Welcome to the Thriving in Idaho Channel, where we talk about all that Idaho has to offer so that when it comes time for you to make a move, you won’t just live here—you’ll thrive here. My name is Cameron LaTulippe, a real estate agent here in the Treasure Valley. Today, we’re shining a light on some of Nampa, Idaho’s best-kept secrets. From serene parks to vibrant downtown areas, let’s explore the treasures of this charming city.

Things to do: Top Hidden Secrets of Nampa, Idaho!

Lions Park: A Hidden Oasis

Lions Park is one of Nampa’s hidden gems, tucked behind a 1950s community of charming older homes. This park might escape your notice unless you have a specific reason to be in the area. I discovered it thanks to swimming lessons at the nearby pool, and now it’s one of my favorite spots.

Why Lions Park is Special

  • Mature Trees and Shade: The park is adorned with mature trees providing ample shade, making it a perfect spot for families and picnics.
  • Modern Playground: The playground is modern and engaging for kids, offering various play structures.
  • Pickleball Courts: With five pickleball courts resurfaced in 2018, it’s one of the best places in town to play.
  • Basketball Hoops and Patio Spaces: Additional amenities include basketball hoops and rentable patio spaces.

For more information on Lions Park, you can check out the Nampa Parks and Recreation website.

Exploring Lions Park

When you visit Lions Park, you’ll notice the serene environment immediately. The park’s mature trees create a canopy of shade, perfect for hot summer days. The modern playground is a hit with kids, featuring various slides, swings, and climbing structures. The pickleball courts, which were resurfaced in 2018, are a big draw for both locals and visitors. These courts are well-maintained and provide a fantastic spot for a friendly game. Additionally, the park offers basketball hoops and patio spaces, making it an ideal location for both sports enthusiasts and families looking to enjoy a picnic.

West Park: The Sports Enthusiast’s Haven

West Park, located just west of downtown Nampa, is another great spot filled with trees and well-maintained spaces. It’s a popular location for city league softball games and offers a variety of facilities.

Highlights of West Park

  • Softball Fields: Regularly maintained and perfect for league games.
  • Concessions and Bathrooms: Convenient amenities during tournaments and events.
  • Disc Golf Course: A fun disc golf course for all skill levels. For more on disc golf in Nampa, visit Nampa Disc Golf.

Discovering West Park

West Park is a haven for sports enthusiasts. The well-maintained softball fields are frequently used for city league games and tournaments. During these events, the park’s concession stands and bathroom facilities add convenience for players and spectators alike. One of the unique features of West Park is its disc golf course. This course is designed to cater to players of all skill levels, making it an enjoyable activity for everyone. As you navigate through the park, you’ll find that the disc golf course winds through trees and open spaces, offering a mix of challenging and easy holes.

Midway Park: Splash Pad Fun

Midway Park deserves an honorable mention. This park recently added a new splash pad, making it a fantastic spot for families during hot summer days. You can find more details on their Facebook page.

Fun at Midway Park

Midway Park’s new splash pad is a highlight for families with young children. The splash pad features various water jets and fountains that provide a fun and refreshing way to cool off during the hot Idaho summers. In addition to the splash pad, the park offers open green spaces and picnic areas, making it a great spot for family gatherings and birthday parties.

Lake Lowell: A Natural Retreat

When the summer heat is too intense, Lake Lowell offers a refreshing escape. Whether you’re into swimming, fishing, or simply enjoying the scenic views, this lake has it all.

Activities at Lake Lowell

  • Swimming: The designated swimming area is perfect for a cooling dip.
  • Boating: Boating is popular, with designated areas to ensure safety.
  • Fishing: Known for its fishing spots, it’s a great place to catch a variety of fish.
  • Wildlife Refuge: The surrounding wildlife refuge is ideal for nature walks and bird watching. Learn more at the Lake Lowell official site.

Enjoying Lake Lowell

Lake Lowell is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake features a designated swimming area that is safe and well-marked, ensuring that visitors can enjoy a swim without worrying about boat traffic. For boating enthusiasts, there are specific areas where you can launch and navigate your boat, keeping swimmers and boaters safe. Fishing at Lake Lowell is a popular activity, with many anglers visiting to catch bass, catfish, and trout. Surrounding the lake is the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, which offers trails for hiking and opportunities for bird watching. The refuge is home to various species of birds and other wildlife, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers.

Downtown Nampa: A Vibrant Hub

Downtown Nampa has undergone significant revitalization in recent years, transforming into a lively area with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Notable Spots in Downtown Nampa

  • The Still Ice Cream Shop: A local favorite for sweet treats.
  • Antlers Boutique and The King’s Beagle: Unique shops offering clothing and accessories.
  • Paddles Up Poke: A top choice for lunch, offering delicious sushi bowls.
  • Mesa Tacos and Tequila: A great spot for tacos and a good time.
  • Labyrinth Escape Games: Perfect for group fun and adventure.

For a comprehensive guide to downtown Nampa, visit the Downtown Nampa website.

Exploring Downtown Nampa

Walking through downtown Nampa, you’ll be struck by its vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. The Still Ice Cream Shop is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. Their homemade ice cream comes in a variety of flavors that will delight both kids and adults. Antlers Boutique and The King’s Beagle are fantastic spots to shop for unique clothing and accessories. Paddles Up Poke offers fresh and flavorful sushi bowls, making it a great lunch spot. Mesa Tacos and Tequila is perfect for those looking to enjoy delicious tacos and a lively atmosphere. For a bit of adventure, head to Labyrinth Escape Games where you can test your puzzle-solving skills in various themed escape rooms.

Warhawk Air Museum: A Historical Treasure

The Warhawk Air Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It’s dedicated to educating visitors about the cost of freedom and honoring those who paid its price.

Exhibits and Programs

  • World War II to Present Day: The museum features artifacts from various wars, including World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
  • Bridging the Generations Program: A unique program where veterans share their experiences with students.

Learn more about their mission and upcoming events on the Warhawk Air Museum website.

Visiting the Warhawk Air Museum

The Warhawk Air Museum is a treasure trove of historical artifacts and stories. The museum’s exhibits span from World War II to the present day, showcasing uniforms, equipment, and personal items donated by veterans. One of the most fascinating exhibits is the P-40 Kitty Hawk, a plane that was used in the film Valkyrie with Tom Cruise. The museum’s Bridging the Generations Program is a unique initiative that connects veterans with students, allowing them to share their experiences and impart valuable life lessons. This program is an excellent opportunity for younger generations to learn about the sacrifices made by those who served.

Golfing in Nampa: Hidden Golf Courses

Nampa may not be the first place you think of for golfing, but it boasts some excellent courses within a short drive.

Top Golf Courses

  • Centennial Golf Course: Known for its well-maintained greens and affordable rates.
  • Ridgecrest Golf Course: Offers a championship 18-hole course and the unique Wee-9 and foot golf options.

For golfing enthusiasts, check out the Nampa Golf Courses guide.

Golfing in Nampa

Nampa offers several excellent golf courses that cater to all skill levels. Centennial Golf Course is a favorite for its affordability and well-maintained greens. It’s a great place to enjoy a casual round of golf with friends. Ridgecrest Golf Course, on the other hand, offers a more upscale experience with its championship 18-hole course. For those looking for something different, Ridgecrest also offers the Wee-9, a nine-hole course, and foot golf, which is a fun twist on traditional golf. Both courses are within a short drive of each other, making it easy to explore both in a single day.


Nampa, Idaho, is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From tranquil parks and natural retreats to bustling downtown and historical museums, there’s something for everyone. If you visit any of these spots or have suggestions for other hidden treasures, let me know in the comments below. Until next time, keep exploring and thriving in Idaho!

This blog post was written by Cameron LaTulippe, your guide to all things Treasure Valley. For more insights and updates, subscribe to the Thriving in Idaho Channel.

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