The Best Covered Picnic Spots in Boise, Idaho

Sweet summer air, slightly overcast skies, a cool breeze passing through, and the sound of trickling water seems like the perfect combination of elements for a picnic. Going outside is like medicine for the mind, and Boise residents love utilizing their parks and green spaces. When you go on a picnic, you get to eat yummy bite-sized food, curate your blanket setup, and enjoy the outdoor scenery all while reaping the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors. 

If you live in Boise, you’ve probably already visited a few parks and outdoor spaces the city offers. But have you enjoyed a picnic there?

We’ll share our favorite picnic spots you can enjoy in Boise. But before we do, we’ve created a picnic packing list with our favorite food and drinks. 

Commençons! Let the planning begin.

Picnic Packing List 

Before you head out, don’t forget to bring:

  • A blanket for either putting on the ground or draping over provided seating
  • An array of food and drinks. Here are some of our favorites:
    • Charcuterie cheese, crackers, and cured meats
    • Fresh sliced fruit and berries
    • Cold pasta salad or salad greens with fixings
    • Sandwiches with a crunchy side
    • Fizzy kombucha, lemonade, iced tea, seltzer water, or fruit juice
  • A picnic basket with utensils and napkins or plastic cutlery, paper towels, and paper plates
  • One pocket knife/folding knife and small cutting board
  • A small cooler or ice packs if needed

picnic food laid out on a blanket with tarts, blueberries, cheese boards, and plums

MK Nature Center

The MK Nature Center has no shortage of fascinating scenery and critters to discover. Walk around the winding pathways, visit the underwater viewing stations, and smell their pollinator garden’s sweet flowers and herbs. The MK Nature Center is loaded with interesting specimens for adults and children alike!

wooden pergola over a wooden bridge in the mk nature center in boise idaho

Walk along the twisted elevated pathway and under the MK Nature Center’s beautiful wooden pergola. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of rainbow trout, painted turtles, or a giant sturgeon!

painted turtle on a log

green pond area with bright green trees and a small wooden shelter in boise idaho

Having a picnic on the bridge will restrict the walkway for other users, but the MK nature center has created small sheltered spaces near the path that you can use instead. You can see one in the image above.

Kathryn Albertson Park

If you’re a wildlife lover who enjoys serene spaces, Kathryn Albertson Park is a spot you can’t miss. It’s well-loved by birders who enjoy seeing waterfowl, song birds, and game birds. If you watch closely, you might even be able to spot an owl or great blue heron!  Many other animals also inhabit the park. Turtles, salamanders, beavers, rabbits, deer, and foxes can be found throughout. If you want to increase your chances of seeing wildlife, mornings and evenings are your best bet. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars! If you have a picnic planned with sports or music, we’d recommend choosing another park.

kathryn albertson park in boise idaho sandstone sign

kathryn albertson grassy pathways in boise idaho

Walk through the winding pathways in the park to explore the large 41-acre park. In the spring and summer, you can enjoy a wide array of wildflowers in the grassy meadows. Keep in mind that biking, fishing, boating, and swimming are prohibited.

kathryn albertson grassy pathways in boise idaho

kathryn albertson small white flowers in boise idaho

kathryn albertson flax in wildflower fields in boise idaho

kathryn albertson grassy the rookery in boise idaho

The Rookery is one of the best shady spots to have a picnic. It has a huge rustic lean-to roof with rounded beams and cedar poles. Enjoy the secluded area with stone benches surrounding sandstone fountains. While you can’t reserve a spot for a picnic, usually the park is quiet and there’s plenty of space. The Rookery can be reserved for formal ceremonies. 

kathryn albertson park cedar pergola at the rookery in boise idaho

kathryn albertson park fountains in boise idaho

kathryn albertson pond area in boise idaho

Walk near the marshy wetlands to see waterfowl and aquatic creatures.

kathryn albertson pond in boise idaho

Julia Davis Rose Garden

Enjoy the sweet smells and sights at the Rose Garden in Julia Davis Park. The Rose Garden opened in 1939 and has over 3,000 planted roses and adds more each year! The beautiful white and tan wooden pavilion is open for public use but is sometimes reserved for formal ceremonies. If you can’t find a spot under the pavilion, there are many picnic tables in the shade that you can use. 

julia davis park rose garden with wooden pergola and tan and white pavilion in the background

Walk through rows of roses in the Julia Davis Rose Garden.

julia davis park walkway surrounded by trees in boise idaho

Shaded pathways run through the park, and you can easily access the Boise River and greenbelt from here! 

julia davis park walkway surrounded by trees in boise idaho

Shaded picnic tables and walkways in Julia Davis Park.

Julia Davis Agricultural Pavilion

The Agricultural Pavilion in Julia Davis Park is perfect for a small picnic. It can also be reserved if you want to have a large gathering!  

agriculturepavilion

boiseartmuseum

After your picnic, cool off by exploring the Boise Art Museum. Julia Davis Park also has ample birding opportunities, bocce and horseshoe pits, fishing, open recreational areas, playgrounds, tennis courts, and the Boise Zoo. Make an entire day out of your picnic plans!

If you’re wanting to enjoy time spent outside without having to leave the house, learn more about ShadeWorks patio covers and pergolas! Schedule a free in-home estimate today.

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