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Coeur D’Alene is a beautiful little town found along the northern shores of Lake Coeur D’Alene in Idaho. The town is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. The possibilities for fun things to do in Coeur D’Alene for families are endless.
This is part of our series on Idaho from our recent RV road trips. This area is a particularly wonderful area to camp. I wrote about our favorite places to camp here.
The top 11 things to do in Coeur d’Alene that we found on our recent trip there.
- McEuen Park
- The Art Spirit Gallery
- Canfield Mountain Natural Area
- Lake Coeur d’Alene Fishing & Boat Cruise
- Coeur d’Alene City Park and Swim Beach
- Kootenai County Fairgrounds
- Salvation Army Kroc Center
- Museum of North Idaho
- Tubbs Hill Park
- Higgens Point
- Tony’s on the Lake
First, a little background before your visit. The city derived its name from a Native-American tribe that was living along its rivers and lakes during prehistoric times. In the late 18th to early 19th century, they were visited by
French fur traders who called them “Coeur d’Alene, which means the heart
The pollution in Northern Idaho is generally spread out so although small with 51,000 residents, it’s actually the largest urban center in North Idaho( Census Bureau).
As a traveling family, we highly recommend Coeur D’Alene to anyone but especially for parents who want to enjoy the best vacation experience with their children.
In fact, our family has had multi-generational gatherings here and everyone loves it.
The region is ideal for outdoor activities such as picnicking, nature walks and hiking being close to Canfield Mountain Natural Reserve, as well as the Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
One of our favorite activities though was going to the playground and lake for some fun water sports activities.
1. McEuen Park
This park is one of the favorites that we have visited on our travels.
This is a family-friendly lakeside recreational area with a colorful playground for kids to play in, a splash pad, a huge grassy area to run and a large off-leash dog area. We also saw families playing tennis at the available court and the nearby basketball court.
The parents and grandparents could easily navigate the paved pathways and sit on benches to watch the kids play.
Additionally, this park houses a boat launch dock, mooring center and trailhead that leads directly to the forested Tubbs Hill.
Most importantly there is a restaurant with huckleberry ice cream at the boat dock.
Your family will also enjoy beautiful views of the city’s skyline which lies just a short distance away.
- Location: 420 East Front Avenue
- Cost: $1 per hour for parking and $2/hr. for Mooring
- Events: Free bouncing castles for kids, live music and beer grounds
2. The Art Spirit Gallery
Founded in 1997, this magnificent museum features quality artwork by various local artists exhibiting the region’s cultural diversity. The
It was started by Steve Gibbs as a way of promoting interest & awareness of the region’s diverse talents and creativity. Apart from paintings, the center also has unique curations made by local sculptors which your kids can view.
- Location: 415 Sherman Avenue Coeur d’Alene
- Cost: Free to walk in
3. Canfield Mountain Natural Area
Visit during this
Toddlers who are not used to difficult hikes may be better off at Mc Euen Park or other flatter trails.
You are also welcome to bring along your dogs an uphill jog.
- Location: 2231 E Mountain Vista Dr.
- Hours: Open 24 hours
4. Lake Coeur d’Alene Fishing & Boat Cruise
The beautiful mountain lake is the focus of the town and is a total length of 25 miles and 1 to 3 miles in width. We enjoy exploring the docks, watching the eagles and splashing in the swim area
The lake is a great spot for catching some local tasty fish. This is on our list of things we want to do on our next trip to Coeur d’Alene.
Boat rides are available for hire if you want to take your family for short boat trips around the lake’s upper section. For a
- Contact: www.cdacruises.com
- Location: 115 S 2nd Street
- Hours: 12.30-6.00pm
- Cost: $26.25 per adult and $18.25 for kids aged between 6-17yrs
- Discounts: Free daily sightseeing cruises and 50pct discount for St. Joe River Tours. Free cruises for kids below 5yrs old
5. Coeur d’Alene City Park and Swim Beach
With the Fort Sherman playground for kids and toddlers, a large sandy beach for relaxing near the water and even a large green space where you can hold picnics.
This vast beachside park is another family favorite of ours. We are a little partial to water so when the kids got to play here, we were dragging them out to go home.
With 16 acres of land, there is enough room for everyone to spread out without feeling crowded.
For more family fun, there are also barbecue pits, summer concert series, movies in the park and volley/basketball courts.
- City Website
- Location: 415 Fort Ground Drive
- Hours: 8.00am to 5.00pm
- Events: Free movies in summer
Kootanai County Fairgrounds
We actually camped at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds RV Park. Over the weekend that we were there we awoke to 4H horse competitions and a dog show.
This little charming place hosts many events throughout the year. If your kids enjoy animals, outdoor events or concerts, you should check the schedule during your visit.
The RV park may be the best kept secret camping spot in Coeur d’Alene. Each site is spacious, has full hookups and plenty of grass for the kids to play on. Plus it’s very central and about half the price as the other campgrounds. You will give up some of the standard amenities like playgrounds, shower houses, and laundry though.
- Fair Grounds Website
- Location: 4056 N. Government Way
- Hours: Depends on the Event
- Cost: Check the website for
eventand parking tickets. RV camping $40 per night
7. Salvation Army Kroc Center
This center seems to have something for everyone. They have a pool with water slides, a climbing wall, worship center, performing arts center, exercise area, kid care and so much more.
We have not had the chance to visit here but the facility caught our eye as we drove by one day and
The center covers an area of 130,000 square feet and is open to visitors throughout the week. If you will be visiting Coeur d’Alene for a while you can buy a membership or day passes are available.
With a day pass you have access to the Aquatic Center, Fitness Area, Gym, Game Room, Climbing Wall, Drop-in Classes and Public Areas during open hours
- Aquatic Center Website
- Location: 1765 W Golf Course Rd
5amto 9pmweekdays, 7amto 9pmon Saturdays, and 8amto 6pmSundays
- Cost: day passes $12 adult, $10 students/ seniors/ military, and $8 youth
- Discounts: A
scholarhsipprogram is available for vairousclasses.
8. Museum of North Idaho
This museum holds artifacts that record the region’s rich history. The exhibits include collections of souvenirs, ancient writings, silver jewelry and of course items from the gift shop.
Additionally, the venue is wheelchair accessible, making it a great multi-
- Museum Websit
- Location: 115 Northwest Boulevard
- Hours: Open from Tuesday-Saturday starting
- Cost: Adults $4, Children $1 and Families 10$
- Discounts: Free admission during the Art Walk on the second Friday of each month.
9. Tubbs Hill Park
Another location right on the lake and adjoining Mc Euen Park is Tubbs Hill.
Tubbs Hill is a beautiful lakeside park with several hiking trails that you can follow with your family members to the peak.
The park sits on a 120-acre piece of land that’s covered with vegetation, and shallow dams where you can fish at your own leisure.
- Location: 208 S 3rd Street
- Cost: $1 per hour for parking and $2/hr. for Mooring
10. Higgens Point
This scenic spot overlooking a lagoon is ideal for bird watching and checking out the salmon run which occurs at the start of winter.
Coeur d’Alene is home to a healthy population of eagles that live in the massive trees found nearby. They soar high above and swoop down to catch fish. The sight is amazing and worth the stop.
- All Trails Website
- Location: N Idaho Centennial Trail
- Cost: $5 boat launch fee
11. Tony’s On the Lake
It’s a classic Italian-style restaurant that serves tasty meals from the country such as; Lasagne, Ribollita, Ossobucco and Pizza Margherita among others.
The best part is the huckleberry ice cream! You can get it from the walk-up window and enjoy on the grass outside with the kids. We did this after playing at McEuen Park.
For families who like sitting down to a meal, dining is interesting in the open-air outdoor seating which overlooks the adjacent lake.
- Tony’s on
- Location: 6823 Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive
- Hours: 4-
- Cost: Meals start from $6
- Discounts: 20pct Off for Tony’s Pizza Coupons
Planning Your Trip: Getting There
You can drive to Coeur D’Alene on Interstate 90 highway, and take Exits 11 up to 15. We have have taken a couple of road trips there and enjoyed the beautiful mountain drive before arriving in Coeur D’Alene.
We have also flown to via the regional airport in Spokane. This nearest commercial airport and is about about 40 miles towards the west. We have scored some really cheap flights for our family even to this is a small airport.
Get the secrets to finding the cheapest flights for your family to anywhere – from a mom of 6
Are you planning a family trip to Coeur d’Alene? Or just wondering if it is the ideal travel destination for your family?
We say yes since it has several attraction sites that are ideal for both adults and children.
The city with the lake has so many recreational activities for families. As you can see most of our list of things to do in Coeur d’Alene with kids is outdoor recreation.