Idaho Botanical Garden’s Winter Garden aGlow

One part of moving that you don’t really think about until the holidays roll around is family traditions.

Some family traditions continue no matter where you live – when you open gifts, where you celebrate Christmas Day, what you eat, etc. Other traditions can’t easily be replicated everywhere. For example, it’s difficult to find a place locally in Idaho to cut down your own Christmas tree. That whole living in a desert has its drawbacks.

So while we had to give up a fun yearly experience of hanging out with our University Place friends going to the local farm, cutting down trees, eating chili and hanging out, we have been searching for something to do locally.

Veronica, Andrew, Dustin, Olivia, Ethan and Catarina enjoying a tunnel of lights.

We recently visited the Idaho Botanical Garden’s Winter Garden aGlow (I know, that name is really, really dumb, but I digress). The garden is lit up by 380,000 Christmas lights, they have a Santa for photo opportunities, a miniature train area and big views of the Boise skyline.

So we bundled up in about 14 layers to try and combat the 25-degree evening, invited my sister Olivia and her family and went and checked it out.

Cat breaking all the rules and touching the lights.

The lights are really cool. The donuts from Doh Nuts were really good. The view of the city was fantastic. And … I don’t think this will be a yearly tradition.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something fun to do once – by all means, go check out the winter garden aglow in Boise. Or just drive around some of the decked out neighborhoods in Nampa where there is no admission fee and it is much warmer.

We’ll continue to look for new traditions we can start here in Idaho.

Catarina and Ethan checking out a cool light tree.

Some of the best moments of the evening included:

  • Me telling Olivia not to mention Santa because I didn’t want to stand in some giant line with Cat waiting. So while telling her family who not to mention she said, “S-A-N-T-A, Santa. Wait, oops.” Cool story.
  • Cat seeing someone in a cowboy hat, pointing and yelling, “LOOK! A cowboy!”
  • Veronica pointing out the gals dressed up like Disney princesses and saying to Cat, “Cat, look who it is!” Cat runs up to some strange kid, hugs him and says, “ETHAN!” … No, no, that is not your cousin. Quit hugging strangers.

– Craig Craker

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