Jun. 14, 2016
115. Tour Old Idaho State Penitentiary
I have toured the Old Penn before on Halloween. It scared the crap out of me, but I chalked it up to it being Halloween. Not anymore! This time I went in the middle of a regular Thursday afternoon and it still scared me! There is definitely an eerie feeling as you walk through the buildings, look at the hanging room and read about all the history behind the bars. I'll admit to looking over my shoulder a couple of times. I suggest everyone go out there at least once. Especially you history buffs! The history of the Old Penn is very interesting and for those of you interested in the paranormal that might be lurking, keep an eye on the Old Penn website. They have many events geared towards uncovering any paranormal secrets there might be out there.
History: The Old Idaho State Penitentiary was built in 1872 and closed after a riot in 1973. I won't go into a lot of the history because if you go out there they have videos, a walking tour, a self-walking tour and many exhibits explaining the history. I don't want to take away from that.
Location: The address is 2445 Old Penitentiary Road. It is located off of Warm Springs just east of Boise. It takes about five to ten minutes to get there from Downtown Boise. It's a nice drive, especially down Warm Springs. The homes along this road are some of the most beautiful in Boise. The Penn is located near the Botantical Gardens and there is plenty of free parking.
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10 to 5 during the summer and 12 to 5 during the rest of the year. They do have specific locked and closed times that you can find on their website (www.history.idaho.gov). They want to be sure no one gets locked in after hours. Yikes!
Cost: Adults $6 / Seniors over 60 $4 / Children 6-12 $3 / Children under 5 are Free.
Special Notes: It is kid friendly, but not pet friendly. No outside food or drinks or tobacco products. They are very particular about making sure the children are supervised and not allowed to climb on buildings, outside or inside. Teens would really enjoy the eerie atmosphere and the history.
This is a fun spot to enjoy a family atmosphere and get in a history lesson at the same time.