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Used to Be

Published in the June 2022 Issue Published online: Jul 09, 2022 Discover Idaho Falls Gregg Losinski
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NOW THAT I’M IN MY 60S, I love being able to say, “When I was a kid...” It makes you realize how much the world has changed both for the better and the worse.

Fortunately for us here in Idaho Falls, we have always been a little behind the rest of the world, but those times are rapidly coming to an end. Enjoy what you can of the past, because a tsunami of change is heading our way and whatever doesn’t have a firm foundation is going to be swept away with only memories remaining.

Idaho Falls has always been a fairly friendly place for families. Even as the definition of what constitutes a family is changing, that welcomeness still holds true.

It is neat to be able to stroll the River Walk and see all assortments of families enjoying the area. Nobody seems to care who is married to whom, what color anyone is, what religion they are, or what language they speak. Everyone enjoys the falls equally and everyone gets the same goose poop on their shoes.

While the River Walk is the heart of family activity for the city, there is an ever-growing number of fun things across the community. The new canal pathway opens up a whole different perspective on a vibrant life stream that flows through our town. The addition of the rentable electric scooters adds a big-city element to zipping around. Just be sure to watch out for where those canal ducks enjoy the warm blacktop, they can leave some slippery surprises behind.

The Idaho Falls Zoo in Tautphaus Park has always been a big hit with families and continues to add fun events and exhibits. Be sure to check out the zoo event calendar for the Sippin’ Safari Concerts and super popular Bat Nights. Tautphaus Park Zoo is the first zoo in the country to have an open-air chiropterarium where you can view and hear bats! Of course, peacocks do roam free at the zoo, so watch your step.

An old family favorite is now rising from the ashes since the city has acquired Fun Land. The amusement venue is a real example of how entertaining life could be in the pre-digital era. Work is underway to restore the classic rides. You and your family can even be part of helping restore this symbol of simpler times. Some of the old gas streetlights from downtown Idaho Falls are being updated for use and will lend an air of the past to the present. This phoenix is sure to be something to behold and enjoy without fear of any feathered friend residue.

The community is also lucky to have two exceptional educational facilities that are very popular with families. The Museum of Idaho and the Eastern Idaho Aquarium both have lots of interesting things for all members of the family. Many people do not realize that these institutions are private non-profits and not run by the city. They add a level of enjoyment that most other communities lack and depend on visitors and not taxes to operate. So be sure to consider a family membership to support them and be able to visit yearround. Pigeons have been known to roost near both locations, so once again, tread cautiously.

When I was a kid and gas was only 32 cents a gallon, you could afford to jump in the car and drive anywhere in search of adventure. Given where the price is at now, trips to exotic places like Boise and Salt Lake City might be fewer this summer, but that’s okay when you look at what we have here for families to enjoy. Just watch out for the bird droppings, just like in the big city.

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