Just north of Coeur d’Alene, Hayden is a relatively young city surrounded by stunning natural beauty and many family attractions.
Hayden borders a large prairie, with the peaks of the Coeur d’Alene and Spokane Mountains on the horizon in almost every direction.
Idaho’s two largest lakes are also just minutes away, and Hayden has a lovely waterfront park on its own lake on the east side of the city.
Being so close to regional destinations such as Coeur d’Alene means you are only minutes away from theme parks, water parks and unforgettable entertainment experiences.
Closer to home, Hayden has 24/7 attractions to choose from, including a water park, indoor family entertainment center and petting zoo.
1. Three-in-one parent-child amusement park
Just around the corner from Hayden City Hall, attached to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites is a family activity center with plenty to do.
All in all, Triple Play Family Fun Park features an 18-hole indoor miniature golf course, bowling alley, laser tag, rock climbing wall, ropes course, three-level indoor playground, arcade machines, bumper cars, VR games and an interactive dark ride.
When summer rolls around, there’s a lot of fun outside too, with go-karts and bumper boats. Also part of the complex is the Raptor Reef indoor water park, which we’ll discuss next.
2. Raptor Reef Indoor Waterpark
Connected to Triple Play is a 25,000-square-foot water park that stays open even when mercury drips outside.
At Raptor Reef Water Park, a constant temperature of 86°F and plenty of temperature will keep everyone away from the entertainment of toddlers and teens.
For older kids, the focus will be on the new waterslide, The Constrictor descending at high speed through three tight curves at 350 feet.
This is the fastest of the four slides at Raptor Reef, and the park also has a wave pool with 3-foot waves, indoor/outdoor hot tubs and a two-story play area for younger kids with Tipping bucket and sprinkler.
3. Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center
A fascinating figure associated with Northern Idaho is inventor and aviator Forrest Bird (1921-2015), who lived not far from Zagrer.
As a technical training officer during World War II, Bird started a career inventing respirators and ventilators for the medical industry after finding German oxygen regulators during the war and researching how to make them more practical.
The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center is located in a hangar at Coeur d’Alene Airport and houses a rotating fleet of aircraft from before World War I to the present.
To name a few, there’s a 1947 Republic RC-7 Seabee, a North American AT-6 similar to the one Forrest flew during WWII, and a 1927 WACO Model GXE- 10, just like he made his first plane and flew alone at 14.
The planes are accompanied by exhibits about Byrd’s medical inventions, as well as generally famous innovations such as Ruth Handler’s Barbie and the Mac II, mostly by Steve Wozniak.
4. Hayden City Park (McIntyre Family Park)
Renamed after former Mayor Ronald B. McIntire in 2016, this charming park is located just behind Hayden City Hall.
The land is of real historical significance to Hayden because in the mid-20th century it was donated to what was then a village for the city hall, fire station, community center and main park.
The latter has an expansive green space that can be complemented by a baseball field, basketball court and children’s playground.
The Bandstand hosts Thursday night concerts in the park throughout July and August, as well as the Hayden Day event every July.
5. Hayden Lake
The east side of Hayden is bordered by a beautiful natural lake with a mountainous and rugged coastline.
Parts of Hayden Lake are astonishingly deep, dropping 800 feet, while other than Hayden itself, the lake’s peaks rise as high as 6,000 feet.
You can spend the day on the water at Honeysuckle Beach (more on that next), which also offers one of only three boats on the lake.
On land, you can take a scenic drive along the 40-mile narrow road that wraps around the lake shore, taking you through lush pine forests and past modern and historic summer homes.
6. Honeysuckle Beach
Hayden One of only three public access points in Hayden is a park managed by the City of Hayden.
Honeysuckle Beach is located on a corner of the lake’s west shore and was created in the early 1990s following community fundraising.
Supported by tall evergreen trees is a stretch of golden sand next to a shallow swimming area. On the water, the swimming area is fished from a walkable wooden pier.
The beach is staffed with lifeguards from mid-June to late August from noon to 6pm. During this time, there is always a concession stand open and you can have a picnic on the shady grass in the back.
7. Big Red’s Barn Indoor Animal Experience
Fully licensed by the USDA, this indoor petting zoo in South Hayden offers hands-on animal experiences for children year-round.
Species and breeds that greet you at Big Red’s Barn include dwarf goats, miniature pigs, zebu, miniature donkeys, wallabies, guinea pigs, rabbits, a range of birds, sheep, capybaras, as well as tarantulas, turtles and snakes.
The animals are housed in clean, spacious cages, accustomed to interacting with humans, and you can buy a cup of fresh vegetables to feed most of them. Depending on the weather, kids can also ride camels and “unicorns” outdoors.
8. Lake Coeur d’Alene
Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho’s second largest lake, is a regional honeypot in summer and is located no more than 5 miles south of Hayden.
Formed at the end of the last Ice Age, the lake has more than 100 miles of scenic coastline with steep slopes surrounded by giant ponderosa pines.
It’s a natural wonder to admire and take a boat trip from Coeur d’Alene or from the North Shore along the paved Northern Idaho Centennial Trail or Mount Tubbs.
Coeur d’Alene has gorgeous waterside public spaces like McEuen Park, a family favorite for its splash pads.
From fishing trips to paragliding, jet skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding trips along the Spokane River, and visits to open farms, you’ll also find endless inspiration.
9. Silverwood Theme Park
With more than 70 rides, attractions, slides and shows, Silverwood theme park is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.
Just 10 miles from Hayden, enough for a full day’s entertainment. The rides here have various intensity levels, with aftershocks at the very end, firing forward and then back through a loop of cobra rolls and inversions.
This is one of Silverwood’s six roller coasters, along with delightful water rides, carnival-style entertainment, and exciting stunt and magic shows.
Tickets include Boulder Beach, a high-end water park with two wave pools, a lazy river, a water play area for the little ones, and slides that can reach peak speeds of 55 mph.
10. Cloverford Park
25 acres of land north of the airport are used for outdoor recreation. Cloverford Park also has a picturesque location with sweeping views from the flat prairie to the Bitterroot Mountains to the east and the Spokane Mountains to the west.
Much of the park is occupied by an athletic field that includes two softball fields, two minor league baseball fields, two basketball courts, two soccer fields, horseshoe pits, and a nursery.
If you have a four-legged friend, there is a fenced dog park to the east, nicknamed Pawfoot Park.
11. Farragut State Park
If you’re craving more wilderness, the state’s largest body of water, Lake Pend Oreille, can be reached within 20 minutes of Hayden.
On the closest southwest coast is Farragut State Park, which has its own story to tell. This was the location of the World War II Naval Training Station, which provided basic training to nearly 300,000 sailors in just 30 months.
The 4,000-acre park has some of the best views of Lake Pend Oreille, especially at Bernard’s Peak, one of several scenic lookouts linked by about 40 miles of trails.
In addition to this, there is a disc golf course, mountain biking and horseback riding facilities, hundreds of campgrounds, ten camping cabins and a visitor center that explores the park and its flora and fauna history.
12. Mad Bomber Brewing Co.
If you’re curious about the name of this craft brewery in Hayden, the founders are three U.S. Army veterans who served on bomb disposal teams in Afghanistan.
The explosion theme doesn’t stop there, as the pub tables are made from old ammo boxes, and the beer itself is a reference to a famous weapon or a historical event involving explosives.
Take 1605 Rye (Year of the Gunpowder Plot), Fatman IPA, Marksman India Brown or MK84 Porter. Eight beers are on hand (six flagship and six seasonal) and you can pull up a chair by the cozy fireside in winter.
13. Clark House
In a prominent position at Clark Point on Hayden Pond Road, stands a historic building with an interesting story. This is the Clark House, built in 1912 as the summer home of industrialist Francis Lewis Clark (1861-?).
Just two years later, in 1914, Clark disappeared on a trip to Santa Barbara, California, the circumstances of which have never been confirmed.
The Clark House is culturally significant, designed in the American Colonial style by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter (1860-1939), and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978.
Following Clark’s disappearance, the building was used as a boy’s home, rehabilitation center, resort and restaurant until it was neglected in the 1990s. After restoration, the building was recently used as a bed and breakfast.
14. Timberline Adventures
The ultimate way to discover the full beauty of Lake Coeur d’Alene is on a zipline suspended from the forest canopy.
This is possible with Timberline Adventures, which has a storefront in the city and will then take you on an open-air UTV to its large property on Beautiful Bay on the northeastern shore of the lake.
There, you can choose from seven ziplines; you can ride all seven or choose a shorter tour, always zooming from one treetop platform to the next.
Timberline has a lovely tree house that you can also visit to make s’mores, roasted over an open fire.
15. Avondale Golf Course
Avondale Golf Course is a members’ club open to the public and is picturesquely located next to Hayden Pond.
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful wooded scenery in Northern Idaho, the 6,600-yard 18-hole par-72 provides a tricky live feed tough and fun.
Between the uneven pine forest corridors, the peaks of Bitterroot Mountain come into view from time to time.
The course features perfectly groomed greens and a natural turf driving range, while the pro shop, run by PGA pro Dan Porter, has all the necessary gear for beginners and low handicap players.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Hayden (ID), Idaho
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