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Great in all four seasons, Coeur d’Alene Idaho has water sports, budget ski resorts and family friendly bike trails. You can drop a lot of money at Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort’s floating green, Coeur d’Alene casino, Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park. But you can also find a wealth of free things to do in Coeur d’Alene. Head to northwest Idaho for these fun things to do, with outdoor activities and more.
Coeur d’Alene, about 40 miles from Spokane, Washington, in eastern Idaho, truly has multigenerational appeal. From lake swimming to easy bike trails, ski resorts to golfing, breweries, wineries and a waterpark and giant theme park for the kid in all of us, Coeur d’Alene has it all. Best of all for the budget conscious, are the many fun things that are also free.
There are places to stay in Coeur d’Alene for every budget too: RV campgrounds, luxury resorts, ranches with horseback riding and inexpensive family friendly hotels.
Free Things to Do in Coeur d’Alene Year Round
1. North Idaho Centennial Trail
The 23 mile long North Idaho Centennial Trail is great for walking or biking. The paved bike trail limits speed to 15 miles per hour. Or, in the case of young bikers, gives them a speed to shoot for.
2. Art Galleries
3. Coeur d’Alene National Forest
Coeur d’Alene National Forest, part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, has miles of hiking trails that you can use for free. But in winter, for cross country skiing, you need to buy a permit.
4. Farmers’ Market Times Two
5. Trail of the Coeur d’Alene
The 72 mile paved Trail of the Coeur d’Alene in Idaho State Park is a flat family friendly bike trail, particularly the section along Lake Coeur d’Alene. In winter, the trail is groomed for cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
6. Art Walk
On the second Friday of each month, the art galleries in downtown Coeur d’Alene host an Art Walk. Some of the galleries have live music and wine and snacks. You can meet the artists and see new works of art. Boutiques and restaurants stay open late, turning this into a year round party.
7. Walk the Mudgy Moose Trail
The Mudgy Moose Trail, also known as Mudgy & Millie Trail, brings a children’s book to life. Based on local best selling writer Susan Nipp’s Mudgy & Millie book, the two and a quarter mile trail features five life-size bronze moose statues sculpted by Coeur d’Alene native Terry Lee. You join the hide and seek game along Lake Coeur d’Alene and through downtown Coeur d’Alene, from Tubbs Hill to Independence Point.
Free Things to Do in Coeur d’Alene in Summer
8. Coeur d’Alene City Park
The lakeside Coeur d’Alene City Park has a sand beach, walking trails and a playground. There is also a picnic area, perfect for lakeside lunches.
9. Independence Point
10. McEuen Park
McEuen Park has the city of Coeur d’Alene’s largest playground, as well as an off-leash dog park. There is a trailhead for Tubbs Hill and a kayaking launch. In summer, cool off at the splash pad.
11. Summer Movies
The Museum of North Idaho has a summer movie series, June – September. Movies at City Park and Coeur d’Alene Resort Bay are free. But the ones at Hayden Cinema, drive-in charge admission. Note that The Museum of North Idaho also charges admission.
12. Riverstone Summer Concert Series
The Riverstone Summer Concert Series presents free concerts in Riverstone Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday in July and August.
13. Art on the Green
Art on the Green, an annual event held on the grounds of North Idaho College, is a three-day festival with artists, musicians and performers. The Children’s Art Garden lets kids participate in hands-on projects. A free shuttle bus runs from downtown to campus.
14. Coeur d’Alene Wooden Boat Festival
The two day Wooden Boat Festival, held every summer on Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Floating Boardwalk, celebrates vintage wood boats. There is also live entertainment.
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Fun things to do if you hit it big at the casino…
Scenic Hot Cocoa Cruises
If you’re not into winter sports, Lake CdA Cruises has unique Hot Cocoa Cruises Friday through Sunday in January, February and March. These 90-minute cruises are a unique way to embrace the brisk weather.
The Floating Green
The Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course’s 14th Hole, The Floating Green, is the world’s only floating, movable island golf green. Each day, the par 3 hole changes position, enticing you to play over and over.
Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch
Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch offers guided tours of its alpacas. You will also see mini donkeys, horses and goats.
Soar above the treetops on Timberline Adventures zipline. Timberline Adventures has a special zipline tour that includes s’mores.