
Silverwood’s Rumble Falls water slides are fun for kids and adults!
Coeur d’Alene Neighborhood Splash Pads
Furthermore, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has numerous local parks for play dates and picnics. The neighborhood playgrounds are great places for babies, toddlers and kids to play and enjoy the sunshine. Several of the neighborhood parks have splash pads with water features. Nearly all of the parks have bathrooms and some CDA area parks have picnic pavilions. The local parks in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden are a great place for kids to burn off some energy. Families can also meet up with friends. You can find more details about our local Coeur d’Alene parks and splash pads here.
Farragut State Park
If your family loves to go camping or boating, Coeur d’Alene has no shortage of destinations to explore. Our family loves camping at Farragut State Park at one of the many tent or RV camp sites. When we take our kids to Farragut, we often go on a bike ride, hike down to the lake, and even take the kids fishing. You can find all sorts of fun family camping activities to do at Farragut State Park.
Lake Pend Oreille
Located near Farragut, Lake Pend Oreille is one of our favorite lakes in the area. We’ve taken a boat out onto the lake several times. Lake Pend Oreille is Idaho’s biggest and deepest lake. It’s 43 miles long, 1,158 feet deep in some places and has 111 miles of shoreline. Visitors can use the public boat launches, relax at the picnic areas and go swimming at the scenic beach areas.
Bunco Off-Roading Trails
Finally, the Coeur d’Alene area has many forested destinations and off-road riding trails. One of our favorite off-road riding areas is in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, near the Bunco Road trailhead. Visitors can park at the parking lot near the trailhead and take their off-road vehicles, dirt bikes, RZRs and side-by-sides into the forest. This areal offers a variety of trails and terrain to explore for all ability levels.
Have you visited Coeur d’Alene, Idaho or do you live here? If so, what is one of your favorite family-friendly things to do near Coeur d’Alene? Our family has been able to choose from so many activities and experiences to explore and enjoy North Idaho.
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!