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Next Stop Nampa: Rediscover the Heart of Treasure Valley

Ready for a vacation? Then head to Nampa!

By Livability on January 11, 2023

Child in a lavender field in Nampa, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

Heritage, History, Events & Entertainment

From a look back in time to today’s hottest hitmakers, Nampa’s cultural offerings showcase the city’s diverse heritage and celebrate the arts. 

Crowd at a Kenney Chesney concert in Nampa, ID.
Courtesy of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

Ford Idaho Center

A mega-entertainment site, the Ford Idaho Center is three different venues on one campus. Hosting everything from top-rated equestrian events to headline performers, the Ford Idaho Center brings star power to Nampa. 

Since making its debut 25 years ago with a sold-out Shania Twain concert, the 10,500-seat amphitheater has kept the music flowing. Over the years, concertgoers have cheered on a diverse roster of top entertainers, including Bob Dylan, Blink 182, James Taylor, Journey, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw. The venue features both reserved seating and general admission on the grassy lawns. 

Like the amphitheater, the arena has welcomed top musical talent from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, with a whole lot of superstars in between. The 12,279-seat indoor arena is also home to the Snake River Stampede and the site of community events, family-friendly theatrical performances and sporting competitions.

The Horse Park & Sports Center is a national crown jewel for equestrian events and the leading horse facility in the Northwest. The park spans more than 110 acres and can house 850 horses. Each year, the facility hosts numerous competitive equestrian events, including National Cutting Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association and  Arabian championship shows.  

Bull riding in Nampa, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

Snake River Stampede Rodeo 

Not their first rodeo – the Snake River Stampede celebrates its 108th anniversary in 2023. One of the top 10 professional rodeos in the country, it’s the largest, fastest and wildest professional sports event in Idaho as 60,000 fans pack Ford Idaho Center for five days of daring competition. Each July, the best cowboys and equestrian champions showcase their skill in events ranging from bareback bronc riding and steer wrestling to barrel racing and junior rodeo.  

Warhawk Air Museum 

What began as Sue and John Paul’s personal passion for airplanes has grown into a museum paying tribute to veterans across modern conflicts from WWI forward. Beginning with two WWII-era planes, today the museum collection features more than a dozen planes, including the P-40E Kittyhawk, UH-1C Huey and MiG-21. Additionally, the Veterans History Project highlights soldiers’ personal experiences with displays including uniforms, photographs and personal memorabilia. 

Nampa Civic Center 

Spend an evening where arts, community and culture come to life. The 640-seat John Brandt Performing Arts Theater hosts a full slate of musical, dance and theatrical performances. The venue is also the home stage for The Music Theatre of Idaho, which produces six musicals a year. The 2023 season features a broad range of shows, from “Cinderella” and “Elf” to “Sweeney Todd” and “Titanic.”  

Exterior of the Nampa Train Depot Museum in Nampa, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

Nampa Train Depot Museum

Saving the historic Nampa Train Depot from demolition, the Canyon County Historical Society turned the space into a museum filled with local treasures that tell Nampa’s story over time. For nearly five decades, volunteers have kept the area’s history alive through engaging displays and community events.  

Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho 

The state’s growing Hispanic population led to the creation of this important center in Nampa to highlight and celebrate art, culture and tradition through pop-up exhibits, art showcases and events. 

Children fishing off of a pier in Nampa, Idaho.
Courtesy of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce

Family Fun 

In addition to the city’s family-friendly attractions and events, downtown offers plenty of options to tap into fun and games. Labyrinth Escape Room combines teamwork, time travel, technology and imagination to create a cutting-edge experience. Jeremy’s Downtown Arcade features unlimited play on a mix of nearly 70 games, such as pinball, air hockey and video games from the 1970s onward. Cap off the afternoon with a sweet treat from Stella’s Ice Cream, where every batch is made from scratch.

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